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I'm using Fedora 10 and after about an hour of activity or so, I lose mouse functionality. The pointer is still on the screen, and the laser light on the mouse is still on, but it doesn't get brighter with movement. I've tried another USB mouse, and that does the same thing. I don't have a PS2 mouse to try. It only does it when I'm using the mouse. If I boot up and use it for a little bit and then leave it for a while, it works fine when I come back to it... for a little while. It usually takes about an hour, but once it only took a minute. Also, only once my keyboard lost functionality. The lights were still on, but it wasn't typing and the Num and Caps Lock weren't responding.
It did this in Ubuntu as well, but it didn't take an hour. It only took about 10 minutes or so. It also did it in Linux Mint, but that is based on Ubuntu, so it was expected.
I've done some research, and I've found a plethora of other mouse problems, but I can't find anything that matches mine. Has anybody else had this problem, or know what it might be?
It sounds like a hardware problem to me, rather than a software one. Can you test your mouse on someone else's machine that doesn't have this problem and see what happens? It might not be the mouse at all but rather the usb interface on your machine. Just a suggestion.
my mouse and keyboard seem to be working perfectly on my roommates computer.
Then your mouse and keyboard are working OK. This information helps isolate the problem.
You say you have this problem with debian-based distros. Maybe try another, non-debian distro, (from live-CD) like suse. Keep testing it while you let it run for several hours, because I think you may have a hardware problem with your MoBo, or its RAM.
Have you tried running memtest86, for a few hours?
I know you say "it doesn't do it in Windows" but win uses memory very differently from linux, so it's still worth checking with memtest86.