Touchpad stopped working

I have an Inspiron 9400, Intel Core 2 T720, 2GB ram, Vista x64 bit, bluetooth, ATI card (out of warranty, never had any problems before)


A little about myself: I am a teacher and I also build desktop computers in my spare time (I know my way around fairly well)


My problem started about 2 weeks ago, I opened my laptop up and the touchpad didn't work at all.

My steps:


1. Restarted computer (didn't fix it)

2. roll back driver (didn't fix it)

3. installed new driver from dell (didn't fix it)

4. installed new driver from synaptics (didn't fix it)

5. uninstalled device and restarted and let windows install the new driver (didn't fix it)

6. checked the connection inside and it was fine

7. ordered a new touchpad (didn't fix it)

8. reinstalled operating system both vista and xp (32 bit)

9. repeated steps 1-7 (about 100 times, lol didn’t fix it)

10. the motherboard connection looks clean, no sign of corrosion or being damaged in any way


Some things I have noticed:

1.      In the device manager the touchpad does not show, but if I click “view” then “show hidden devices” it is there with the yellow exclamation point

2.      When running the diagnostics from the bios it says “touchpad not detected”

3.      USB mouse works fine

4.      I have searched about everywhere, but there just isn’t a whole lot of information on this topic, and after the first few steps people just say “use a USB mouse, it’s better anyway” but that is just not practical for how I use my laptop.


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4 Replies

Re: Touchpad stopped working

:^/ From your description I'd say that it was a hardware problem instead of software.  If not the track pad itself, then perhaps the connector ribbon needs to be replaced, or perhaps there is trouble with the chips on the motherboard that communicate with the touch pad.


If your laptop is still under warranty, I'd contact Dell's Customer Service to arrange to send it in for repair, or if it's out of warranty, I'd take it to a local repair shop.


Good luck....

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Re: Touchpad stopped working

Hello brett014,

Open control panel>programs and features>scroll down to "Synaptics pointing device driver>single click it,then click uninstall at top of page>Now open device manager thru the control panel>Click the (+) next to "mice and other pointing devices"double click on "synaptics PS/2 Port Pointing Device">Click driver tab at top>Click uninstall at bottom>Now re-boot system.Windows should load the driver.

E1705 T7400 2.16Ghz / Vista Home Premium SP2 / 17" LG WUXGA 1920 X 1200 / 4GB 667Mhz Geil Ram w/Heatspreaders / Western Digital Scorpio Black 500GB 7200RPM / 500GB 7200RPM My Book / Nvidia Geforce Go 7900GS 256MB / Toshiba DVD/CD+/-RW DL / Intel 4965 A/B/G/N / 355 Bluetooth 2.0+EDR / Pinnacle Pro HDTV USB Tuner / Pinnacle Ultimate HDTV USB Tuner / Sound Blaster Audigy Advanced MB / Sound Blaster X-Fi Extreme Audio Notebook / Logitech G51 Surround Sound Speakers / 2-NB-MA01 Notebook Coolers / 3D Mark06 5446 / Driver v.174.31 /

XPS M1730 Saphire Blue X9000 @ 3.2 / Vista Home Premium SP2 / 17" WUXGA 1920 x 1200 / Matshita BD\DVD Combo / 8GB 800Mhz Geil RAM / 500GB>200GB 7200RPM / 9800M GTX SLI / AGEIA PhysX Accelerator / Intel 4965 / 355 Bluetooth / 5700 Mobile Broadband / 3D Mark06 16250 /Driver 275.50 beta

XPS Gen 4 Desktop>being rebuilt

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Re: Touchpad stopped working


I tried what you said but it still isn't working.

It is really wierd because windows installed a driver for it when I rebooted, but it still doesn't work. And if it was a hardware problem it most likely wouldn't be recognized at all.

I have tried 3 different touchpads now and 3 different connectors.

It isn't under warranty.

I am thinking by process of elimination it has to be the motherboard?



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Re: Touchpad stopped working

:^/ If you've reinstalled the OS and the correct drivers several times with no effect, as mentioned in your original post, then it's unlikely to be a software problem.  If you've replaced the track pad itself and the connector cable too, then the probable (but unwelcome) likelihood is that the hardware trouble is in the controller chip that talks with the track pad.  If this chip is in a socket, you could try replacing it, but with laptops the designers save weight/room by leaving out the sockets and soldering the chips directly to the motherboard.  Soooo, yeah; you may have to replace the whole thing.


Still, it's worth taking to a shop to have it looked at first.

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