How to Detect a Microsoft Serial Mouse

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Before the introduction of USB ports and devices, many computers shipped with PS/2 or serial mice. Many computers stores still stock PS/2 mice; however, serial mice are rare these days, as most new computers have no ports for them. Until USB negated the need for them, Microsoft produced several versions of its serial mice. Connecting a Microsoft serial mouse to an old PC with serial ports is relatively straightforward. If you want to connect the serial mouse to a new PC, though, you must use an adapter before Windows can detect and initialize it.

Things You'll Need

  • USB-to-serial adapter cable and installation disc
  • USB mouse

Legacy PCs

  • Shut down the computer.

  • Connect the Microsoft serial mouse to the 9-pin serial port on the rear of the PC. Use the thumbscrews on the end of the mouse cable to secure the connection to the serial port.

  • Restart the computer and log in to Windows. Wait a few seconds for Windows to detect and initialize the mouse automatically. Use the mouse as you normally would.

Modern PCs

  • Start the computer with the USB mouse connected. Alternatively, start the computer without a mouse if you are comfortable using the keyboard only to navigate in Windows.

  • Insert the installation disc for the USB-to-serial adapter cable into the optical drive. Click the “Setup” or “Install” button when the installation wizard window opens on the screen. Follow the prompts to install the adapter cable driver, and then restart the computer when prompted.

  • Insert the flat end of the USB-to-serial adapter cable into one of the empty USB ports on the computer. Wait a few seconds for Windows to detect the adapter cable and initialize it using the driver you installed from the setup disc.

  • Connect the serial mouse to the 9-pin male port on the USB-to-serial adapter cable. Secure the mouse cable to the end of the adapter cable with the thumbscrews.

  • Shut down the computer and disconnect the USB mouse. Restart the computer and log in to Windows. Use the serial mouse just as you would a USB mouse.

Troubleshooting

  • Shut down the computer and restart it. As soon as the computer starts and you see the company logo or BIOS screen, press the “Delete” key or other key needed to access the system BIOS. If you don’t know which key you need to press to enter the system BIOS, refer to the motherboard or system user guide.

  • Select the “Peripherals,” “On-Board Devices” or other similar menu option in the BIOS. Ensure that the “Legacy USB” or similarly named option is set to active. Save the changes and exit the system BIOS to restart the computer.

  • Click “Computer” on the desktop, and then click the “Manage” icon on the Computer window toolbar. Click “Device Manager” in the Computer Management pane.

  • Click the “Ports (COM & LPT)” category in the Device Manager list. Ensure that the USB-to-serial adapter device name appears in the list, and that it does not have a yellow exclamation mark next to it.

  • Right-click the USB-to-serial adapter device name if it has a yellow exclamation mark next to it, and then click “Uninstall” on the pop-up menu.

  • Click “Action” on the menu bar, and then click “Scan for Hardware Changes.” Wait a few seconds for Windows to redetect the USB-to-serial adapter cable and reinstall its driver. Close the Computer Management window and restart the computer.

  • Reinstall the driver for the USB-to-serial adapter cable using the installation disc if removing and reinstalling the device in Device Manager does not fix the problem with the computer not detecting or initializing the Microsoft serial mouse.

References

  • Photo Credit Stockbyte/Stockbyte/Getty Images
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