Virus or hardware failure - weird mouse movements

TijmenDal

macrumors member
Original poster
Sep 15, 2010
32
0
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!
 

musty345

macrumors regular
Feb 28, 2010
239
2
United Kingdom
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....
 

chrono1081

macrumors 604
Jan 26, 2008
7,629
1,707
Isla Nublar
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!
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.
 

TijmenDal

macrumors member
Original poster
Sep 15, 2010
32
0
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.
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.
 

chrono1081

macrumors 604
Jan 26, 2008
7,629
1,707
Isla Nublar
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.
 

Dustman

macrumors 65816
Apr 17, 2007
1,275
50
Give your trackpad a good cleaning too. A dirty trackpad will do this.
 

Old Muley

macrumors 6502a
Jan 6, 2009
754
183
Titletown USA
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
 

Phil A.

Moderator
Staff member
Apr 2, 2006
5,513
2,317
Shropshire, UK
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
 

TijmenDal

macrumors member
Original poster
Sep 15, 2010
32
0
Give your trackpad a good cleaning too. A dirty trackpad will do this.
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!
 

whooleytoo

macrumors 604
Aug 2, 2002
6,568
638
Cork, Ireland.
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.
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.
 

snberk103

macrumors 603
Oct 22, 2007
5,503
87
An Island in the Salish Sea
Hi guys 'n gals,

I've had my new MBP for about 2 weeks now ...
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, ...
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!
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.
 

Stu K

macrumors newbie
Jun 27, 2017
1
2
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.
[doublepost=1498608117][/doublepost]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.
 

chrono1081

macrumors 604
Jan 26, 2008
7,629
1,707
Isla Nublar
[doublepost=1498608117][/doublepost]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.

I'm glad it fixed your issue :)
 

jojoba

macrumors 68000
Dec 9, 2011
1,582
21
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.
 

Nermal

Moderator
Staff member
Dec 7, 2002
18,752
1,218
New Zealand
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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