I had an issue on two of my computers where the screen saver would never start. I could preview the screen saver, but no matter how long I waited it would never come on. I tried a number of things, changing various settings, but nothing seemed to work. Last night I did another search on the topic and finally found an answer:
Anyway, the big problem I've been having with Vista is my screensaver not working since build 5381, it just would not kick in, I Checked everything, made sure there was nothing preventing the system from idling etc.. I was playing around the other day and it hit me. Right after 5381 was released, I bought a Microsoft Laser Desktop 6000 KB/Mouse combo. No, it can't be that I thought. Well just for kicks I plugged the PS/2 portion of the wireless reciever in for the keyboard and left the USB as was (essentially making the keyboard PS/2 and the mouse USB). Still no screensaver, so I figured, OK let's yank the USB plug. 2 minutes after yanking the cable the screensaver kicked in. It was the mouse the whole time.
Sure enough, both machines have a Microsoft mouse.
Chris not only figured out the problem, but found a temporary solution:
And for anyone wondering, I did some research into the problem, apparently this issue affects any machine running Media Center with this keyboard/Mouse combo. If you kill ehtray.exe, the screensaver will kick in, but then your MCE Remote won't work.
Sure enough, if I kill ehtray.exe on these machines the screen saver kicks in right when it should. I was pretty happy with just finding that out and then today when looking for the post so that I could write this entry I found that Chris had figured even more out about the issue:
It turns out that with this KB/Mouse setup and a few others released around the same time they introduced a new "Microsoft Wireless Desktop Receiver 3.0A". Previous wireless sets had the 2.0A receiver, and I just happened to have one of these old receivers lying around. Plugged it in, aquired signal with my devices and walked out of the room. When I came back 5 minutes later, the screensaver was working as I would expect it to. So it's the receiver, not the keyboard or the mouse. When I called Microsoft support about the issue, they said it is known but have no plans to fix the issue and outright refused to send me a working receiver.
Seems pretty lame that MS knows this is an issue but isn't going to fix it. I wonder how many of these receivers are out there? The bummer thing is that on one of the machines the mouse is part of a keyboard/mouse combo which I paid a lot of money for. Now I have to either get a new one or kill the ehtray.exe process everytime I reboot.
How about a fix for us Microsoft?
Update: A fix has been posted to Windows Update that is called "HID Non-User Input Data Filter" as posted below by RYAN and Fred. Thanks to my readers for keeping an eye on this. I installed the update and it does fix the issue. Thanks Microsoft!