My laptop. It's doing peculiar things again. And I'm sure there is a logical explanation for it.
It's that HP NX9005, which does not have inbuilt Wifi. I have used a generic Atheros AR5523 usb dongle with complete success for years instead and ran a ndiswrapper extracted from a Windows installer with 2007 and 2009 KDE. Getting it to work with LXDE 2010 turned out to be a breeze as there is a native driver in Configure>. But there is this problem that has occurred twice now about which I enquire.
If the computer boots up without the dongle in a port it behaves normally. With only two usb ports I sometimes must. The next time it is booted even with the dongle back in place the desktop and its theme is changed all on its own and the cursor is permanently "busy" and never settles to a pointer. It will still open app's but the title bar is missing from above the menus and the app does not appear in the taskbar so closing out of the app is impossible. The dongle connects still, as though nothing had happened, but of course the browser doesn't work properly with bits missing from the top. If I uninstall the dongle and reboot it no longer lights up but the mania remains. So too if I reinstall it, even though the dongle reconnects.
The last time this happened I was unable to get council from the Wise Ones on the Forum, and chose to reinstall LXDE. Something gets overwritten in the process and all is well again until I remove the dongle from the port of the new install. Obviously the charm of a complete reinstall if the dongle gets dislodged or removed is small, so I was seeking direction as to where to look for the wifi file that might keep the processor busy looking for the dongle and get corrupted if it is removed. Is there such a thing?
(EDIT) Additional information that might help: The dongle doesn't install "cleanly", in so much as it pops up a device not found error but lights up and works with the athfmwdl wrapper. And the cursor settles as soon as I open Configure>New Connection>Wifi, without proceeding further. And computing is again possible. The application windows remain minus their tops however, and a reboot returns to the busy cursor, but the Desktop keeps its pre-chosen settings.