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rotational
1 Nickel

Alienware 17 R4 - Buggy touchpad driver?

I just received my new laptop, and it's excellent - except for the touchpad, which is giving me a headache.

Symptoms:

The touchpad will randomly begin detecting phantom input.  The notification area icon will display what appears to be a constant press on the touchpad.  The cursor becomes unresponsive as the touchpad treats the phantom input as a finger press, so attempting to move the cursor with one finger will register as a pinch-to-zoom.

This is easy to notice because the touchpad backlight will trigger when it happens, responding to the phantom input.

Disabling/re-enabling the touchpad via the Synaptics control panel may or may not temporarily fix it.  FN+F11 toggle does not work when it's happening.  Rebooting always resets the touchpad.  An external USB mouse works normally, except the scroll wheel recognizes the phantom press on the touchpad and acts as a zoom instead of scrolling.

Testing:

As far as I can tell, this only occurs when the Synaptics driver version 19.2.17.45-A07 is installed.  Running with the generic windows PS/2 mouse driver seems to work without issue, although it basically cripples the touchpad and disables the backlight.

I've also tried with a clean Windows 10 install on a separate SSD and only the latest revision Dell drivers for all hardware, and the problem happened again shortly after installing the Synaptics driver.  There is nothing of any relevance in the Windows Event logs.

BIOS version 1.0.8 (latest) is installed on the laptop.

I see that driver 19.2.17.45-A07 is the initial/only version for this hardware, so hopefully this is on the radar for a fix.

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11 Replies

Re: Alienware 17 R4 - Buggy touchpad driver?

Hi, 

Please try adjusting the touchpad sensitivity options to confirm if it helps with this issue. Click here to view a video that explains the different touchpad settings including the sensitivity settings. 

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Alienware-Rodrigo
Dell | Alienware Technical Support
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Tesla1856
6 Thallium

Re: Alienware 17 R4 - Buggy touchpad driver?

Good post, details, and trouble-shooting so far.

 

Using the generic driver does point to the hardware being good, but not a 100% assurance.

Using the enhanced driver:

- Check palm detection

- Check sensitivity settings

- Check if you can barely adjust or limit the "usable area"

Do phantom touches always seem to come from same area? Do you think the palm-rest plastic is barely touching it on edges?


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rotational
1 Nickel

Re: Alienware 17 R4 - Buggy touchpad driver?

So a bit after posting originally and doing some more research, I ran across multiple references to disabling the Zoom gesture to correct input problems.  I reloaded the driver (this time allowing Windows to automatically install the driver - I received the same version and control panel app as the Dell package) and disabled the Zoom gesture.  So far, so good after a couple of hours of work.

The palm detection is one of my suspicions as well, if the problem happens again with Zoom off, I will re-enable it and start messing with the palm detection.

If the notification area icon's graphic is representative, the phantom input appears pretty much centered on the pad.  Visually there's nothing to indicate any sort of installation defect or other physical problem, and the pad otherwise works perfectly.

Thanks!

Re: Alienware 17 R4 - Buggy touchpad driver?

Thank you very much for confirming this. Please let us know if you need further assistance. 

Alienware Arena

Alienware-Rodrigo
Dell | Alienware Technical Support
#IWork4Dell
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rotational
1 Nickel

Re: Alienware 17 R4 - Buggy touchpad driver?

The problem unfortunately did happen again, but only once in the last 48 hours.  The machine was idle at the time.  Since I generally use an external mouse and this seems to almost certainly be a driver problem I'm going to just sit tight and hope for some love in a later revision.

Rodrigo, this specific model touchpad has the ACPI Hardware ID "DLL0773", and again this is driver revision 19.2.17.45-A07.

EDIT: I forgot to mention that as far as I can tell, the palm rejection option and the "zigzag to activate touchpad" options don't actually seem to do anything.  The touchpad is always active regardless of the zigzag setting, and if the palm rejection is working, it's so poor as to be useless.

Thanks!

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Re: Alienware 17 R4 - Buggy touchpad driver?

Hi, 

Thanks for confirming this. If you continue to experience this issue, please send me your Service Tag in a PM so we can look further into this. 

Alienware Arena

Alienware-Rodrigo
Dell | Alienware Technical Support
#IWork4Dell
Opening your case does not void your warranty! Check out Alienware Artificial Intelligence
I can't always reply to PM's, if you need extra assistance visit: YouTube Logo Facebook Logo Twitter Logo

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markusr4
1 Copper

Re: Alienware 17 R4 - Buggy touchpad driver?

I had similar issues and in my case it was caused by Tobii eye tracking mouse gestures, disabling Tobii in my case solved the problem.

Just wanted to add this input.

rotational
1 Nickel

Re: Alienware 17 R4 - Buggy touchpad driver?

Hey, thank you for this.  It's happened again a few times but very infrequently since my last update.  I looked and found that I had not installed the Tobii software, so I went ahead and loaded it and then explicitly disabled it from within the application.  Hopefully this is the ticket.

Thanks!

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runningmanlima
1 Copper

Re: Alienware 17 R4 - Buggy touchpad driver?

I tried very hard but still can't use the Chrome properly as to the two-finger guestures. Just wonder if any guy have solved the problem?

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