Sunday, May 23, 2010

Mac Magic Mouse Performance Problems - Resolved!


We love our Mac Pro. It's getting a little dated (2006 vintage), but over time we have upgraded the OS X operating system, graphics card, monitors, and added a bunch of hard drive capacity and memory. It remains a real screamer that can get some processor intensive video and graphics work done in a very quick and impressive manner.

Our one complaint was with the Apple bluetooth wireless keyboard and Mighty Mouse. Ordered as original equipment, the devices never seemed to operate like we expected they would. The keyboard would occasionally miss keystrokes and the mouse would operate the pointer rather erratically. Since the Mac Pro sits directly under the desk and mere inches away from the mouse and keyboard, we knew that signal strength was likely not a problem, so we chalked it up to some kind of local bluetooth interference. We tried hard to eliminate any sources of stray signals, uninstalled and reinstalled the devices, cleared the PRAM and NVRAM... just about everything that we could think of to resolve the problem. After months of attempting to use the wireless keyboard and mouse, we came to the conclusion that the problem was somehow associated with our home office environment and finally gave-up and purchased the Apple USB wired equivalents. As you might expect, the wired keyboard and Might Mouse worked flawlessly, but kept us tethered to the Mac Pro. We were disappointed, but productive nonetheless.


Then several months ago, Apple introduced the Magic Mouse. Being familiar with the benefits of multitouch from it's use on our MacBook Air and iPhone, we were very excited and intrigued about using that kind of function on the Mac Pro. However, I was reluctant to purchase the device because of the previous problems experienced with the bluetooth wireless keyboard and Mighty Mouse. With a leap of faith, we placed our order with Apple.

For the first few months, the Magic Mouse worked as promised. We were relieved. It is a great input device and we highly recommend it for anyone with a Mac using OS X. But then it happened...

After recently upgrading our dual monitor display, we began to experience performance problems with the Magic Mouse. It was behaving just like the old bluetooth Mighty Mouse did with sluggish and erratic pointer movement. Apparently, the new monitors were causing some kind of interference with the bluetooth signal. Facing the prospect of switching back to the wired Mighty Mouse, we decided to do some additional research.

After scouring Google search results on several different keywords, we came across a forum post on thelocale.org. The writer had experienced similar problems with their Mac Pro, and had discovered that the bluetooth and internal Airport module had been wired incorrectly upon initial assembly at the Apple factory.

Carefully following the instructions provided in the forum post (and also available here in a nice and clean PDF format), we re-wired the bluetooth and Airport modules and PRESTO! The Mac Pro's bluetooth performance problems were immediately resolved. Now the Magic Mouse works perfectly with no problems of slow or erratic pointer movement.

We take no credit for determining the problem, but wanted to re-post the solution on this blog in the event that it might help anyone else who is having a similar problem. Our sincere thanks to thelocale.org user [email protected] for publishing the orignal solution.