- Windows Vista SP1
- Windows Server 2008
Yet another Vista problem, and it’s not a Driver one.
If you own a Microsoft Mouse, and have the latest version of IntelliPoint installed, chances are that you are aware that the function for the red button on the side is to enable the screen magnifier by default.
This feature is particularly useful if you are visually impaired, however upon moving from Windows XP to Windows Vista you will note that when attempting to load the magnifier, the screen will flash to black, slowly re-draw and once the magnifier window finally loads there will be nothing in it for around a second before the graphics subsystem catches up. To make matters worse, the entire processing of the magnified image becomes very CPU intensive, which interferes with other processes such as text to speech.
This is a feature. Joy.
The new Vista Windows Display Manager uses off-screen rendering buffers to supply the GUI with all the nice visual effects that you have become used to in the Vista world. The problem is that when you click the magnification button, the system has to recycle the entire screens worth of data before it can redraw the image. This is compared to the old Windows XP and lower system where each window on the screen was responsible for drawing itself.
The following steps will outline how to prevent Vista from completely redrawing the screen when you hit the magnifier. Please note that by doing this you will lose GUI features and fancy effects.
- Ensure that you have installed the latest version of Microsoft IntelliPoint (Version 6.3 at the time of writing).
IntelliPoint is available to download for free from: http://www.microsoft.com/hardware/
- Open the Control Panel
- Open the System Applet
- In the left hand navigation pane select the Advanced System Settings option
- Click the Settings button in the performance section of the Advanced tab
- Remove the tick box next to Enable Desktop Composition
- Click OK twice to return to the control panel. Note that the screen will flash and that Aero effects will be disabled