Author Topic: Getting Windows 11 to recognize each button on a 4-button 26-year-old trackball?  (Read 9586 times)

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Offline dellmodelm

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  • Location: Texas
So... I'm using a 1997 Kensington Expert Mouse trackball (model 64215, PS2) connected to an active USB converter, connected to my Windows 11 PC. I've been using this setup for a while and I like it. But, I want to be able to do some more with the buttons. The mouse has 4 buttons and a trackball. Right now Windows is recognizing it as an "HID Compliant Mouse" and says it has 2 buttons. The 2 left buttons both do a normal left-click in Windows, and the 2 right buttons do a normal right-click (same action regardless of whether you click the top or bottom button on each side). Question: How do I get Windows to recognize all 4 buttons on the mouse separately? I tried X-Mouse, problem is it only recognizes "left" and "right" with each button doing the same thing per side. (I hope this makes sense.) I think somehow I need to "tell" Windows this isn't a normal mouse; it's 4 buttons instead of 2. There are no Kensington drivers, and KensingtonWorks doesn't support this model. Maybe there's a generic driver I can drop in and get each button recognized separately? Or some tinkering in the registry? Thank you for any help.

Offline Leslieann

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One place offering that model for sale specifically mentions that exact model is NOT win10 compatible (that means it's certainly not win11 compatible).

MS has deprecated a lot of drivers for old hardware and old drivers (usually) won't work on new Windows, I can't even get Win10 to work 100% on laptops and tablets that shipped with Windows 8. The days of old when Windows supported tons of old stuff is gone. Even driver finders are just not able to clean up the issues anymore. I would say it's becoming too Mac like but really it's more like Iphone/Google Chrome like, "it's our way or no way" (and you will like it) and that is exactly what they want. When it works right it works well, but when it doesn't or you have some edge use-case it means you have limited options to fix the problem. It used to be you could force an older driver to run but it meant disabling a lot of security and permission stuff, at this point it would be so old it wouldn't work not matter how much you disabled. There's more to this but really it's just not much of an option, especially considering the age of this.

Maybe you could mod a Soarers converter to make them work? Or maybe rewire it internally so the buttons connect to an Arduino Pro Micro running QMK or maybe even the pcb of another mouse with more buttons. Personally I kind of like the Arduino, it's cheap and you could program it to do a lot of things.  With the room this has inside you could put a small usb hub inside (they make a single chip usb hub), a PS2-USb converter and the Pro Micro, done right you wouldn't even know it was modded other than the USB plug on the end of the cable and probably never have another problem.
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Offline hasu

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Original ps/2 mouse protocol supports only 3 buttons. To use more than 3 buttons you have to enable extended protocol by sending magic commands.
There are some protocol kinds technically; Microsoft Intellimouse and Logitech ...

So you have to connect directly to PS/2 jack on PC so that Windows PS/2 standard driver can handle the device. I think Windows 11 still supports PS/2 devices and installs the driver automatically, but I'm not sure.

I don't know if ps/2-usb converters/adapters in the market support extended protocols.


Offline noisyturtle

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why would anyone willingly use Win 11?

Offline Leslieann

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why would anyone willingly use Win 11?
Same reason they use Win10.
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Offline fohat.digs

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why would anyone willingly use Win 11?
Same reason they use Win10.

I went from 7 to 10 without much drama, but about the time 11 came out I retired, and switched over to Linux Mint on both desktop and laptop.

There are still hardware issues, *cough* sound card *cough* scanner *cough* but I have resigned myself to just living with them.
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