Starting about two weeks ago, my Dell Inspiron 8600 laptop intermittently began experiencing bootup problems where the mouse pointer begins to jump around the screen during the boot process. Sometimes the machine completes booting, but is impossible to use due to the jumping pointer. Other times the boot process just hangs. In either case, the only way to recover is to cycle power. If the same problem occurs on the restart, I interrupt the boot process by hitting F1 to get into setup (changing no settings at all), and then just proceed with the boot. This seems to cure it quite reliably.
As I mentioned, this is an intermittent problem that occurs maybe once in every 5 or 6 bootup attempts. On one occasion only, I actually got the blue screen of death. When the PC does boot properly, there are no other symptoms that I can detect-- the mouse works just fine for the entire session. I ran the Dell Crash Analysis tool, and it warns me that my America Online driver (atwpkt2.sys) may need updating. I also just cleansed the machine of the Spyaxe virus using the method outlined in your forum (thanks!), but this problem pre-dates the Spyaxe infection, so doesn't appear to be related. Right now, my virus and spyware scans show up clean, for what that's worth (McAfee Virus Scan, AOL Spyware check).
Here's my system information:
- Dell Inspiron 8600 laptop
- Windows XP Pro (SP2)
- Pentium M 1.4GHz
- 512 MB RAM
- Touchpad and stick pointer device
Thank you for your help!