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Ineffective sensor node (InESN) in a wireless sensor network (WSN) is defined as one whose position cannot be estimated by traditional localisation methods. Incremental localisation method is investigated and the existence of the InESNs is confirmed. By analysing the existing characteristics, the InESNs are classified into three categories: InESNs connecting with one known node, InESNs connecting with two known nodes and InESNs standing alone. It is impossible to locate the InESNs of the third category because they cannot receive any information from the known nodes. With a moving target in the WSN, a constrained least-squares formulation is developed to estimate the InESNs of the first two categories. Numerical evaluations are carried out to examine the performance of the proposed method and show that it is indeed effective for locating the InESNs. By incorporating the InESNs in the tracking applications, the performance of the target tracking can be greatly enhanced.