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This happens on both (1) an Asus VivoPC VM62N-G050R with the supplied wireless Asus keyboard/mouse, running Slackware 14.1x64 (dual-booting with the native win8.1), and on (2) a generic whitebox with a wireless Logitech MK520 keyboard/mouse, running Slackware 14.2x64.

Everything works great on both boxes until I plug in an external usb disk, and then the keyboard/mouse hangs pretty badly: maybe 5-10secs between pressing a key and its display, or 5-10secs between moving a mouse and the cursor beginning to move in a jittery fashion.

But if I then plug a wired usb keyboard/mouse into any adjacent usb port, that works fine. Googling the problem coughs up several similar windows problems, but no relevant fix that I found.

A possible clue that I noticed is that the Asus mouse has a continuous little blue light on its bottom side. But as soon as I plug in the usb drive, that continuous light starts flickering, at maybe five hertz (five times per second).

Since the wired usb keyboard/mouse works, I'm guessing it's not a usb problem, per se. Only thing I can guess is that slackware's loading some module when it sees the usb drive get plugged in, and that module's interfering somehow with a module for the wireless keyboard/mouse. But I wasn't able to track down with lsmod exactly what's going on. And it's just a wild guess, anyway.

  • Does this happen with any USB drive or just a specific one? Sounds suspiciously like RF interference to me. – n.st Sep 17 '17 at 11:34
  • @n.st Any usb drive among the six I have. They're all western digital, though the oldest two are about ten and eight years old, while the newest less than a year old. Do usb disks actually generate any noticeable rf energy? (I'm not googling anything relevant, but lots of usb wifi hits with rf, despite my attempt to insist on "disk", so maybe the relevant hits are hidden.) – John Forkosh Sep 17 '17 at 11:46
  • They shouldn't generate any noticeable RF emissions. I figured you might have a dud, but if it happens with half a dozen from different badges, that's off the table. – n.st Sep 17 '17 at 11:49
  • @n.st Oh, well. Thanks for trying. Since the problem occurs on two different boxes using two different wireless keyboards/mice (and two different receiver dongles), I figured it's some general problem (though possibly slackware-specific). But it doesn't seem to be widely discussed, except for the few pages of windows-related hits coughed up by google. So I'm a bit baffled about what's going on. – John Forkosh Sep 17 '17 at 12:00
  • Try narrowing down the problem: Boot a live CD of your current distribution. Does the problem still occur? Boot a live CD of a different distro. Does the problem still occur? After that, we might have to bisect kernel versions… – n.st Sep 17 '17 at 12:20

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