The best fix.... have them send you a new computer... change out the hard drives... you will have no set up... and the problem is gone.!!!
If they say no demand it!... I did and it worked!
I'm helping one of my users troubleshoot trackpad issues on his Precision M6500. The original poster on this particular post/thread stated that the "touchpad jumps left a few inches when moving finger right". We are seeing a bunch of issues with the trackpad on the M6500 and they don't appear to all be related to this issue of the cursor not moving in accordance with the trackpad. Here's a list of some issues we are having:
1) Double-tap and scrolling not always working. Whether or not this problem exists appears to be determined during boot time. I'm assuming this is a driver related issue. We've updated to the latest drivers and the problem continues. No related errors are logged in the event viewer during boot time.
2) Opening Firefox causes the trackpad to freeze. This issue is very consistent and happens with both Firefox 3.6 and Firefox 4. I'm unsure when this problem started. When the trackpad freezes it's double-click functions still work. Also, a mouse can still be used as normal. We've disabled most 3rd party extensions in Firefox but the problem persists. The freezing doesn't actually occur until Firefox is loaded and the user moves his cursor around inside Firefox for a few seconds.
3) Trackpad stuck in selection mode. I'm not sure that this problem has happened recently but sometimes the trackpad gets stuck in selection mode. When you move the cursor around items get highlighted/selected.
4) Cursor jumps around. I believe this is the same problem that the original poster was complaining about. I have not confirmed that my particular case is experiencing this problem.
We did send this computer in to a Dell depot in Nashville for repair under warranty. As is Dell's policy, we did not ship the user's hard drive. The used their own hard drive with Windows to test and couldn't find any problems. For now Dell is assuming that all of our complaints are caused by software issues. I'm not exactly disagreeing since trackpad driver problems are certainly software issues but I don't think that their policy of testing the machine in a sterile boot environment is revealing the whole truth when it comes to trackpad driver problems. And if the problem is related to the trackpad drivers, is this then the customer's fault?
Oh, and I failed to mention that the problem listed in #1 does not always occur. Sometimes you get into Windows and double-tap and scrolling aren't working. Other times they work as expected. There appears to be no rhyme or reason to this.
Bought my computer in early January (2011) and started to have touchpad problems w/in two weeks so I contacted Dell. Everything they tried, including replacing the touchpad, did nothing at all, plus the contracted tech that came out also broke the DVD drive door when he dropped pieces of my computer on the floor. Never mind about that as the two times I reminded Dell the drive door was broken, they said they'd take care of it and nothing ever happened.
The problem persisted and I was in contact with Dell many times through March. On my last call I was extremely frustrated and told them I either wanted a new computer or my money back. Instead they told me it was a software problem and they wanted to RESET my computer. What a fiasco - I put them off for a couple weeks, even though by this time they were calling ME every few days to see if I was ready to reset. As you know, this erases everything from the hard drive so all data and programs need to be reinstalled. The data is easy as I use Carbonite, but re-installing programs is an onerous and tiring task. It was also at this time they started telling me I needed to upgrade my warranty (my computer was three months old at that point). I said no...several times
Anyway, I wrote down all the programs I would have to re-install, around thirty, and went ahead with the reset. For two days I downloaded, reinstalled, and updated programs. They still aren't all done.
The touchpad problem still exists.
They have beaten me down to a nub with robo voices, menu selections, long hold times, and obnoxious music. I'm pretty sure I don't want another Dell computer, but I'm also pretty sure they would have all kinds of reasons why they can't give me my money back. So I'm in resting mode.
Llambo, any details on what trackpad problems you're having? I know the M6500 seems to have a lot of trackpad issues but I'm not sure that they are all the same issues or directly related to each other. It appears to me that the problems are probably a mixture of hardware and software/driver issues.
HKColorado, my advise is to have them change the computer. I have never got rid of the problem, and it seems to be activated when 1) you use the trackpad a lot 2) the room temperature is higher. I've tried with Synaptic Drivers, different versions of the Dell drivers, etc. The jump, if you look very carefully, can be two things: erratic movement (even when not touching the pad) but also that half of the pad will not accept INITIATING a movement. So when your finger "travels" from the side that doesn't work to the one that does, you will notice a jump in the cursor to the opposite direction and then back to normal. If you initiate the action on the side that works well, no problem on the entire surface. Now, this appears to be triggered randomly so no, Dell tests will not detect it. The problem is that Dell must either to a stress test of the touchpad, or replace the part. It's not fair to not warranty a faulty equipment because they are lazy at testing. We are complaining about this issue because the trackpad is a critical component of the user interface, and it must always work well, and never erratically rendering the computer useless.
For me the issue is very easy to replicate. If I don't make any contact with the palmrest (don't rest my hands on it or touch it at all) then the mousepad works just fine. However, if I put just the slightest bit of pressure (one finger) on the palmrest just left of the mousepad (just left of where the little symbol is printed on the mousepad) then the the mousepad becomes completely and absolutely unresponsive. Contacting the palmrest in other areas (as you normally would when resting your palms on the palmrest) can produce this condition or variants of it seemingly randomly. In reality, they are not random but instead are a function of the amount and nature of flex being introduced into the palmrest. The root problem is an engineering defect in the keyboard to palmrest connection (which is just under the thin plastic strip above the mousepad). There is no fix as far as I know. I am on my third palmrest/mousepad and second keyboard. I am going to try the "replace the entire computer" option soon, but I seriously doubt that it will fix the problem (but I suppose it's possible). I just don't see how they could reengineer that connection so that it was isolated from palmrest pressure. Personally I am waiting for them to introduce the successor to the M6500 and I intend to demand that as a replacement unless they can fix the problem on the M6500.
We do have two of these M6500's within our organization and only one of them has trackpad problems. The user on the other one reports that he uses the trackpad exclusively (no mouse) but has none of the issues we are having on the first one.
I had the same problem, and your description of touching the pad on the left hand side had the same affect, but it also have the same affect touching other spots on the touch pad. I experimented some more and found that when the cursor start jumping, it works normally again when I put some pressure on the bar between the touchpad and the buttons. When I release the pressure, it start to jump again.
Same Problem. Both sides of touchpad. Been dealing with it for more than a year (actually just gave up using it and always have to plug in mouse). I'm in a situation now where I need the Touchpad again. Trying Synaptic driver out of desperation.