So the other day I power up my laptop in its docking station. This is my dogfood machine and I was ready to get some work done. But my USB LED mouse, which was plugged into the docking station, was working erratically. If I moved it quickly, it worked fine, but if I moved it slowly, it would "jump" around about two inches or so at a time.

Firs t thing I did was unplug and reattach the mouse - nothing changed. I tried to connect it directly to the laptop - again, no change. Then I started closing applications thinking that someone was doing something with my mouse driver.

I had gotten everything closed except Outlook. I figured if the mouse was still misbehaving and Outlook was the only application running, the problem must be coming from Outlook. This certainly seemed to be the case. I broke out my favorite debugger and broke into Outlook. This did not tell me much since I had to quickly break into the application while moving the mouse. I tried looking at the process with Procmon and still did not see anything (just an app waiting for input). I was getting a little stumped and sat back to think about how to approach this problem next.

And when I sat back, I noticed the LED was flashing. My mouse had died - sigh. I've mentioned having blinders on in the past and this was just such a case that tripped me. I was so ready to find a software problem and report a bug that I forgot that hardware can also be a failure point.

I got a new mouse and now it works fine. Back to testing!

Questions, comments, concerns and criticisms always welcome,

John