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My work computer is relatively new (Intel i7) but is unfortunately on a Windows XP load. I do the bulk of my work inside a Windows 7 VM using Citrix so I typically have one monitor for XP and the other dedicated to the VM.

About ten times a day, the mouse cuts out for roughly 30 seconds which, while annoying, I can deal with. However, usually 2-3 times a day both the mouse and keyboard stop functioning. The mouse cursor cannot be moved and key presses don't register. The num lock light blinks intermittently for a short period of time while pressing the caps lock/scroll lock buttons don't seem to toggle their respective lights. Eventually the num lock light turns off and the mouse laser turns off as well. Unplugging/plugging doesn't seem to have an effect and even plugging in a different keyboard after this happens won't get you a working keyboard.

  • Both the mouse and keyboard are wired (USB)
  • Applications still function while this is going on
  • It only seems to happen mid-mouse move (i.e. I never leave my computer to find it in this state)
  • Many other coworkers have the same machines/load and this is the first time someone's had this problem
  • Pretty sure I'm the first person to use this machine/load - it's only been about 2 months

I've done a lot of work with computers and this is the first I've seen something like this. I'm not sure if the VM is trying to grab a hold of the inputs and something triggers it into this state or what. I can't get much work done without using having the VM up so I haven't tested if this would happen without it - just wondering if anyone's seen something like this.

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Did you switch mouse and keyboard with a co-worker? It might be a problem in one of these devices causing your USB controller to hang. – Sascha Kaupp Feb 22 '13 at 21:10
up vote 3 down vote accepted

It ended up being the mouse of all things (Microsoft wired). I had been using it for a couple years on my old box without any problems and then had the issues outlined above with my new computer. Ended up trying a third box and the symptoms got a little bit better with the 30 second cut outs not occurring at that point. Eventually we switched out the mouse and I never had a problem again.

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Seems like this, as you elude to, has something to do with your VM or VM config. Even so I beg the question does this happen w/out your VM up? Do you see a lot of disk activity when your mouse and keyboard lock up or does it seem like your system just freezes? I'm trying to figure out of your machine is sucking up CPU cycles or maybe its something else. Things to consider are that it maybe disk thrashing, might be doing some other high end that requires lots of CPU, might be running low on memory. Could be a lot of things. I would look for any symptoms that you have on yours that others might not have. Maybe your machine is low on memory and the system is doing page swapping for its memory. I think we'd need more clues before we can solve the crime.

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