Laptop’s touchpad stopped working

On Sunday, after having my laptop for many months, the touchpad suddenly stopped working. Now when I boot the PC the touchpad can move the cursor, but not select anything (whether through clicking on the button or tapping the pad)

After logging in I can’t even move the cursor (and can’t select items either)

 

What I tried first

1)     Fn F7 (the function key which turns the touchpad on and off)

2)     Rebooting the PC

3)     Taking the battery out

4)     Going into device properties: it says it is working fine

 

Emailed Acer Support. They suggested complete system restore to factory settings but that would have wiped everything I ever put on the PC)

 

Partial Solution : Deleted Driver

I found a temporary cure through deleting the driver

1)      Control Panel àDevice Manager à Mice à selected Synaptics PS/2 Port Touchpad à pressed delete (removed the driver)

2)      Then at the prompt I said yes to reboot

3)      The touchpad is now working!

 BUT … when I next restart the PC the problem has resurfaced Maybe after the 1st restart Windows reinstalled some driver which then became effective on the 2nd restart?

I tried telling Vista it must ask me before installing drivers

Computer – Properties àSystem Protection (in left panel) à Hardware tab à Windows Update à Driver Settings à selected “ask before checking for updates”

Initially that seemed to solve things … but then a while later the problem resurfaced and this no llonger solved it.

 

Installed latest driver – didn’t help

Went to UK Acer Support site

Downloaded driver & ran instal

It said I first had to uninstal the existing driver & reboot. I tried just deleting the driver (as above). It wasn’t happy with this. It needed me to go into Control Panel and use Add/Remove Programs.

BUT … on restart the touchpad is not working!

 

Solution: removed Synaptics program in Control Panel

 Start → Control Panel → Programs & Features → selected Synaptics programme and removed it

It seems that:

  • Windows can operate the touchpad without the Synaptics driver
  • Removing the program in Control Panel means the drievr won’t be reinstalled at Restart (whereas if you delete the driver from Device Manager it then gets automatically reinstalled)

 

What caused the problem?

Maybe a Windows Vista update (or Windows Defender update)

You can delete updates …

Window Defender updates are mixed in with Windows Updates, if you check in Control Panel > Program and Features > Uninstall a Program …

 On the Left Side of the Window, click Remove Updates/Uninstall Updates then browse through there and remove the defender updates

 

Working without the mouse 

·  To select something in left hand pane in Windows Vista: press Alt, then it shows the short-cut keys highlighted

·  To do a right mouse click: shift F10 (also many keyboards have a button for it to the right of the space bar)

·  I Windows Explorer to expand a folder: right arrow key

 

My set-up

Laptop = Acer Travelmate 6292

Running Windows Vista

Touchpad = Synaptics

 

PS Acer told me something useful … drivers are on disk 1 of system recovery disks but also … All available drivers, updates and manuals for all Acer products can be obtained from their FTP site:

ftp://ftp.support.acer-euro.com/

nb. for an Aspire 1662 notebook you would need to choose the ‘notebook’ folder and then the ‘aspire_1660’ series folder
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