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Gooner25
1 Nickel

Why can't Windows 2016 see the touchpad on my Laititude 5580

Windows 10 on my new Latitude 5580 can see and use the touchpad quite happily. But when I boot using Windows 2016 Server the touchpad doesn't appear in Device Manager at all, let alone function!

I've installed the latest Windows 10 drivers but that made no difference.

Why would this be the case?

Thanks in advance.

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5 Replies
jphughan
5 Rhenium

Re: Why can't Windows 2016 see the touchpad on my Laititude

Did you install the Intel Chipset and Serial IO/I2C drivers first? The touchpad connects over Serial IO, so you need that first. I suppose another possibility is that Server 2016 doesn’t have some feature/service necessary for touchpads installed/enabled by default, sort of like it doesn’t have WiFi or Windows Audio support by default. However, whatever you’re doing in Server 2016 on a Latitude system would almost certainly be better suited to doing in a VM.

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Gooner25
1 Nickel

Re: Why can't Windows 2016 see the touchpad on my Laititude

Thanks, and no. I was trying it straight out of the box having used the Dell tool to detect and upgrade to latest drivers.

As for Server 2016, I haven't used a desktop OS on my laptops for maybe 10 years and was just trying to stick with that approach (to say nothing of it keeping me out of the hands of Corporate IT!).

I've just found this MSDN article that might provide a clue, it certainly makes similar suggestions. I've checked the BIOS and there's no option to enable or disable the touchpad.

One question. If I install the suggested drivers is there any way I can back them out if necessary?

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jphughan
5 Rhenium

Re: Why can't Windows 2016 see the touchpad on my Laititude

Backing out driver installations is exactly as easy (or hard) as it would be on Windows 10.  If you have to add features using Windows Server Manager, those can be uninstalled if desired.  But having worked in IT myself for 15 years and seen some colleagues do what you're doing, I would strongly recommend against it.  First, there is absolutely nothing inherent about server OSes that would make them less "accessible" to your IT department.  A client OS that isn't joined to the corporate AD domain is just as inaccessible as a server OS set up the same way, and if both of them ARE domain-joined, then both can be managed by IT equally easily.  But more importantly, server OSes are tuned differently in a variety of ways to optimize them for server use cases, and often those optimizations make them perform worse when they're actually used as a client system.  This is particularly true with respect to CPU and memory allocation strategies, where Windows Server prioritizes background services rather than the applications you're actually running in the foreground.  The reason is that actual servers rarely have user logons, so the assumption with Server is that whatever the system is running in the background is its core purpose, and therefore whatever is being done in an unusual interactive user logon session should be de-prioritized.  It's even more significant if you run Hyper-V, where Windows Server allows VMs to deprive the host system of resources more aggressively because it assumes that you're running a Hyper-V host where VM performance is the priority over whatever the user is doing while logged onto the host, whereas Windows 10 Hyper-V optimizes more for the host OS because it assumes you're running primarily "lab" VMs alongside other important applications in the host and that the performance of the latter is more important to you than the former.  Optimizations after all frequently involve making trade-offs, and the server use case is different from the client use case in a huge number of ways, so if you have optimizations for Case A and your usage more closely resembles Case B, you shouldn't expect the Case A optimizations to be better.  Then there's the concern over licensing other applications, some of which might require you to purchase the more expensive "server" version of an application just to install it on a server OS -- to say nothing of the licensing costs of Windows itself when comparing Server to 10.  Just some food for thought.

I personally haven't found anything I need my laptop to do that is easier/better with Windows Server compared to Windows Pro/Enterprise for quite a while now.

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Gooner25
1 Nickel

Re: Why can't Windows 2016 see the touchpad on my Laititude

Thanks for the tutorial, very useful nuggets in there Smiley Happy

Our Corporate IT refuses to support "servers" outside of their immediate control, which suits me fine (I don't get hit with intrusive and inconvenient updates, horrible screensavers/wallpaper, etc.,etc. - it's not a case of hiding from them, just not joining their sphere of influence. I get all the benefits of corporate network access without many of the centrally-managed downsides.

That said I do see and hear that Windows 10 is much better than previous desktop OSs, especially in terms of Hyper-V, so I may end up going that way - but I'd prefer to do so through choice rather than frustration down to the lack of touchpad support ...

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jphughan
5 Rhenium

Re: Why can't Windows 2016 see the touchpad on my Laititude


@Gooner25 wrote:

Thanks for the tutorial, very useful nuggets in there Smiley Happy

Our Corporate IT refuses to support "servers" outside of their immediate control, which suits me fine (I don't get hit with intrusive and inconvenient updates, horrible screensavers/wallpaper, etc.,etc. - it's not a case of hiding from them, just not joining their sphere of influence. I get all the benefits of corporate network access without many of the centrally-managed downsides.

That said I do see and hear that Windows 10 is much better than previous desktop OSs, especially in terms of Hyper-V, so I may end up going that way - but I'd prefer to do so through choice rather than frustration down to the lack of touchpad support ...


I get that. And you may find that the touchpad works fine after you install the correct drivers beforehand, although I’m admittedly not speaking from direct experience there. Server 2016 does support touchscreens out of the box since it works when I RDP to a Server 2016 system from a laptop with a touchscreen, so I’d imagine you wouldn’t have to add any special Windows components to get a trackpad working.

In terms of your IT department and potentially switching to Windows 10, is your current Server 2016 system domain-joined and simply not getting hit with the things you described because your IT deliberately avoids managing server OSes, or is your current system not domain-joined at all? If it’s the former, you may be able to convince your IT to allow you to have a Windows 10 system on the domain but place its AD computer account into a special OU that would cause it to be treated as a server OS instead, avoiding the Group Policies that would normally apply to workstations in their environment. If it’s not domain-joined at all, then if you set up Windows 10 and avoided joining it to the domain, you’d still avoid all of those things you don’t like. They can’t manage systems that aren’t domain-joined, regardless of OS. Either way though, I’m actually really surprised that they’re willing to let you be on their network and access all of the normal company resources with a system that's either running an OS specifically for the purpose of skirting their normal management policies or running as a completely “rogue” system by not even being on the domain.

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