Friday, February 01, 2008

Workaround: Mouse Sensitivity Settings Lost after Laptop Re-dock

Issue: After undocking and then re-docking my Thinkpad T60 laptop (running Windows XP), my custom sensitivity settings for my external Logitech mouse (an MX500) are lost; in particular, the mouse cursor acceleration effect is gone, and the base speed of the movement of the mouse cursor increases significantly.

(Since I run dual high-resolution monitors, I find it very useful and comfortable to set the base mouse cursor speed to a low setting to allow easy precision pointing, and to also enable fairly high acceleration to allow me to move the mouse cursor long distances on my large screen area without having to move the physical mouse a correspondingly long distance on my desk. Moving the mouse on my machine and expecting to have the cursor respond according to these settings, but instead getting high-speed, no-acceleration cursor movement, feels very jarring.)

Also, after re-docking, the custom Logitech-provided mouse controls (the "Logitech MouseWare Control Center") in the Mouse applet in the Windows XP Control Panel are gone. Instead, running the Mouse applet just brings up the basic Windows mouse applet.

Workaround: Running the program logi_mwx.exe (which I found located on my local machine at C:\Windows, and, per msconfig.exe, runs at system startup time) restores the custom Logitech mouse control panel applet and my custom mouse speed and acceleration settings.

Of course, rebooting the machine is also an effective workaround! (The drawback to rebooting, of course, being the necessity of waiting for the reboot, and then re-opening any applications and documents that were in use prior to the reboot.)

As an aside, the same symptoms occur whenever the Microsoft Virtual PC 2007 Console is the active (foreground) application on my machine, even when no virtual PC image is actually running. If anyone knows a better workaround for this issue than "keep Virtual PC as the foreground app as little as possible", please comment! :-)

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