I am the happy owner of a Dell Latitude C600 laptop computer purchased at a garage sale for $1. It was beat, and the owners said the harddrive was unrecoverable. I experimented. I tinkered. I brought the beast back to life. Now, it rolls on Windows XP; the Latitude battery kicks ass - I get 4.5 hours uptime at full charge. But then, a random issue popped up, after I was forced to install one of those ugly Windows Service Packs I had been trying to avoid: the mouse pointer began drifting, slowly at first, at random times, for no apparent reason. Then it got faster. And faster.
Checking Google I ran across several boards, forums and "ask" sites dating back to the early 2000's where other Latitude users were baffled by the same wandering / drifting mouse pointer problems. There were many solutions, some over-the-top technical, including cracking the case open, cutting wires, placing an anti-static hardware bag over a metal clip... you get the idea.
Many times the most logical solution is right under one's nose. The mouse DRIVER! I thought of that because just the other day I was cleaning out crap for a garage sale of my own and tossed out a bunch of old diskettes, including an old DOS IBM Mouse Driver.
Others had opted to go with updating the mouse driver, and reported the fix worked. But I soon found that those generous enough to provide links did so in 2004, 5 and 6... and today those links are dead links. Back to Google, where
I downloaded and installed a newer touch pad driver. (Tp2aa11i) Following a mandated reboot, a new icon appeared in the SysTray, for the Synaptics Touch pad. I opened the new Mouse/Touch-Pad Pointer Properties and went through all of the new options. One option is to disable the Joystick pointer that looks like a pencil eraser, in the middle of the keyboard, or to change it's sensitivity. I disabled this little monkey and immediatley my drifting mouse pointer dilemma was solved!