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  1. #1
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    Drop-down box won't stay open

    Ok all you tech gurus out there...here's a tough one. Occasionally (intermittant) I can't get a dropdown box or selection box to stay open. When I click the dropdown arrow in Windows Explorer to try and select a folder or share, as soon as I move the mouse, the dropdown box disappears. This also occurs in the task bar if I right click on an application button and try to select something from the menu. Finally, it also occurs on the Start Button if I try to select anything in the menu (such as Control Panel). I am running Windows 7 Professional on a Dell laptop with 8GB of memory, but have also experienced this on a different Dell laptop running XP Prof SP-3. I have search over a dozen blogs and forums on the internet and have compiled an extensive list of potential "fixes", none of which work: (faulty mouse, corrupt separate user account, virus/malware, TweakUI - "activation follows mouse" is set, focus policy should be set to default, etc., etc., etc.). Do a google search on the title of this post and you will see what I mean. Any ideas? Thanks!!!

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  3. #2
    Gold Lounger Roderunner's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by j1023walk View Post
    Ok all you tech gurus out there...here's a tough one. Occasionally (intermittant) I can't get a dropdown box or selection box to stay open. When I click the dropdown arrow in Windows Explorer to try and select a folder or share, as soon as I move the mouse, the dropdown box disappears. This also occurs in the task bar if I right click on an application button and try to select something from the menu. Finally, it also occurs on the Start Button if I try to select anything in the menu (such as Control Panel). I am running Windows 7 Professional on a Dell laptop with 8GB of memory, but have also experienced this on a different Dell laptop running XP Prof SP-3. I have search over a dozen blogs and forums on the internet and have compiled an extensive list of potential "fixes", none of which work: (faulty mouse, corrupt separate user account, virus/malware, TweakUI - "activation follows mouse" is set, focus policy should be set to default, etc., etc., etc.). Do a google search on the title of this post and you will see what I mean. Any ideas? Thanks!!!
    Hi, welcome to the lounge.
    Their are 2 types of drop boxes, one that opens automatically & one you have to open by clicking. Look near the top of this page, you will find 'Forum Actions', if you click it, it opens, move cursor to 'Community' or 'Quick Links' opens it, move you cursor anywhere, it will stay open till you click somewhere else.
    George's PC Specs. / Laptop. Desktop.

  4. #3
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    By inference you have tried all the obvious options so we need to think about the symptoms......

    Since it's happening on two independent machines, it is highly unlikely to be a piece of hardware unless you have something common like a KVM. Rather, it suggests that it may be a piece of software that is installed (on both machines) which is causing a conflict with the mouse. It could be something odd with a Dell supplied application layer for example, or a 3rd party tool installed.

    Might be a duplicate device driver (the machine thinks it's got two mice), installed by a common software application. Check in device manager to see if there are two mice installed.

    Also, check event viewer to see if there are any application or system errors that apply to both machines.

  5. #4
    3 Star Lounger jockmullin's Avatar
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    Does this happen if you disable the touchpad in the BIOS/software?

    I have found Dell laptops in particular seem to be very sensitive and lots of folks inadvertently trigger a mouse click via the touchpad. I keep mine disabled and use an external mouse because it saves me a lot of aggravation.

    Try using a wired mouse in place of wireless in case of crosstalk with nearby wireless devices. Change batteries.

    Jock

  6. #5
    Super Moderator jwitalka's Avatar
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    Does it happen in safe mode? If so, the clean boot procedure may help. Ignore the fixit that pops up.

    Jerry

  7. #6
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    Thank you all for the excellent suggestions. I tried all of them but none solved the problem. They did, however, force me to think about my system configuration which identified other components I had overlooked as a possible cause to the problem, particularly with respect to the KVM switch and port replicator. After much trial and error, the culprit for this problem was an old video cable extension (attached from the KVM cable to the port replicator) that was apparently not handling the signals correctly. When I removed this from the configuration, the problem disappeared and has not re-appeared since. Thanks again!

  8. #7
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    So, even though they were two separate machines, they had a couple of items in common, wherein lay the root of the problem.

    I really like these outcomes as they demonstrate a mantra of mine: Evidence based decision making. Put all the symptoms together, ignore nothing. Propose a root cause and test it against your model. If anything can not be explained by your proposal, it's not the root cause and it's time to look elsewhere.

    With acknowledgements to Sherlock Holmes (and a strong nod to Sir Arthur Connan Doyle!): "when you have eliminated the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth."

    Glad you got it sorted and thanks for posting back!

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