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HID Woes Cause Overkill Win10 Repair

How’s this for irony? Two days ago, I wrote a story for SearchEnterpriseDesktop explaining what to do if a mouse and/or keyboard go missing in Windows. Yesterday morning, when I sat down at my primary PC, my user interface was totally bollixed. Ultimately, I determined the cause was a failing wireless mouse. But there were a few wrong turns before that diagnosis became crystal clear. It definitely woke me up, but it also wasted most of my morning. If you’ll recall, HID stands for human interface device in Windows-speak. And that’s why I entitled this post HID woes cause overkill Win1o repair. If this story has a moral, it should be “swap the hardware first” whenever devices get weird.

This cheap and colorful little mouse ultimately rode to my rescue, but only after some spinning of the wheels.

How Did HID Woes Cause Overkill Win10 Repair?

My problem was that I jumped to a software diagnosis for what was a purely hardware problem. Had I followed my own advice from the preceding day’s story, my second step after restarting the PC (I did do that) should have been to “Try a substitute device.” Had I done that, the story would have come to an immediate, positive and workable solution. But no! Problem is I’ve been reading so much about driver issues for mice and keyboards on Windows Version 1803 (aka Spring Update) that I immediately assumed I’d been bitten by a driver problem. Wrong!

The nearest I can figure, what REALLY happened is that the RF transmitter in my Logitech M325 mouse started failing intermittently. It worked to some extent most of the time, but would cut out completely 3-4 times a minute. Unfortunately, this caused my keyboard to act weird as well. I think it was fighting for USB bus access with the failing mouse radio. They share the same USB 2.0 hub on my production PC, as fate would have it. So when the mouse starting picking up and dropping, and picking up and dropping, the keyboard also started having issues communicating with the PC. Ouch!

After completely removing and reinstalling only generic HID device drivers, my problem remained. And then, when that didn’t change after I performed an in-place upgrade repair install, I knew it HAD to be the hardware (nothing else was left). So I ran upstairs, borrowed my son’s high-end wired Razer gaming mouse, plugged it in, and Presto! my problems vanished. I ruefully remembered one more reason why intermittent failures are the hardest to find and fix. So my new M325 ($13 + tax at Fry’s) banished all remaining ills — for the time being, at least.


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