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Disassembling my Notebook Optical Mouse

Unhelpful Preamble

I converted to the Notebook Optical Mouse as a desktop mouse about eighteen months ago, and haven’t looked back. I find that using a heavier mouse is now actively challenging for me – I find the larger type sluggish and unresponsive.

The added battery weight of the Notebook Wireless Optical is enough to put me off – that’s how light this little sucker is. As a result, I own five of them. One for home, two for work, two for the laptop (and just as well, as my girlfriend’s mum’s bird – a cockatiel – gradually chewed through the USB cable while on holiday a year ago, while warming itself near the laptop fan). I’m a big fan. I recommend them heartily.


Fixing the Scroll

The scroll wheel on the home mouse has been getting a bit non-scrolly recently – you can scroll down all you want, but sometimes scrolling up just stuck, and it would take a couple of attempts.

After coming up blank with searches like “disassemble notebook optical mouse” and “open notebook optical mouse” and “break open mouse,” etc, I resigned myself to buying another one. Then pulled out the tool kit. (Hey, there’s no risk; I’m buying another one anyway, right?)

Cutting a short story long, remembering there are no user serviceable parts, if you do decide to void your warranty (*I guess; didn’t bother looking) by opening one, here’s how to avoid my mildly-finish-damaging initial mistakes in opening it:

  • There’s a screw.

Once you understand that, everything else becomes easy! (A lot easier than breaking the glued-on red side panels off with a screwdriver, while looking for any magic unlock clips. Hmm.)

The screw is under the large black skid pad at the bottom of the mouse.

The last place I looked – I did actually check the front feet, and the hologram logo as they looked like the most likely screw-hiders. But peel the black thing off with something sharp (mine re-stuck with no problem), and once the screw is removed, you can lift the top from the Microsoft logo bit – there are a couple of clip/hinge/catch things, one each side of the mouse cable. Once the screw is gone, it’s easy.