Brand new Dell Vostro with a wonky touchpad

Perc

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Google doesn't have any answers, which is weird. Anyway, my brand new work-issued Dell Vostro 15 has a solid state touchpad, much like Macbooks have had for a couple of years. When I got it and turned it on it wouldn't register any clicks at all, neither force-press nor tap. Moving the pointer worked fine, though. I guess I should mention that the computer had been turned on and set up already, with some software preinstalled etc.

So I sent a message to our "computer guy" and went for lunch. When I came back it had repaired itself. For the remainder of the day it kept mis-registering clicks and sometimes sticking in the "button down" state.

Uninstalling and reinstalling the mousepad driver would be the obvious thing to do, but I can't find it in the list of apps and I haven't had to troubleshoot a PC laptop in a decade and I'm already fed up with this. Macs don't do this like this. They just don't. Especially not brand new ones. But I digress.

The reason I don't give it back to the IT guy is that he's 50 kilometers away and I already set up all my stuff so I kinda want to keep this laptop if I can fix it myself. It's easier for everyone involved that way. It was delivered with Windows 10. I'm currently staring at the Windows 11 installer, imagining that that might fix whatever bit has been flipped in the wrong direction. Yes, he gave me permission to put Windows 11 on it "if your software works", and yes it does, my old work desktop runs 11 and all our apps run fine.

The fact that it doesn't register tap clicks leads me to believe it's a software or windows issue, so here's hoping Windows 11 fixes this. Anyone have other ideas?
 

Matt2000

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Businesses shouldn't be buying Dell Vostros is my first response, they're home-grade machines. Is the pad completely solid state or does it rock for the mouse clicks? The Latitude 5420s we are buying now have a pad that rocks to press the mouse 'buttons', we got a bulk load of 50 in to cover the move to hybrid working and a few had sticking touch pads. They're barely above home grade, the 7420s we get for people who need more grunt have been fine.

If they imaged the machine the way we do, with drivers injected along with the image then there won't be a separate application for the mouse settings. If this were the business I work for you'd have the laptop replaced with a paper notepad and pen if you tried to reinstall the OS. :p
 

Perc

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Windows 11 seems to have fixed the issues, tbh. Typing on it now, works fine. But yeah this machine is not on the same planet as the MacBook Air I'm used to. Wobbly plastic crap makes me feel sorry for people using these machines daily.

To be honest, it's going to be on my desk plugged into a docking station most of its time anyway, powering external peripherals. I'm not a road warrior. I just might need to bring my computer with me to the other side of the building occasionally, and home if or when I get the rona.
 

Matt2000

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Sounds like a similar idea with the 5420s, going for a Vostro makes drivers so much more difficult compared to all of the driver packs Dell offer for Latitude so it's not surprising something got screwed up.

I barely use my work Latitude 7400 but it's here when I need it. Definitely a lot better made than low-rung laptops.
 

Perc

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I didn’t even wipe the OS, I just put 11 on through windows update. It all works fine now. As fine as a PC can, anyway. 😅
 

jack_christie

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Uninstalling and reinstalling the mousepad driver would be the obvious thing to do, but I can't find it in the list of apps and I haven't had to troubleshoot a PC laptop in a decade and I'm already fed up with this. Macs don't do this like this. They just don't. Especially not brand new ones. But I digress.

If you still have problems, maybe look in:
Device Manager
Mouse and other pointing devices
you could delete it, reboot,
if you have the latest drivers downloaded from the laptop's Dell Support page.

Maybe worth a look in:
Event Viewer
Windows Logs
System
 

Perc

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I like our "IT guy" already. It's a small computer shop from the boonies, I've never heard of before. They gave me the go-ahead to open the computer myself and remove the RAM upgrade I specified for myself, because the machine is going back to Dell and they didn't want the memory module to get lost.

Doing this also confirmed that the problem isn't in Windows, because I couldn't click the button in the BIOS when it asked me to confirm the RAM change.
 

Matt2000

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Probably the same shitty touch pad then, if it was a Latitude with a proper warranty an engineer could've come to you to replace it.

It's nice to have someone you can trust to open a computer and do basic things without destroying it, which we sadly don't have any more outside our IT team. I'd expect most people in the business to fry themselves immediately. We had a PC power supply fail once (big capacitor blew) and rather than shut the power off they blasted it with a fire extinguisher and set off the fire alarm (evacuating the building) without telling us. I think it was still plugged in we got to it.
 
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jack_christie

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Lucky its not all glued together
 
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