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April 22, 1996

Patched-up version of IntelliPoint solves mouse problems

Microsoft Corp. developers must be saying something like that, what with all the problems they've been having with the Microsoft Mouse and Microsoft's IntelliPoint software that supposedly works with it.

To correct IntelliPoint 1.0's incapability to work with Windows 95, Microsoft late last year came out with IntelliPoint 1.1, which was touted as Win95-compatible.

Not quite. Microsoft acknowledged in March that IntelliPoint 1.1 causes General Protection Faults (crashes) when using Quicken 4.0 for Windows, Quicken Deluxe 5.0 for Windows, and America Online client software, among others.

Also, some IntelliPoint 1.1 features, such as SnapTo and PointerWrap, don't work when used with 16-bit applications. Even Windows 95 applications can interfere with these features, if the applications don't use the Windows 95 Common Dialog Boxes. It takes a reboot to get these features back.

To resolve some of these problems, Microsoft has released a "patched" version of IntelliPoint 1.1. You can download the file, Pnt32 upd.exe, from this Web address:

Save this file to a temporary folder on your hard disk. Run it once to create three files: Point32.exe, Point32.dll, and Readme.txt. The two executable files are dated March 22, 1996.

You'll need to actually read the Readme.txt file, because the install method for the IntelliPoint executables involves a weird reboot sequence that takes you from Windows 95 to a plain DOS prompt.

Installing the newest files still doesn't fix some of IntelliPoint 1.1's most irritating problems. For example, after installing it there is no way to change your NumLock state.

Microsoft says it's working on yet another patched version of IntelliPoint to correct this. Hopefully, this will be available soon. Meanwhile, there is a simple work-around that you can use to fix your NumLock function.

  • Step 1. Because this fix involves a change to the Registry, first back up your Registry's System files. In the Explorer, click View, Options. Turn on "Show All Files," and turn off "Hide MS-DOS File Extensions." Click OK.

  • Step 2. In the Explorer, make sure you have a temporary storage folder handy (named Backup or whatever you like). Switch to the C:\Windows folder and right-click the System.dat file. Click Copy on the context menu that pops up. Right-click your temporary storage folder, then click Copy. Repeat this for User.dat. If anything goes wrong, copy System.dat and User.dat from the backup location to the C:\Windows folder to recover.

  • Step 3. Run RegEdit.exe. Select (highlight) the folder HKEY_CURRENT_USER\ControlPanel\Microsoft Input Devices. Right-click this folder, then click New, Key. Give the name Keyboard to the new key.

  • Step 4. Select the Keyboard key, right-click an empty spot within the right pane, then click New and then String Value. Type in NumLock and press Enter, then right-click the NumLock icon and click Modify. Type in ON to keep your NumLock light on (or OFF to keep it off). Exit RegEdit.

    Thanks to Bruce Brown, the editor of BugNet Online magazine, who receives a free copy of Windows 95 Secrets for suggesting this. Subscriptions to BugNet start at $25 per year. Call (360) 988-2801 or send e-mail to for more information.

    Brian Livingston is the coauthor of the new Windows 95 Secrets and author of three other Windows books (IDG Books). Send tips to or fax: (206) 282-1248.

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    Copyright © 1996 by InfoWorld Publishing Company


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