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I've done a clean install of Loki on an old Compaq laptop. Whenever it has been running for a bit the mouse buttons stop working. The mouse still moves fine, just the clicks do nothing. It happens on both the touchpad and a USB mouse with cable. I've searched everywhere but can't seem to find simple instructions of how to re-install mouse drivers. (I had to update Nvidia drivers via the command line to stop screen flicker and that worked perfectly). Sometimes I can make it start working for a bit by messing around with alt / ctrl / tab to select menu items, but it never lasts long. Surely there must be a straightforward way to update the mouse drivers?

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OK a bit more detail. This almost definitely isn't to do with mouse drivers per se, but is more connected to the x-server? (My Linux knowledge is basic).

If I re-start lightdm (sudo service lightdm restart) it works perfectly again for a while.

If I open a more than one window and switch focus between them with alt-tab I get the mouse-clicks working in the window, but not outside. If I open a browser window and get focus this way, it works perfectly in the window, but won't re-size or close the window.

So at least I have a way to make the thing useable, although in a kind of clunky way. It's a shame because I've come back to Linux a few times over the years and with Elementary it came so close to what I'd hoped, but now I've spent a day trying to fix this and there doesn't seem to be a simple solution.

I suspect it might be something to do with the Nvidia video adapter in the laptop; there was horrendous screen flickering when I first installed the OS which I was able to cure by installing nvidia-current via the command line, but perhaps this isn't right for an old machine. There is an Nvidia x-server control panel so I'll see if I can find a setting in that which makes a difference.

Will report back

--Update-- Nothing in the x-server control panel made any difference.

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Just prior to this issue occur in on my machine, I also performed a Nvidia upgrade. I’m going to try and roll back to the original version to see if that resolves the issue. I will update with my results.

  • Success!! I performed 3 updates just before noticing these issues. I removed each and tested, and I am no longer seeing the issue. I was unable to pinpoint if it was just one of the upgrades or a combination of them together. The updates were Intel-microcode 3.20170707.1, nvidia-304, and nvidia-340. Please keep in mind that I had to reboot before I saw the fix. Hopefully this helps you out as well. Best of luck! – Andrew Waymire Dec 20 '17 at 0:12
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Thanks I'll be interested to hear what happens.

I'm about to give up on it though - my main interest in Linux is to use on older hardware and maybe this isn't the best distro for that - it perhaps aims to be more of a direct replacement for Win / Mac on up-to-date machines.

I don't mind having to a bit of homework / fiddling to get it working, but if there are no answers out there it's just too difficult - this is the main source of support and most threads have very few answers.

About to install Xubuntu, hopefully that will be better for an older machine.

-- Update --

Not a hint of this behavior on Xubuntu, and much as I love the L&F of Elementary, to be honest this suits me better.

It could be the Nvidia driver that's the route of the problem though, the card on this machine is an old GeForce 8200M G and the latest driver makes it crash the system when playing video. The generic X-org driver works fine and I'm about to try the legacy 304 Nvidia one. No mouse pointer problems with any of the video drivers on this platform though.

Hope Elementary comes up with a solution for you.

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