Using a 9 pin serial (RS-232) mouse with Windows 7 laptop (Resolved)

PastTense

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Jan 31, 2014
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I have an 8 year old Dell Latitude D630 running Windows 7. Unfortunately my USB sockets are broken. I do have a 9 pin serial (RS-232) port available and I am wondering about getting a 9 pin serial mouse on eBay and using it. How easy will it be to set up/configure?

Thanks.
 

DigDog

Lifer
Jun 3, 2011
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i dont even know where to start.

"I have an 8 year old Dell Latitude"

could it be that maybe it's time to change this.

first off, i'm not sure you would be able to buy a mouse using serial, and if you can, it probably will be some 1980s vintage item that will cost you far more than you imagine.
As it is a mouse, you shouldn't need to do any wizardry to make it work, but it's almost guaranteed to be a ball mouse, and i'm pretty sure there are laws against using ball mice.

if your laptop is your only option because that's where all your illegal porn is and you cannot replace it or repair it, then .. well, it should be just a case of plug and play. still, i would seriously consider buying a new laptop.
 

mikeymikec

Lifer
May 19, 2011
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I have an 8 year old Dell Latitude D630 running Windows 7. Unfortunately my USB sockets are broken. I do have a 9 pin serial (RS-232) port available and I am wondering about getting a 9 pin serial mouse on eBay and using it. How easy will it be to set up/configure?

Thanks.

No setup/configuration work required. Within a minute or two it will work automatically.
 
Feb 25, 2011
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A D630? Those are plentiful like weeds. You can probably get one cheaper than a serial mouse, assuming you can even find a serial mouse.

Plus if your USB ports are fried, it's only a matter of time until the rest of the mainboard goes on permanent sabbatical.
 
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Mike64

Platinum Member
Apr 22, 2011
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Apparently even now (when serial mice are basically just a dim memory), Windows still (a bit too?) faithfully checks for them on active COM ports during boot up, to the point where using non-mouse devices on an RS232 port can be problematic without manual intervention (like registry mods). (It seems Windows often tries to register devices other than mice connected to a serial port as if they are mice, so you have to force it to stop looking for mice on those ports altogether before it will properly acknowledge other devices and load their correct drivers.) So as long as you use a standard mouse rather than a modified version that requires a special driver, it looks like it should work just fine.

You can probably get one cheaper than a serial mouse, assuming you can even find a serial mouse.
Some of them are inanely expensive (I guess those sellers think they have collectible museum pieces on their hands?:rolleyes:) but it turns out serial mice are actually pretty plentiful on Ebay. Not as cheap as one might expect for such obsolete tech, but not too bad (< $20) I guess if you actually want/need one...
 
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fuzzymath10

Senior member
Feb 17, 2010
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As the proud owner of 2 D630s as basic use machines, have you considered getting a USB PC card? Those should be reasonably easy to find more cheaply than a serial mouse and lets you use a current mouse. In fact, I have a firewire+USB 2.0 cardbus card that would do exactly that.
 

Mike64

Platinum Member
Apr 22, 2011
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Those should be reasonably easy to find more cheaply than a serial mouse and lets you use a current mouse.
Not to mention giving the OP back (a) functioning USB port(s) in general/for other purposes, like flash drives and whatnot. A really quick skim of the first few results of a Google search showed some (no-name brand) 2 port USB(2) cards available for as little as ≤ $10...
 
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PastTense

Member
Jan 31, 2014
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Thanks, especially fuzzymath10 and Mike64. I ordered a 2 port USB(2) card and it finally arrived and works well.
 

Rifter

Lifer
Oct 9, 1999
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I would remote desktop into the PC from my phone and use touchscreen as a mouse before i went back to a ball mouse over serial......