Virus or hardware failure - weird mouse movements

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by TijmenDal, May 31, 2012.

  1. TijmenDal macrumors member

    Joined:
    Sep 15, 2010
    #1
    Hi guys 'n gals,

    I've had my new MBP for about 2 weeks now and haven't had any problems yet, until yesterday. All of a sudden the mouse started moving around by itself. Clicking on things and right-clicking as well. There was absolutely no pattern in it, except for that it only went left-to-right and it didn't move on the vertical axis as far as I've seen.
    After restarting the problem was gone. Today it happened again, restarted: problem solved. Just now it happened AGAIN! Restarted, and it's working like a charm again.

    Would anyone know what this could be? A virus of some sorts or hardware failure. I don't see why I would have a virus, since I haven't done anything different on my new MBP than on my old one (which I had for 1.5 years without any problems).
    Also: I don't think it could be a hardware problem, as it's just happening sometimes and upon restarting it's working fine again.

    Could anyone point me in the right direction?

    Thanks in advance!
     
  2. musty345 macrumors regular

    musty345

    Joined:
    Feb 28, 2010
    Location:
    United Kingdom
    #2
    Does anyone else have access to your computer?
    Sounds like someone might be using a mobile mouse app and trying to mess with you.
    If you've ruled this out, I'd advise you backup all of your important data and restore. Sounds creepy....
     
  3. chrono1081 macrumors 604

    chrono1081

    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2008
    Location:
    Isla Nublar
    #3
    Not a virus. If you had a virus most likely you'd never know. They do not do things like this, thats all Hollywood fluff. Real viruses don't want to be found. (Not to mention there are no known viruses for Mac OS in the wild.)

    Sounds like a hardware issue. Try a PRAM reset by holding command + option + P + R while restarting your computer.
     
  4. TijmenDal thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Sep 15, 2010
    #4
    Thanks, I'll try that.
    Lucky I always make back-ups. It's really, really weird. It just happens. And I'm sure it's not someone trying to mess with me.
     
  5. chrono1081 macrumors 604

    chrono1081

    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2008
    Location:
    Isla Nublar
    #5
    One thing that can cause what you see is moisture around the trackpad (humidity, or even slightly sweaty hands can do it). This used to happen all the time with HP laptops we supported at work.
     
  6. Dustman macrumors 65816

    Dustman

    Joined:
    Apr 17, 2007
    #6
    Give your trackpad a good cleaning too. A dirty trackpad will do this.
     
  7. Old Muley macrumors 6502a

    Old Muley

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2009
    Location:
    Titletown USA
    #7
    Do you have sharing turned on? If so, could some other Mac user be sharing your screen and messing with you? My kids discovered this feature a few months ago. Just last night the cursor on my iMac was doing the same thing. Turned out that it was my daughter in the other room on the MBP sharing my screen.

    See http://support.apple.com/kb/PH4306
     
  8. Phil A. Moderator

    Phil A.

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Apr 2, 2006
    Location:
    Shropshire, UK
    #8
    Mine started doing that once when it got very hot by me using it in the direct sunlight in Lanzarote. I did a PRAM reset to no avail, but once it had cooled down it went back to normal and has been fine since
     
  9. TijmenDal thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Sep 15, 2010
    #9
    Looks like it helped... Havnen't had problems for 15 minutes now. Really weird. I've NEVER cleaned the trackpad on my old MBP before and I used to spill stuff on it ALL THE TIME (including droplets of water, nothing major). Now I haven't spilled anything (because I'm really cautious because it's new) and I get this problem. Well, looks like it's solved. I was pretty scared it would be a hardware issue (but then I would have Apple care of course...). Thanks a lot for the fast help everyone!
     
  10. whooleytoo macrumors 603

    whooleytoo

    Joined:
    Aug 2, 2002
    Location:
    Cork, Ireland.
    #10
    Certainly could be this. Even tiny drops of moisture on a trackpad can cause weird issues.

    If the movement were more 'random', I'd be more worried. Previously in my case, I noticed someone was able to log into my Mac via VNC because the server programme was running when the GUI indicated it was off. Scared the hell out of me when it happened.
     
  11. snberk103 macrumors 603

    Joined:
    Oct 22, 2007
    Location:
    An Island in the Salish Sea
    #11
    Not a virus, unless you are the very 1st person to catch the 1st virus made for OS X. So, if you are betting person I'd go for HW or SW problem.

    Start with the simple things and start with the Preferences. It is quite common for users of a new computer to play with new Preferences. Check the Trackpad preferences, and the Universal Access preferences. There are settings in there that can make it seem that your system is haunted. If you can, reset them to factory defaults.

    If the MBP is only 2 weeks old, you can call AppleCare and have someone work with you. If the problem persists, and if you have called them multiple times, then they will likely arrange an exchange at a local Apple Store. You will already have a file for the Genius to look at and while they may attempt to diagnose the issue themselves, you will still probably get a new system even if they can't duplicate it for themselves.
     
  12. Stu K macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2017
    #12
    --- Post Merged, Jun 27, 2017 ---
    I was just having this issue. My mouse was moving randomly, without even touching the pad. It was highlighting and double-clicking on items...I restarted the computer and cleaned off the pad thoroughly, and sure enough, it kept doing it. I came to this thread, read about the PRAM reset, tried it out, and VOILA! problem solved! I was sure that my hardware was shot. I've had this MBP for 6 years now and it's been so reliable and versatile that I was sure I was due for some issues. Thanks chrono1081...huge help.
     
  13. chrono1081 macrumors 604

    chrono1081

    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2008
    Location:
    Isla Nublar
    #13

    I'm glad it fixed your issue :)
     
  14. jojoba macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Dec 9, 2011
    #14
    I've had this issue once and it was caused by an external trackpad that had some stuff lying on top of it (I had forgotten to turn off bluetooth). Doesn't sound like that was your issue, but after some googling I realised that had happened to other people (that's how I figured out what the problem actually was) so for other readers with this issue, that option might be worth checking.
     
  15. Nermal Moderator

    Nermal

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Dec 7, 2002
    Location:
    New Zealand
    #15
    I'm glad to hear that you resolved it, but for completeness' sake: If you're not sure whether you're having a software or hardware issue then reboot into Internet Recovery mode. If the problem persists there, then it's most likely hardware.
     

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