erratic mouse movement, IRQ sharing?

Discussion in 'Windows Vista Hardware' started by tozwp, Nov 26, 2007.

  1. tozwp

    tozwp Guest

    Recently built a new pc for work and I have been having a problem with my
    mouse (Intellimouse 3.0) and occasionally one of my four monitors (odd
    flicker - Viewsonic 19" LCD). I work from home as a trader and use
    Tradestation in addition to a few other programs. I posted my issue there
    and it was suggested that my system was sharing IRQ's which causes my
    problmes. My system is as follows: Asus P5K, Intel quad core 6600, 2 meg
    ram, Nvidia 280 PCIe dual head video card (with 2 DVI connected 19"
    monitors), Nvidia 280 PCI (with 2 DVI connected 19" monitors), USB mouse and
    keyboard connected through a 4 port hub, onboard LAN all running on Vista
    Home Premium addition. My problem is when I run all my trading software
    (Tradestation, Interactive Brokers, Windows Mail, Internet Explorer). While
    all these are running, I show about half of the ram used and the cpu's are
    running 5 - 20% so nothing appears to be fully loaded. My problem is that my
    mouse movement is erratic. It moves as it should about 75% of the time but
    then 'catches' and them moves fine again. Usually, but not always, one of my
    monitors also has artifacts or flickers in a couple of areas of the screen.
    When I was informed that it might be an IRQ conflict, I checked to see which
    hardware was sharing IRQ's. After much trial and error of moving cards to
    different slots, I finally removed my NIC card and used the onboard ethernet
    and disabled as much of the onboard hardware (firewire, floppy etc.) that I
    wasn't using. Now I can get the two video cards and the USB to use different
    IRQ's but the onboard ethernet is sharing an IRQ with one of the display
    adaptors. I should mention that my worst problems occured when the IRQ for
    the display adaptor and the USB were the same. I really have no idea whether
    or not the shared IRQ's are the issue or not. My mouse only seems to work
    well when I'm not running Tradestation. I'm completely out of ideas now as
    to how to fix this. I'm about ready to go back to XP where I didn't have
    this problem (not sure if I would have the same problems with XP or not as
    this is now a different pc). If there is any other information I can provide
    that might help solve this issue, I'd be happy to provide it. Thanks
     
    tozwp, Nov 26, 2007
    #1
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  2. tozwp

    JW Guest

    Is there any chance that other activity on the Hub could be causing the
    problem?
    Shared IRQ's are normally only a problem with multiple high speed and time
    dependent applications sharing the IRQ which it appears to be the case you
    have.
     
    JW, Nov 26, 2007
    #2
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  3. tozwp

    tozwp Guest

    No other devices on the USB hub. I should mention that I have also tried a
    PS2 keyboard and USB mouse without the hub but the results are the same. Is
    there a way to re-assign IRQ's to the USB? I know I must have several free
    ones but Vista always seems to use the same ones (16 - 18). One of the
    things I had hoped for was that disabling the onboard devices such as the
    firewire, serial port, floppy drive, unused IDE and removing the NIC card
    would give Vista enough 'room' to put everything on its own IRQ but that
    didn't happen. I've searched high and low to try to figure out how to
    manually reconfigure IRQ's but have found nothing. I'm not even sure that
    this is the problem. I was hoping that by using mainstream compents
    (Microsoft mouse, Nvidia Quadro business video cards, Intel processor, etc.)
    everything would plug and play nicely. That hasn't been the case so far.
     
    tozwp, Nov 26, 2007
    #3
  4. tozwp

    JW Guest

    I just googled on

    Vista reassign IRQ

    and got lots of hits some of which may be of use to you.
     
    JW, Nov 26, 2007
    #4
  5. tozwp

    tozwp Guest

    Thanks JW. I went that route and searched also. Tried the few things that I
    found such as relocating devices in different slots and disabling unused
    devices. I also tried the device manager to see if I could change the
    settings for the IRQ. For all of my problem devices, the checkbox for 'Use
    automatic settings' is greyed out and unavailable. I haven't found anything
    in all my searches that has helped other than to physically move devices and
    hope that it changes the IRQ. So far it hasn't been enough for me. I've
    cleaned up and removed as much as I possibly can on my pc. Its pretty bare
    bones right now but it still wants to use the same IRQ's as before.
     
    tozwp, Nov 26, 2007
    #5
  6. tozwp

    JW Guest

    One of your BIOS settings, I forget which one, has some control over whether
    the BIOS selects IRQ or Windows selects IRQs. Sorry I forget which one it
    is.
    Also some mother boards allow for only 16 IRQs, however most new ones
    support 24.
     
    JW, Nov 26, 2007
    #6
  7. tozwp

    tozwp Guest

    Should have mentioned that I had tried that as well. Allowing the bios to
    select IRQ's or Vista gives the same results. Haven't found any easy fixes
    and that is why I am here. Thanks for you suggestions.
     
    tozwp, Nov 26, 2007
    #7
  8. tozwp

    JW Guest

    Do the 4 monitors run as one big extended desktop and the mouse only has
    trouble on one of them? If yes have you tried connecting the monitors
    differently to see if the problem moves with physical connection or is tied
    to a particular card connection? Or possibly the problem is related to what
    application(s) on the monitor that exhibits the problem.
     
    JW, Nov 27, 2007
    #8
  9. tozwp

    tozwp Guest

    Good questions. I run all 4 monitors separately. They are all 19" LCD and
    have the same resolutions but are separate. My primary monitor has my task
    bar and program icons. The mouse has the same 'twitchy' action on all of
    them. It doesn't seem to be worse or better within any application. The
    problem becomes worse when the market gets busy. In other words, when there
    is more market data coming in and Tradestation is working more, the mouse
    gets twitchier. When I am not loading the computer (i.e. not running
    Tradestation), my mouse and screens are fine. Keep in mind that when the
    computer is 'loaded', the cpu's are only running maybe 25% and the ram usage
    is only about half of the available 2 gig. The data coming in is rather
    small for my trading data. On the Resource Monitor, it will get up to 2-300
    Kbps (my max for my dsl connection is 768ish) so I know I'm not pushing that
    much data into the pc.
     
    tozwp, Nov 27, 2007
    #9
  10. tozwp

    JW Guest

    It appears that some I/O activity is causing a problem in processing of the
    mouse movements through your USB port.
    Have you tried a PS2 Mouse or have you tried using your USB mouse with a PS2
    to USB adapter?
    Do you have the latest BIOS from your MOBO manufacturer installed?
    Is there indication of heavy memory paging occurring? If so do you have
    ReadyBoost flash memory stick or card installed?
    Are you running Vista with Aero enabled?
     
    JW, Nov 27, 2007
    #10
  11. tozwp

    tozwp Guest

    Haven't tried using the PS2 port for the mouse. I might try that later but
    I'd rather use my USB mouse in my USB hub because that give me more cord
    length. I'll have to check the bios version - I think its current but I'll
    double check. I turned off the majority of the areo eye candy very early on
    - just used up resources and didn't help my productivity at all. No ready
    boost memory used either. Didn't think I needed it with 2 Gig ram and only
    1.1 gig used typically. The ram is Corsair PC2-6400 (2 sticks of matched 1
    Gig memory). There shouldn't be an issue with processing power or ram as I
    tried to overbuild this pc relative to my current needs (see specs in first
    post). Not sure how to check for heavy memory paging - where do I check for
    that and what would constitute 'heavy'? I'll check on the bios and ps2 mouse
    port and report my findings.
     
    tozwp, Nov 27, 2007
    #11
  12. tozwp

    tozwp Guest

    Forgot to mention but this board does not have a PS2 mouse port so I can't
    try that. the PS2 ports are becoming obsolete on newer boards. I checked
    the bios. There is one newer version and a beta version. I can upgrade but
    won't try that til later.
     
    tozwp, Nov 27, 2007
    #12
  13. tozwp

    JW Guest

    One of the measurements available in task manager/performance/disk
    performance is paging file activity.
    If it is high then I suggest that you get a flash drive/card and install
    ReadyBoost since it provides cache memory for the paging file.
    Did you try USB ports that are mounted directly on your MOBO or ones that
    are connected via cable to your MOBO or both?
    You might also if their are updated Vista USB drivers on the MOBO's site.
    Many user's have had problems with USB ports on Vista.as indicated in the
    following KB article;

    http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?scid=kb;en-us;936003
     
    JW, Nov 27, 2007
    #13
  14. tozwp

    tozwp Guest

    On the Performance tab I show Page File 1345M/4313M under System. Under
    Kernel Memory I show Total 142, Paged 99, Non Paged 42. I'm using the USB
    ports attached directly to the motherboard. I disconnected the USB to the
    front panel in hope that it would reduce the number of USB IRQ's used. I
    noticed no difference when I did that. I'll be updating the bios in a couple
    of days. I don't have a USB flash drive and will be getting one then.
    Otherwise it requires a floppy which I don't have or use any longer.

    One other option I'm considering now is a dual boot OS using XP for work. I
    might have to look into that if I can't resolve these Vista issues. Thanks
    for all your help, keep the ideas coming, maybe one of them will work or
    someone else has seen this issue before.
     
    tozwp, Nov 27, 2007
    #14
  15. tozwp

    JW Guest

    I think you can probably use a CD instead of a floppy for the BIOS update.
    Make sure when you get the USB flash drive that is labeled Ready Boost
    capable or something like that since Ready Boost requires a fast USB drive
    and many of them are not fast enough and will not test the speed test that
    is part of configuring a flash drive for Ready Boost On my systems I
    reformatted the entire flash drive for my desktop or the flash card for my
    laptop with Fat32 before trying to configure them for Ready Boost.
     
    JW, Nov 27, 2007
    #15
  16. tozwp

    tozwp Guest

    Think I'll wait for the USB drive before upgrading the bios. Read some
    things about using a CD and I'd rather avoid that for now. I don't plan on
    going the Readyboost direction just yet unless there is something specific
    that you see that would suggest that it would fix my mouse issue. From what
    I've read, readyboost will help an older machine that is on the edge of
    functionality with Vista. This is a brand new pc with a quadcore cpu and
    plenty of ram. I don't game or use graphic intensive programs either. I see
    about 900 meg free ram so I'm cofused as to why an addtional (and slower) USB
    drive would improve my system when it isn't even fully utilizing the
    available ram yet. I still think there is a conflict between the mouse and
    another device that more horsepower won't fix. I think my next step is to
    move away from Vista and back to XP to see if that fixes it. Its driving me
    nuts and I don't think I've done anything unusual to create the problem. As
    it is, I can't rely on it for trading as my mouse/cursor isn't always where
    it should be when I need it. I'll give the bios upgrade a try but I think
    I'm going to throw in the towel after that.
     
    tozwp, Nov 27, 2007
    #16
  17. tozwp

    JW Guest

    1. I think you are confusing the performance of a HDD with a USB interface
    with a USB flash drive. A USB flash drive has far better performed than a
    USB based HDD does.
    2. You need to monitor the actual disk reads and writes per second to your
    paging file in Task Manager disk performance if you are getting a high
    number writes and reads then Ready Boost will help you since it only acts as
    a cache buffer to the paging file. For example on each of my 1GB Vista
    systems a 2GB ready boost drive provided a real performance improvement when
    I run lots of browser based Internet applications at the same time like you
    do. When I check my paging file performance I see a lot of writes but no
    reads which means that all of the read requests are being satisfied by the
    Ready Boost flash drive greatly decreasing the actual disk I/O that has to
    take place.
    Since with 2GB of real RAM you may not have any read paging file activity
    then you are correct in stating that a Ready Boost drive will not help you.
    3. Another item you might check is to be sure that you have both disk
    caching and DMA disk transfers enabled.
    4. Be sure in user profiles is not enabled and a legacy profile is to be
    sure that no resources are being consumed by Aero.


    As you can tell I suspect that since your CPU can only process one I/O
    operation at a time requiring an actual display content change that its
    ability to process mouse movement is often being delayed by other I/O
    activity by either your disk or by your network interface. It is not the
    amount of data that the network interface is handling that is important but
    it is the number of operations that it is handling that is more important
    since many of them may transfer very little data but a lot of overhead is
    required to process them.
     
    JW, Nov 28, 2007
    #17
  18. tozwp

    tozwp Guest

    Thanks JW. I completely understand what you regarding USB versus HDD and
    readyboost. I checked my disk usage with the resouce monitor and only show
    writes taking place. No reads showing for the most part. I'm going to keep
    an eye on that info to see what happens when the market action increases and
    my mouse starts acting badly. There may be some correlation there but I
    don't have enough information yet to say for sure. Disk caching and DMA are
    both enables. I'm not sure about your last point. I was unable to find
    anything regarding Aero, legacy profile or user profile. I googled around
    trying to figure out where this might be located in Vista (home premium
    edition) but didn't find anything that allowed me to change settings. Still
    hoping the bios update does it or Vista goes into the junk drawer for awhile.
     
    tozwp, Nov 28, 2007
    #18
  19. tozwp

    JW Guest

    JW, Nov 28, 2007
    #19
  20. tozwp

    SimRacer Guest

    One more thing you can try. Since your using both PCIe and PCI video cards,
    look and see if you have any other open PCI slots and move the PCI video card
    to the one farthest away from the cpu. Most motherboards with more then one
    PCI slot have one slot that does not share an IRQ and its usually the bottom
    slot on the motherboard.
     
    SimRacer, Dec 2, 2007
    #20
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