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Dell Laptop Touchpad......

Discussion in 'General Electronics Discussion' started by Fish4Fun, Dec 9, 2014.

  1. Fish4Fun

    Fish4Fun So long, and Thanks for all the Fish!

    436
    99
    Aug 27, 2013
    This post is really more of an "experience" question than electronics.....

    I have been using various Dell Notebooks for a long time.....mostly the D620/E6500 series for the last 10 years or so....I always keep a "back up" because being "down" for a couple of days pretty much means my world stops for a couple of days...sad, but true....Anyway, on a fishing trip back in November my "primary" laptop experienced alcohol poisoning...and abruptly died....not a big deal, I was already looking for a replacement....it had seen a year and a half of abuse, and it was about time to move it from "primary to backup"....so I ordered a Precision M4500 to replace it...(I always buy "off lease' laptops from ebay...generally either with no HD or no OS....) Anyway, in theory it was a pretty big "step-up" from my dual core E6500....the M4500 had the i7 extreme in it a robust video card etc... I ordered a 256GB Sumsung 850 series SSD for it....and all said and done it is a bit faster than the dual core E6500...but not the huge improvement one might expect....but then something weird happened....

    The touch pad suddenly stopped working....no warning, no event.....right in the middle of a mouse movement....I have had the touch pad stop working in previous Dell Laptops....but a simple reboot always fixed it...some times even just "waking" from sleep mode would wake it back up....so I didn't sweat it...finished what I was doing using the antediluvian "pointer stick"...and then rebooted....still no touch pad....I rebooted several more times to no avail....left it "off" over night...no joy....so I thought MAYBE some driver crash might be the culprit....uninstalled all of the dell drivers...even deleted them from the hard drive....reinstalled....no joy. Fast forward three days spent reading/trying various fixes....I can make it "work" by using the "generic mouse driver", but the behavior is wildly erratic and wall banging frustrating....it will occasionally work with the generic Synaptics driver installed, but behavior is still wildly erratic (though slightly better than with the generic mouse driver)....

    I finally found an obscure trouble shooting guide written by a Dell Tech/CSR that suggested testing the touch pad operation in the BIOS as the BIOS has a built-in firmware driver that is written specifically for the touch pad.....if it functions properly in the BIOS then it is absolutely a driver issue, if not, it is a hardware issue....well the touch pad "works" in the BIOS, but it is just as erratic as it is in Win7 with the "generic mouse" driver....So it would appear the issue with the touch pad is a faulty touch pad....ok...

    So I it would appear the problem is hardware related.....I have PLENTY of D620s/E6500s laying around in various states of disrepair....easy enough to disassemble a non-functional laptop...extract the touch pad...re-install in the M4500...well, "easy enough" being a bit misleading....to remove the touch pad requires pretty much fully disassembling the laptop....but certainly not anything insurmountable....but I have searched the net fairly exhaustively and Dell touch pads just really don't seem to be something that fail very often...certainly not w/o some kind of trauma or event...and then there is the thing about it "kinda working" with some drivers and not at all with others.....

    So, what am I looking for here? Just thoughts on how to proceed....

    1) Just order a new laptop
    2) Attempt the replacement
    3) Try a fresh OS install
    4) commit ritual suicide to protect the dwindling global supply of surplus laptops?

    All but #4 require several hours of my time, but I am really not a big fan of #4, lol. If I waste 4 hours on #2 or #3 and get NO JOY then I am likely to go postal.....I hate to further diminish the world supply of surplus laptops over a touch pad, so #1 seems a bit excessive.....

    hrmmmm.....I guess I will go with #2...update @ 11:00....LOL

    Fish
     
    Supercap2F likes this.
  2. Fish4Fun

    Fish4Fun So long, and Thanks for all the Fish!

    436
    99
    Aug 27, 2013
    Well I will be a suck-egg mule! After battling the touch pad issue since Friday....I finally made the command decision to swap the touch pad out with one from an E6500...well guess what....the E6500 touch pad isn't the same size as the M4500....who'd have thunk it? Good news I discovered this before full dis-assembly of the M4500 (not so much for the E6500)....just something nagging me, thought I should "check" the outside dimensions before proceeding....so I replaced the screws, hard drives and battery.....fired it up to begin the process of depleting the world supply of surplus laptops (and perhaps order a "spare touch pad" for an M4500) and the touch pad has magically begun working properly! I swear, it is like taking two aspirin! Only thing I can think of is that it was "scared straight" :)

    **If anyone actually bothered reading this, I hope you enjoyed the tongue-in-cheek humor ;-) I wasn't really looking for "help" as much as just venting and lamenting the frustration of PC issues....**

    Fish
     
    Supercap2F likes this.
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