Another great business decision on my part. I hate touch pads, and I use a laptop almost always. The setting that inactivates the touchpad whenever a mouse is present didn't seem to work. It actually detects a mouse even when there is none. That was OK until the mouse stopped functioning and there was no way to navigate around the screen.
Easy solution, just call Dell and ask them for help. The warranty runs through the middle of next year, and it's nice to have a reason to use it. Well, it would have been nice except that the folks in Manila invariably determine that your warranty covers everything except your problem, no matter what it is.
So, off to the "I can only help you while the meter's running," department. Apparently, the fast change artist determined that there must be a virus causing the problem. He checked the computer and found nothing in any of the files. He then did something with all the non-Microsoft programs, and pronounced the computer virus-free. He removed a few adware tracking cookies which was supposed to make me feel good, even though he admitted that they had nothing to do with my problem.
Next step, "Do you have a new battery you can switch into the mouse?" Yes, I did. and it worked. There is still an issue with the computer not recognizing that the mouse is uninstalled, but that's OK. I just spent $129 to replace a battery that was not even included in the price.
I got to thinking about how, sometimes we sell a house the day after the listing agreement is completed. By most standards, that's considered a great job. Is the seller upset when there are no open houses or newspaper ads and not much sustained energy exerted? Maybe, but they got their house sold with very few trips to Dairy Queen while it's being toured, and no drawn out worries about whether it will ever sell. Would I have felt better if the tech guy found lots of serious problems and it took a week and lots of effort to fix them? Nope.