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Freezing Touchpad Pointer Solution-Does One Exist?


JMW

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Touchpad Freezing Review

 

Millions of "Solutions" out there?!:-D

 

This is not a new problem! If you search on MS

 

forums/Website (and many others), etc., you find this has

 

been going on for years and the worst part about the problem

 

is so many people have the problem and no solution, not even

 

from MS! The online help techies seem polite but definitely

 

puzzled that Win 7 and 8 computers should be doing this?!

 

They give a typical response (This is, by no means, and

 

exhaustive list of every suggested solution):

 

1. System Reset: Resets the computer by switching off,

 

removing battery, hold down power button for 10 seconds.

 

Reinstall battery, switch on and you should be ready to

 

go...?!?!?! This is actually a good solution to some querky

 

problems, but does not resolve this particular issue.

 

2. Drivers: A second suggestion that MS techies and others

 

suggest is that the problem is due to drivers!? Corrupted

 

drivers, outdated drivers - like update your drivers using

 

Win Update?! I (and a good number of others) have tried this

 

"solution" by updating drivers, uninstalling and re-

 

installing drivers in a number of different ways, deleting

 

drivers and installing older drivers such as using a Vista

 

driver on compatibility mode for video which actually worked

 

resolving this problem on my own computer (see procedure

 

below). BUT, this still has not provided a working solution

 

for the Touchpad pointer freezing problem after many

 

frustrated attempts with this or that solution - like I

 

said, millions of them out there!

 

For such a fix to work, it would be necessary to uninstall

 

the Windows OS default mouse driver in case it is corrupted,

 

but that only seems to be possible reinstalling the OS which

 

I did and the problem remains. Besides which, finding an HID

 

compliant mouse driver out there without it turning out to

 

be a virus is, at the very least, difficult.

 

I found someone else on the internet that mentioned finding

 

"extra" drivers in places they shouldn't be in Device

 

Manager? However, my drivers seem to be all there with no

 

extras.

 

There seems to be a common link between this problem and

 

people whose touchpad uses Synaptics touchpad driver.

 

However, although the Synaptics driver can complicate the

 

problem even more it certainly is not the problem because

 

the touchpad pointer freezes even when this driver is

 

uninstalled, deleted, etc. It even freezes on a "clean

 

installation" of Win OS without installing anything except

 

the OS, as we shall see later.

 

3. Function key: Another typical "solution" from many is Fn

 

key + ??? Some say Fn+F1, others Fn+f5, others Fn+F7, etc.

 

(depending on system and computer) This is supposed to be a

 

shortcut for switching on and off the Touchpad. I tried

 

every Fn+F? button combination and none of them switched

 

both on and off my touchpad. However, my Touchpad pointer

 

did freeze when I tried Fn+F7-F10. Click as I might, none of

 

these buttons could unfreeze it, but a 10 second wait did

 

and also sometimes Alt-Tab (which some suggest, but is not a

 

solution, although it is a very common factor), hitting B

 

repeatedly and some other keys. I did find a key that works

 

100% of the time to cause my mouse to freeze: Try the letter

 

"O" to see if it works on your computer. However, the letter

 

"O" only causes it to freeze and does not unfreeze the

 

Touchpad pointer no matter how much you hit the button?!

 

4. Touchpad Config: Another suggestion was from some guy who

 

did a video on You Tube: (http://www.youtube.com/watch?

 

v=BV0EgrMxbOU) This guy's idea was to switch off the

 

Synaptics Touchpad config for accidental palm touching. I

 

don't have the same version of Synaptics driver that he has

 

although mine is up-to-date! I disabled TouchCheck on

 

Touchpad settings which did seem to help some, i.e. reduced

 

frequency of freezes, but my Touchpad still freezes!

 

5. USB: Someone else suggests switching off the option

 

"Allow the computer to turn off this device to save power"

 

on the USB Root Hubs located on Device Manager. Go to Device

 

Manager, scroll down the list of Devices to Universal Serial

 

Bus Controllers, open it and locate the USB Root Hub

 

entries, right-click each one in turn (around 6-8 of them)

 

and select the Properties option, then select the Power

 

Management Tab, then uncheck the checkbox for the allowing

 

your computer to turn off this device to save power option.

 

This really has nothing to do with the Touchpad as it

 

controls externally connected USB devices. Needless to say,

 

the "solution" doesn't work.

 

6. Boot: I have also tried doing a "clean boot" as suggested

 

by a MS online techie, but this did not resolve anything. I

 

also tried starting up in Diagnostic mode, nothing! I tried

 

starting up in Safe Mode but was able to cause the Touchpad

 

pointer to freeze in Safe Mode hitting the "O" key?!?!?!

 

7. Operating System: There are many other "solutions" out

 

there and I have tried many of them without any success. The

 

next thing I'm going to try is to install Win 7 on another

 

partition and see if the problem occurs without installing

 

any further drivers or programs, i.e. just using the basic

 

default Windows OS drivers installed with the OS plus

 

nothing and see if the problem still exists!? Nope, this one

 

doesn't work either?!?!?!

 

Would you believe that I even had the Touchpad pointer

 

freeze during the Setup/installation process of Win 7. Not

 

only that but I could even make the Touchpad pointer freeze

 

by hitting the "O" key which is 100% successful in causing a

 

freeze both with Win 7 up and running or during

 

Setup/installation?!?!?! Just in case some techie thinks my

 

touchpad or keyboard may be the problem, why are so many

 

people on so many different brands of computer, both old and

 

new systems, having the same problem and why do they all

 

report Touchpad/mouse freezing related to keyboard use???

 

What's next?

 

After formatting the partition, I installed Windows Vista,

 

the original system OS. But, with just the bare bones Vista

 

installation, the freezing problem remains!

 

Back to drivers syndrome: My last resort is to flash the

 

BIOS with an updated version (my BIOS already is the

 

latest-A15) just in case this might prove to be a "BIOS

 

virus"?!?!?! Maybe doing a system reset first, removing the

 

battery, etc. Done and no solution! Using the keyboard in

 

Notepad (very light on resources) with or without touching

 

the "O" key causes freezing! Memory is obviously not the

 

problem nor heavy system load as freezing occurs at 27%!

 

My next "last resort" was to try other operating systems and

 

Ubuntu seemed a good option as it can be installed on a

 

thumb drive/flash drive and run in a similar way to a live

 

Cd, i.e. without installation. This cuts out a number of

 

possible sources for the freezing problem, i.e. it's

 

probably not located on the HD or any system partition

 

unless communication between memory and HD managed to infect

 

some part of the HD? Running directly off the thumb/flash

 

drive means that all that's probably being used is BIOS and

 

memory(???). Things looked promising until I was able to

 

cause freezing again inside Ubuntu using the, by now, famous

 

"O" key on the keyboard?!?!?! Unless there is a virus hiding

 

(i.e. resident) somewhere in hardware such as keyboard or

 

touchpad related, I really don't know what else to try? But

 

this does seem to eliminate a lot of possible causes like HD

 

resident virus, etc. So, even formatting the HD, shredding,

 

etc., will not resolve the problem. I can live with the

 

problem, but it would be nice to get it fixed!

 

I tried PC-BSD which can also be burned to a thumb/flash

 

drive and is supposed to be very stable and not require so

 

much attention as regards viruses? However, unlike Ubuntu,

 

this one needs to be installed. I ran the OS from the

 

thumb/flash drive, but have not as yet managed to get to a

 

point where I can install it. I think I've given up on that

 

one. I did, however, try Linux Mint 16 on thumb/flash drive

 

and although the OS is attractive and seems fairly stable,

 

the freezing problem could be recreated using, guess what,

 

the "O" button!

 

I also did the test installing my son's Win 8 (and

 

subsequently uninstalled) just to see if there would be any

 

joy on that system, but all to no gain!

 

(See also Hardware section below).

 

8. Freeze Factors: So far, buttons or combinations that

 

definitely cause freezing are "O" and Fn+F7-F10. The buttons

 

which "seem" to help to unfreeze are B repeatedly, Alt-Tab

 

sometimes, left touchpad button repeatedly OR just wait (the

 

buttons do not always unfreeze)! Someone suggested Log off

 

and log on again. I tried this and the Touchpad pointer

 

froze on the logoff screen (ironic :-) - count to 10!

 

However, even without touching the keyboard the Touchpad

 

pointer freezes randomly just using the touchpad itself,

 

i.e. navigating on internet. Browsers are also not the

 

problem because, obviously, the many thousands who face this

 

problem use a great variety of browsers!

 

9. Touchpad/Keyboard link: After so many years of obvious

 

problems linking drivers, Touchpad and keyboard, it seems

 

strange that MS online techies seem bewildered! The

 

Touchpad/keyboard link is very definitely a MAJOR factor

 

(indicating the cause and not the problem itself) as almost

 

everyone (forums included) who has the problem finds some

 

link between using the keyboard and Touchpad pointer

 

freezing!!!

 

10. Obsolete system syndrome: I was beginning to think that

 

installing Win 7 on a Dell xps M1330, upgraded to 4Gb RAM,

 

1.5 Ghz, which originally came with that problem (sorry

 

program ;-) called Vista, might be causing the problem

 

(tech-noia?). But, then I found people with new PC's that

 

are having the same problem with both Win 7 and 8 OS

 

systems!!!

 

11. Flickering/flashing screen: I was also having the

 

flickering/flashing screen problem which one MS techie said

 

was a screen refresh rate problem. Change the refresh rate

 

and "you're ready to go!?" You navigate to do so and find

 

that the refresh rate is a fixed value of 60mhz?!?!?!

 

Funnily enough, I tried something different which has

 

definitely fixed this problem. I force-installed my older

 

Vista video driver using compatibility mode on Win 7

 

(right-click driver and select troubleshoot compatibility

 

and follow onscreen instructions, i.e. Start Program Using

 

Reccomended settings).

 

The only negative is that you then can't update that driver

 

because after the newer driver installs the problem returns!

 

So you need to remember that when doing automatic driver

 

updates. I really wonder if this isn't a case of a newer

 

driver that "overclocks" hardware and causes problems, but

 

this shouldn't be the case for those who have brand new

 

systems? I just wish I could find a solution like this one

 

for this freezing cold Touchpad pointer problem!

 

Another similar problem is the "audio bug" which raises or

 

lowers, maintains volume on full or switches off or even

 

gets you chasing the volume control up and down the scale -

 

must be very amusing for whoever created it. Solution -

 

download a clean copy of driver (or use driver disk supplied

 

with system), uninstall driver in Device Manager and

 

manually install the clean version, i.e. Click Update on

 

driver properties, then instead of automatically updating

 

the driver use the option to manually search for a driver

 

and install your clean version. This has resolved the same

 

problem a couple of times for me. I recently found out that

 

the O and L keys seem to be responsible for causing the

 

audio to gradually lower. However, I have had a bug in the

 

past that used to do it automatically!

 

12. No solution syndrome: Going back to the REAL PROBLEM,

 

this problem with the Touchpad pointer freezing issue is not

 

new (at least since 2009)!!! It would really be great if

 

MICROSOFT (or somebody) could DO SOMETHING like come up with

 

this SOLUTION (I prefer the term FIX) because it really is

 

not limited to just a few isolated cases! These are OLD bugs

 

and yet are affecting even MS's latest innovation, YES

 

Windows 8 users are also looking for a solution to the same

 

Touchpad freezing issue even on systems only a few weeks

 

old!!!

 

13. Windows Fix: Tweaking.com has a nice little program with

 

all kinds of automatic fixes to restore Windows OS to

 

original factory condition without reinstalling (at least

 

the author is working towards that dream). It has a helpful

 

tabbed interface taking you through pre-fix procedures. I

 

used both Malwarebytes and SuperAntispyware (updated) to

 

scan in safe mode, no malware, viruses, nothing! I went

 

through the whole thing finally using the fixes which are

 

done automatically after you create a restore point and

 

backup Win registry, nice! The program really does restore

 

Windows files to original state! BUT, the problem is more

 

stubborn than than the solutions I have found so far! Oh

 

well! Take a breather after that!

 

14. Hardware (conflicts, resident virus, etc.): One last

 

thing I forgot. Most people seem to find that using an

 

external mouse resolves the problem. And, it does resolve

 

the problem whilst using the external mouse (you may want to

 

check the option for the touchpad to be switched off when

 

external mouse is detected. This is available in Symantec

 

config), BUT, it doesn't fix the issue! SO, until someone

 

comes up with the real culprit and a real

 

fix...waiting...please don't switch off...zzzz!!!

 

Under this section heading, I decided to try at least one

 

hardware possibility (i.e. resident virus). I remembered

 

that I still had the original memory cards after upgrading

 

to 4Gb. So, I switched off, did a system reset, switched the

 

memory cards and booted off the Linux Mint thumb/flash

 

drive...WAITING...Sorry, this one didn't work either!

 

Outside switching the HD, the mother board, etc. (rather

 

ironic) I really can't think of much else to try?

 

For resident viruses, as already mentioned, I have scanned

 

with a number of different antivirus/antimalware programs

 

and have come up with zero infections?!?!?! Doing this in

 

safe mode has not detected anything either.

 

If those techies at Microsoft are bewildered (imagine us!!!)

 

that this is happening or can even be happening with their

 

latest and greatest, it would be very informative to try

 

searching solutions for Touchpad freezing and they will also

 

see that there are thousands of people out there asking the

 

same question, how to fix Windows 7 and 8 Touchpad

 

freezing!!!

 

This is not an "outdated hardware problem" because people

 

with BRAND NEW COMPUTERS running Win 8 are having the same

 

problem! The particular brand of computer is not to blame

 

either because the same problem happens on DELL, Toshiba,

 

etc. It is not a driver problem (unless there is some

 

conflict between MS default drivers installed with OS)

 

because no matter what you do with the drivers or hardware

 

(I admit I haven't yet substituted all hardware to check

 

where the problem resides) the problem stubbornly remains.

 

It is neither the computer nor the user that is the problem!

 

The problem may be some hardware resident virus or some

 

other bug??? Solutions anybody???

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Hi JMW, welcome back to the forum! :-D

 

Great post to describe and analyze a problem.

 

I am nearly sure, that you may have tried it, but does Dell 32 Bit Diagnostics Utility (Graphical User Interface version) give any information about your Dell's freezing problem when run at the time of freezing?

 

Interestingly enough, Dell does not give any touchpad driver of XPS M1330 for W7 32 bit, but gives for XP and Vista.

 

Although it doesn't seem to be malware related, I can suggest to have a check in Spyware-Malware Removal Help! section, Superdave may make it sure that it is not malware related.

 

I wish I could be more help.

 

Cheers.

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