Late last week, my mouse stopped working properly. It is a two-button USB mouse with a scroll wheel. The left button began acting like the right button and the right button did nothing. VERY frustrating. I rebooted, uninstalled and reinstalled the driver, changed the USB port it was connected to, tried a different USB mouse - no change. Gateway technical support was friendly but not very helpful: "everything looks the way it should; I suggest you restore your system to its default state." In other words, spend a day reinstalling everything and lose software from Giveaway of the Day because it can't be reinstalled. Not a good option.
I got a PS/2 mouse and (after rebooting AGAIN) got it to work. But that was a two-button rollerball mouse and I didn't want to make that my permanent mouse.
I tried a few other things I found on the Internet, but since my original mouse was the basic kind that Windows is supposed to handle, nothing I did made any difference (it wasn't like I could reinstall driver software to fix it).
Since the PS/2 mouse worked, I was hopeful a new, different type of mouse might do the trick. I went out and bought a wireless optical mouse, hooked it up and IT WORKS! One less wire to be hooking with my feet under the desk and everything works the way it should now. The $40 I spent on it was well worth avoiding all the reinstall hassles. But I sure wish there was a way to fix problems like this without having to start over from scratch.