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Scoutrider 11-13-2011 11:48 AM

Weird Computer "Glitch" ~ Need Your Opinions/Experience!
 
Hey all! I've got a goofy computer problem, and I need the tech-geniuses of HF to share some wisdom with me! :-) Warning: I'm trying to give as much detail as possible... please excuse the novel... :-|

Some background on the computer: I have an HP tablet/laptop (one of those things that the monitor swivels around and can function as a tablet with a stylus, or open up as a laptop) that I got through my college in Fall of 2008. Every full-time student gets a computer as part of the educational package; every senior has the exact same model as me. The school operates a tech helpdesk, staffed by student employees and overseen by computer science-oriented faculty and staff, to help students with computer issues and maintenance. The school takes care of the cost of repairs (within reason: if you spill coffee on it or drop it or something like that, that's your problem) After graduation, students get to keep their computers.

Last spring, I had to have my monitor replaced. Some adhesive inside it melted, and glued the stylus in it's little storage space at the base of the monitor. At that time, I also had the operating system updated from Vista to Windows 7. Shortly after that time, I started having bizarre issues.

My cursor would randomly switch from the normal mouse-arrow image to the little star-dot image that shows that the computer is sensing the stylus, and jump to the lower right-hand corner of the screen, and click the little rectangle that takes you to the desktop. Nothing really "harmful," just absurdly irritating, especially when I'm trying to work and whatever I'm doing is suddenly convulsing back and forth between my window and my desktop. This would happen in a variety of circumstances, including when I was standing 5 feet from the keyboard - I'm not accidentally clicking things. :lol:

I made do for several months: I was home for the summer, unable to access the school helpdesk until September. Once I was back at school, I got pretty well buried under work that I needed the computer for, ailing or not. I just could not be without a computer for two days while the helpdesk people looked at it and not have my grades suffer.

Last week, I had a class canceled, and took the extra hour to visit the helpdesk and get a "consult." Long story short, they told me that my problem was likely that my "new" monitor, installed the previous Spring, was not communicating properly with the stylus, and thought it was receiving stylus information when the stylus was in storage. This made sense to me... when it isn't in use, the stylus fits into a little slot under the monitor. They replaced the monitor again, and sent me on my way.

Well, a day later, my computer "convulsed" again. Now, the cursor clicks in the upper left corner area. It has been better than it was -- the "fits" are shorter, only one or two clicks instead of a dozen or more. They also seem to be more likely to occur when I'm online, in which case it clicks the refresh button (irritating, but not the end of the world...), but it happens when my internet is entirely disconnected - no firewire connection, wifi receiver turned off - and when my browser is shut down. If it matters, I use Google Chrome.

I definitely plan to stop by the helpdesk again, for sure. Unless I'm horribly unlucky and got two bad monitors, I want to say that the monitor wasn't the problem. I mean, changing it seemed to help, but the problem isn't cured. What I want to know from you guys is... have you ever heard of a problem like this, and solved it? Is there some simple setting that I could change that would help this without having to surrender my lifeline to my homework for another day and a half?

Right now, I'm taking the stylus out of it's little storage slot, and leaving it away from the computer while I'm using it, and that seems to help, but that really isn't a permanent fix since I do use the stylus on occasion in classes. Any insights anyone could share or experiences with this kind of problem would be amazing. Please tell me if there's any more information that would help, I'll do my best to clarify.

This computer is babied - never been dropped, no spills, nothing. There are an absolutely obscene number of hours on it, however, and it is three and a half years old, albeit with a brand-spanking new screen/monitor.

Thanks for taking the time to read the post, and for any insights, experiences, or recommendations you can share. I'll update with whatever the helpdesk tells me if and when I can make it over there this week. I hope I can make it over there... I have two papers, a presentation, and a French composition due this week, plus my normal homework, and I need my computer for all of it... blech...

Thank you again!! :-)

Spyder 11-13-2011 03:06 PM

Have you tried a mousetrap???:rofl::rofl::rofl::rofl:

Sorry but couldn't help that. It probably isn't browser related but have you tried Firefox. That browser is so much faster and has better features than Chrome...at least I think so.

I don't have a laptop so can't really help you much more than this.

Scoutrider 11-15-2011 04:21 PM

Haha, thanks for the reply, Spyder. I'm honestly getting to the point where a mousetrap sounds like a viable option, lol. Or at least a good solid smack... a little percussive maintenance never hurt, huh? :rofl:

I'll have to give Firefox a try again. I used it for a while, back when I was running Vista, because Internet Explorer hates me... But when I had the computer reloaded last spring with 7, I had to re-download Firefox, and the new version started acting up on me, so I switched to Chrome. I'll have to give it another try, though. I definitely liked Firefox - much more user-friendly and easy to navigate than Chrome was starting out...

I never did make it to the helpdesk... my professors seem to feel obligated to claim every moment of my time with homework and projects in anticipation of Thanksgiving Break (Campus closes down for a week, starting on Saturday.). The "spasms" are getting a bit worse, I think, and the proximity of the stylus to the computer doesn't seem to matter. It's a software issue, methinks... :?

irydehorses4lyfe 11-15-2011 06:54 PM

Tablets have more sensitive screens than any other type of computer screens. Chances are that the re-install of the screen was done poorly, and messed up the sensors. It's NOT a software issue.

In regards to having this "jumpy" issue before you got it replaced, Sounds like a sensor issue, either by the case hinges or inside the screen wiring itself getting messed up with the screen adhesive melting. Either way it sounds like getting it replaced poorly made it worse.

My friend had a tablet do this too. It all came down to wiring and sensor's being messed up.

If I were you I'd take it back to where ever replaced it, and get them to do it again. It sounds to me like they just made whatever issue you previously had, worse.

Scoutrider 12-13-2011 12:23 PM

Sorry, all, I haven't been online recently to update this thread - this 18 credit-hour semester's been catching up with me... all the papers and projects came due, and finals start this Friday... blah... looking forward to a much-needed break in about a week!! :D

Anyway, I finally was able to snag a chance to take the computer back to the tech center. HP spent the night, and I stopped in between classes this morning to pick it up. The guy behind the counter said that whoever was working on it "could not get it to reproduce the error." I can't argue this - the people who run the counter are student employees and (in general) have about as much understanding and control of what goes on as far as fixing as I do. As far as "reproducing the error" goes, the computer did spazz a bit while I was checking it in - someone saw it in action. I was given the option to leave it there for them to keep fiddling with or take it; I went for the latter, since I need to write a take-home final and study for the next week lest my GPA be imperiled... It's "better," but has had a couple of minor seizures in the half-hour or so that I've had it back.

I've talked to several people who have had the IDENTICAL problem as me, on different models of school-issued computers (each year has a different model, all tablet-style laptops). Most are in the same boat as me - frustrated but don't have time to leave it in the tech center for a few days while the "techs" "can't get it to reproduce the error." :evil:

So, here I sit. I'm limping through the last week of the semester and finals with it as-is, and taking it home for Christmas break. If I can't sort it out myself by January, they'll see my smiling face the first day of next semester before I'm tied to my hard-drive by papers and projects. I'm back to Googling my problems, and I'm still very much obliged to anyone who can shed some light on this problem for me. This afternoon, I'm planning on doing some file-purging and getting rid of some software downloaded for classes that I don't need anymore, just to make sure that there isn't something interfering that way.

Again, so sorry for the lack of updating on this... my life had been hectic in the last 2-3 weeks to say the least, and with computer issues on top of it... :-(

I'm honestly considering pooling my resources and picking up a new PC after Christmas to do most of what I need, and only use the school-issued machine for what I absolutely need it for if this thing doesn't shape up... I can't live like this, lol... :-P In the grand scheme of things, this is a 3.5 year old computer with an ungodly number of hours on it, and with that in mind I'll probably end up replacing it soon after graduation anyway...


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