Recently, I was sent to a webpage that used Silverlight and it caused a weird type of crash on my computer. It seems to be any Silverlight page that causes the issue. For consistency, I performed my check with two sites that I knew were using Silverlight and initially caused the problem:
When I visited those pages, my mouse would stop responding. It would not move or accept clicks. The keyboard and everything else continued working fine; only the mouse stopped responding. If I hit Ctrl+Alt+Del it would bring up a little screen where I could choose my options. On that screen, the mouse worked just fine. If I canceled out or chose something like Task Manager, the mouse would again freeze, but in the last location from the CAD screen. If you’re having similar issues as I am, here are the assumptions I’m making:
- You’re using a 64-bit Windows operating system (I’m using Server 2008 x64.)
- You have a Wacom tablet installed and connected (I have a Wacom Graphire 4.)
- You are experiencing the issues on multiple browsers. (I had it on IE8 and Firefox3.)
- You have the latest version of Silverlight installed.
The problem happened independent of the browser. I tried Internet Explorer 8 and Firefox 3, but both resulted in the mouse freezing up. After this would happen, I used the keyboard to launch SysInternals Desktops application to create a new virtual desktop. I would switch over to a virtual desktop and the mouse would work fine. There, I started researching the problem and looking into it a bit more. I found confirmation of the problem on the Microsoft Connect site. With the odd association with the Wacom tablet, I updated the driver to the latest version, 5.1.1-1, from Wacom. Unfortunately, that had no effect and the issue still occurred. If I disconnected the Wacom tablet, there would be no issue. I didn’t have to uninstall anything, so this is a pretty simple workaround, to just plug-in the tablet when I needed it. I wasn’t satisfied with this though and looked into the issue further From my findings and experimenting, I found this to be a pretty decent solution.
Disable the Tablet PC Input Service in the Services manager. To get there, go to Start, Run… and enter ‘services.msc’. On the window that pops up, scroll down until you find the Tablet PC Input Service. Right-click on it and go to Properties. Set the Startup Type to Disabled and press the Stop button.
Rename an executable called WISPTIS.exe in the C:\Windows\syswow64 directory to something like WISPTIS_old.exe.
At this point, Silverlight-enabled websites will work just fine in Internet Explorer, but it causes Firefox to crash. This is pretty annoying if you stumble upon a website using Silverlight in the middle of your browsing. To prevent Firefox from crashing on Silverlight pages, disable the Silverlight plug-in for Firefox. Go to Tools, Add-ons and switch to the Plugins ‘tab’. Scroll down until you find Silverlight and click on it. Then hit the the Disable button. You can then close the Add-ons window.
This will prevent Firefox from displaying any Silverlight elements of a webpage but more importantly also prevent it from crashing. You can switch to IE any time you want to view a Silverlight-enhanced page. Instead, I would recommend installing the IE Tab add-on. This way you can keep your web browsing completely within Firefox. If you end up on a page using Silverlight in Firefox, you can click a button (the little Firefox logo in the bottom-right corner) and Firefox will reload the page within the Firefox window using the IE rendering engine.
This is a minor inconvenience whenever you end up on a Silverlight-enabled website but it results in a fully functioning web experience. Hopefully Silverlight (or Wacom, if responsible) will release an update that will fix this issue and not require these work-arounds.
Update: Something will recreate the WISPTIS.exe every so often, so I’ve created a batch script to automatically rename the file at startup. You can create a script and put it in the Start Menu Startup folder to rename the file every time you login if the file exists.