|Submited By: rocketbon on 05/17/2009|
Before purchasing stuff like this, it is wise to go to the manufacturer website to read the instruction manual before purchasing. There one can see subtle points that are not covered in the product description or user reviews. I usually do this but this time I got lazy. How hard can this thing be? It s just a switch, right? WRONG!
For this product, the KVM-121, the manual contains a statement that says "If a special mouse is used such as a cordless or scrolling mouse, make sre you use generic PS/2 mouse drivers. A non-standard PS/2 mouse may have extensions on the PS/2 protocol that are not supported by the KVM-121." WOW! What an understatement!
Being a guy, I got the thing in the mail and just installed it with little or no reference to the instructions, and it worked perfectly as advertised in a plug and play mode without any problems for nearly a month. Then, all heck broke lose as the PC froze one night and I spent an entire weekend indoors in beautiful southern California troubleshooting and fixing computer problems!
Here is a chronology of my Lost Weekend given in the hope that it will save a future user much grief and aggravation.
1. The switch worked perfectly for about a month with a Microsoft cordless scrolling mouse, alternating between a 2004 Sony PC running Windows XP SP3 and a Dell Laptop also running Windows XP SP3.
2. One night, around 2AM, the PC had to be restarted for some reason, and the PC froze at the start up screen and did not recognize the cordless scrolling wireless mouse or respond to numerous attempts to restart by pressing the power button or unplugging the power cord. The Dell laptop DID recognize the mouse when I switched the KVM-121 to the Dell. This was my first clue that the problem was not the KVM-121 but the mouse or it s driver. But without a mouse, I had no way to command a frozen computer.
3. After a lot of swearing about the virtues of PC vs. Mac operating systems and threats to replace the PC with a nearly freeze-proof Mac like the one my wife has and enjoys (which hopefully instilled some fear into the machine) I installed the Sony Windows Recovery disk in the CD player and the PC started in Recovery mode. The Recovery disk asked me to remove the peripherals from the PC, which I did. Then it asked if I wanted to continue with the Recovery process and thereby delete all data on the hard drive. I wisely clicked "Cancel", and removed the Recovery disk from the CD drive. Then (still swearing) I hooked up the old wired Sony mouse supplied with the PC directly to the back of the PC (not the KVM switch), and waited. The PC rebooted normally and all my data was still there and it responded to the wired Sony mouse! I immediately did a full backup using an external Western Digital hard drive while I could and went to bed around 3AM.
4. The next day, with the wired Sony mouse still hooked up to the PC directly, I READ THE INSTRUCTIONS, and un-installed the driver to the scrolling wireless mouse. Then I hooked up the wired mouse to the KVM-121. Then I searched for all folders relating to the Microsoft cordless scrolling mouse and deleted them (it was not listed on the "Add/Delete Programs" pane.)
5. Then I hooked up the mouse to the KVM-121 and started both the PC and the laptop, and both worked perfectly!
The Morals of the Story: READ THE INSTRUCTIONS, GUYS! Also, delete any redundant mouse drivers and avoid wireless scrolling mice when using this particular KVM switch.
As for the KVM-121, I give it 4 stars, since it worked perfectly in accordance with the instructions, but failed to note on the sell sheet the conflict with the cordless mouse.