Chromebook

Last reply by 04-22-2020 Solved
Start a Discussion
2 Bronze
2 Bronze
199854

Chromebook 11, cursor disappears

I'm seeing the same problem as others with my fleet of Chromebook 11s - students come in with no cursor on the screen and can only work with the keyboard. Rebooting often fixes it, but not always. Connecting a mouse works well, but we don't want to use them. It seems to be happening with the older machines, 2.5 years in service. 

It's a sporadic issue, but I've reproduced it with no extensions (logged in as Guest), and after powerwashing the devices. The one thing I can do to eliminate the problem is move the student to a Samsung or ASUS Chromebook - the problem goes away for good.

Any ideas what could be causing the issue with the 11 model?

 

 

Replies (31)
33595


One more thing that I meant to add to the previous post. Checking the extensions in safe mode is a great idea, which was discussed already above, but if you are logged into your Google account from another device...sometimes the extensions on that device can mess up a Chromebook (trying to load extensions, syncing between accounts, extensions working correctly on OS differences, etc.).

Thanks,
Kyle
2 Bronze
2 Bronze
33154

I wanted to let you know that I work at a school and have been chasing this issue too. We use the same Dell Chromebook 11 G2. I have seen it for quite a while through several OS updates. It seems to be something tied to the account or to a website the student is visiting. I have had cases where the track pad won't work because the cable is not fully inserted into the trackpad or the motherboard. In these cases the trackpad won't work regardless of who is using the device. This is an easy fix, but is not the cause for most of the issues. I have found that the cursor works fine for state testing, which is used before a student logs into their account. I have swapped out Chromebooks with one that was having the issue, and I used the Chromebook with my own account without any problems, but a known working Chromebook will start having the issues with the student. Wiping the Chromebook seems to work for a little while, a day or a week.
I have a suspicion that it is caused by some websites with interactive elements that perhaps captures cursor movement, and then does not release the cursor afterwords for other web pages, even after the website is closed. In most cases, I see the cursor disappearing with students that are using Spelling City which has games and quizes on it. This could be happening with other sites with games.

My advice would be to look at the website history of the devices and see if you find any common sites. Maybe they are also using Spelling City or playing some game. This has been a very hard issue to track down because the students aren't the best testers, and may also not be very forthcoming about their activities if it involves playing games. I had a student come to me with this issue. She does not use Spelling City, but when I explained my suspension and asked her if she played any games, she said "no." However, in looking in her history there was a website about hairstyles that was not school related, and may have interactive elements. These elements may be the ability to move something around, or even a "next" button in an slideshow site where the button is using Java. My point is that the students may not be truthful or may not understand that it does't have to be a game. Also, I have no idea how wide spread this issue is. There are a lot more students that are using Spelling City then those that report issues, but I suspect many of the students have discovered that if they close and reopen the lid, the cursor comes back most of the time, so they may have just never bothered to report the issue.
The fact that I can use one of these devices with my own account and not have the issue tells me it is not just a hardware issue, though obviously if you are not see the issues on other brands of Chromebooks, there is something going on with the hardware.
I hope to hear what you find. Are you able to reproduce the issue. If there is a test I can run on my end to help you confirm something, please let us know. If I discover a way to reliably reproduce the issue I will post it here.

2 Bronze
2 Bronze
16829

I recently purchased a Dell Chromebook 11 via the outlet site. I have noticed this same issue. The consistency for me seems to be the cursor disappearing in the following manner: I am using the chromebook, unplugged and I notice the battery is starting to get a bit low (it is not dead but is either red-lining or getting very low and close to red). I pug in power and immediately the cursor disappears.

The fix for me is simply to shut down and restart the chromebook. 

 

21034

I just wanted to add a follow-up. This may not solve the problem, but may be a tool that helps. I was having account sign in issues a while ago (Profile error occurred) and found I could reset all the synced data to resolve the issue. The profile error indicated that the profile was from a newer version of Chrome. This suggests that the Chromebook did not have the latest version of Chrome, which is not correct, but it is possible this was cause when the student signed into their account on another device.
My point is that if I reset the synced data on a Chromebook, the mouse issues seems to be resolved for a while. In my one test, it was for a week. This is longer then when I wipe the device.
To reset the synced data, go to "https://chrome.google.com/sync?hl=en-US" while logged into the account. The above address should work, even if you have the settings screen blocked.
If you don't have the settings blocked, you can also get there by:
Click on the browser's 3 dots menu.
Click on settings.
In the "People" section, click "Sync."
Click "Manage synced data on Google Dashboard."
At the bottom, click "Reset sync."

Do you have any new information in your attempts to resolve this issue?

15886


@K.Barker wrote:

I'm seeing the same problem as others with my fleet of Chromebook 11s - students come in with no cursor on the screen and can only work with the keyboard. Rebooting often fixes it, but not always. Connecting a mouse works well, but we don't want to use them. It seems to be happening with the older machines, 2.5 years in service. 

It's a sporadic issue, but I've reproduced it with no extensions (logged in as Guest), and after powerwashing the devices. The one thing I can do to eliminate the problem is move the student to a Samsung or ASUS Chromebook - the problem goes away for good.

Any ideas what could be causing the issue with the 11 model?

 

 



Barker,

By chance were you seeing the issue with the track pad not allowing the student to use the pad as a mouse? I'm also a Director for a School and we have couple thousand of these CB and we are seeing the devices track pad stop working. We reboot the device sometimes it works but most of the time that doesn't solve the issue. However we have found out if we turn the device off over night it starts working the next day. We too have reached out to Google and Google says it's not software issue. So that's why I've reached out to see if you have had any luck?

15866

smichael,

It sounds like you're seeing the same issue. For us, it's simply faded in importance as time has passed. Summer of 2017 we purchased a newer model from Dell, maybe the 3198?, and then summer 2018 we moved to ASUS devices. Now with only a third of our users on these Chromebook 11s, I haven't had any calls about it in months.

I wish I had more detail to share.

 

15793

Hi, all.

Our district has been using Dell Chromebook 11's since the first gen (CB1C13) model first came out.  We just retired all of our first gen units this past summer, and now have only 3120 and 3180 models in service (combined, about 4500 devices, mostly in a 1:1 setting).  The disappearing cursor has been an issue on all models, and in almost every case it was due to poor assembly of the device itself, specifically placement and routing of the ribbon cable.

On the 3120, we remove the battery, reseat the cable connection on the track pad itself, and ensure that all of the 90-degree folds are perfectly square.  We then take the motherboard end of the cable and keyboard cable, tuck them under the speaker wire, and ensure the final two folds are such that the fold below the surface of the motherboard actually tucks underneath the edge of the motherboard.  This ensures that flexing of the chassis and movement of the speaker wires do not pull the cable out of the connector.  For added measure, we use a small strip of 3M VHB double-sided adhesive to hold the cable down securely at both ends.

Before repair: Keyboard and track pad cables above speaker wire.  Track pad cable pulling tightly away from motherboard.Before repair: Keyboard and track pad cables above speaker wire. Track pad cable pulling tightly away from motherboard.Before repair: Cable not folded in neat 90-degree bends, thus leaving no slack near the motherboard connector for chassis movement.Before repair: Cable not folded in neat 90-degree bends, thus leaving no slack near the motherboard connector for chassis movement.After repair: Square bends in cable.  Both the track pad and keyboard cables tucked under the speaker cable.After repair: Square bends in cable. Both the track pad and keyboard cables tucked under the speaker cable.After repair: Track pad cable bend tucked underneath edge of the motherboard.  Speaker wires help keep cables in place rather than tugging on them.After repair: Track pad cable bend tucked underneath edge of the motherboard. Speaker wires help keep cables in place rather than tugging on them.

In some cases, we've seen that the ribbon cable isn't neatly folded at all and gets crushed and mangled underneath the battery.  Many times, this breaks the traces in the cable and requires it to be replaced.

On the 3180, the ribbon cable is not placed down squarely and, thus, does not sit completely inside the motherboard connector.  The ribbon cable on this model has at least two areas with adhesive that hold the cable in place, but chassis movement can tug at the cable near the motherboard if there's no slack in the cable on that end.  The fix here is to peel the cable off the chassis, fully insert and connect the motherboard end of the cable and then press the cable down against the chassis, making sure all bends are square and while ensuring minimal tension on the cable near the motherboard.

Before repair: Cable not seated squarely and neatly.  Tension on the cable near the motherboard connector results in chassis movement to tug the cable out of the connector.Before repair: Cable not seated squarely and neatly. Tension on the cable near the motherboard connector results in chassis movement to tug the cable out of the connector.After repair: Squared bends in cable.  More slack near motherboard connector in order tolerate chassis flex.After repair: Squared bends in cable. More slack near motherboard connector in order tolerate chassis flex.

Occasionally, we also see improperly installed track pad grounding straps.  They are either found to be not seated on top of the copper surface on the track pad, or the white adhesive backing on the strap is not removed prior to installation.  In this case, simply peel up the strap carefully, remove the white adhesive backing if present, and stick it to the copper surface on the track pad.

Truth be told, the students that have come back with their device for cursor-related issues after performing the aforementioned repairs ultimately had defective track pads that were found not to work in any otherwise known-working Chromebook.  This is extremely rare.

I hope this information helps some of you.

116195

Hi There,

Just reading this and its exactely what we have, so far i have sent 15 chromebooks 11 - 3180 back to repair with this problem.

We have bought 150 chromebooks and thank goodness we have warranty on them. As Kathryn says it is a Dell hardware problem.

I was looking to buy more but i have to rethink who i am buying with. Unless Dell sorts this out we are looking elsewhere.

 

 

116183

As the sole technician responsible for repairing all of our district's 5,000+ Dell Chromebooks, I can assure you that the hardware is not defective.  This issue is solely due to sloppy assembly, something that seemed more prevalent in the 3180 units we purchased in 2018 vs the 3180 units purchased the year prior.  The track pad cable routing on the successor to the Chromebook 11 3180, the Chromebook 3100, is more direct and will likely not experience this same assembly problem.

FWIW, it seems silly to ship out a Chromebook for repair for this issue since it would take less time for someone with a screw driver to correct the problem than it would to box it up and ship it out.

2 Bronze
2 Bronze
13097

I am having similar issues.  I have solved some of these by removing extensions.  Some users had accumulated quite a few, and many that they didn't realize.  

Latest Solutions
Top Contributor