Yesterday afternoon, I discovered an option in the Control Panel Mouse settings that I hadn't seen before. I wondered if it might solve my touch pad problems.
Below is a section of my Control Panel screen which I can access by first accessing the "charms," then clicking on the SETTINGS "charm," then clicking on "Control Panel." The settings of immediate interest in the Control Panel are for the Mouse and the touch pad (ClickPad), circled in red below.
When I clock on the Mouse option, I get the window shown below (clicking on the image should give you a larger version):
It was a puzzle to me why a settings window showing "mouse properties" would show buttons that relate to the Synoptics ClickPad. However, I wasn't concerned with the mouse. I was concerned with the ClickPad. When I clicked on the "ClickPad Settings" tab at the top of the window, I got the window shown below:
The option of interest is in the above graphic where I can put a check mark before "Disable
internal pointing device when external pointing device is attached."
Clearly, that option solves one problem I'm having with my touch pad (ClickPad). It allows me to turn off the touch pad when I'm using the mouse. That's a minor problem because I might accidentally touch the touch pad while typing. When I do that, it can change the place where the cursor is located. Instead of continuing to type at the bottom of the page, I might accidentally suddenly start typing in the middle of a word in the middle of the page.
But my main problem is still that I am unable to use the touch pad when I do not also use the mouse. And that makes the touch pad virtually useless, since the only time I would generally want to use the touch pad is when I'm traveling or in some situation where using a mouse is inconvenient.
It appears that if I do not turn on the mouse before turning on my computer, the touch pad will not work. Go to part one of this topic (click HERE) for a history of the problem.
When I clicked on the box before the "Disable internal pointing device" option, it immediately disabled the touch pad. So, I know I can solve the minor problem I have with my touch pad.
But, when I detached the mouse, the touch pad did NOT turn on. Nor did the touch pad turn on when I closed my computer and restarted it again without the mouse attached. The only way to effectively use the computer was to connect the mouse again. Then I can use both the mouse and the touch pad.
The purpose of this blog entry is to describe the current situation.
I've demonstrated about ten times in a row that the touch pad will turn on if I turn on the mouse before turning on the computer. For the record, when I click on Device Manager in the Control Panel, then open the folder of "Mice and other pointing devices"and click "Synoptics PS/2 Port Touchpad" it always says the touch pad is "working properly":
Next, I'm going to see if the touch pad will turn on if I turn on the computer first and then test to see if the touch pad works while the mouse is still turned off. In the past, it did NOT work. But I didn't make sure to go through the same steps every time I tried it. I'll also try it with the mouse completely disconnected.
Instead of updating this text to reflect test results, I'll add the test results as comments below.
After several sessions, it was clear that the touch pad will NOT work if I do not turn on the mouse first. So, it's time to try some other switch change. My touch pad settings have been set as shown in the image below:
They were set that way because it appeared that the "two finger scroll" option was causing the problem. (On the Internet, there seem to be hundreds of people discussing problems with the "two finger scroll" feature.) So, that option and related options were turned off. I just turned them back on again. The settings as of Friday evening will be as shown in the image below:
I'll continue leaving the mouse off until I've turned on the computer and tested to see if the touch pad works. The only change will be the change in the switches as shown above.
Everything seems to be working okay now (Sunday, Feb. 22, 2015). The problem is: I'm not sure exactly what caused things to work. I learned that disconnecting devices while the laptop computer is "asleep" (i.e., the lid is closed) will have different results than disconnecting the same device while the laptop lid is open.
Examples: Switching monitors (i.e., switching from the 23-inch monitor in my office to my TV in my living room while my laptop is "asleep" will cause the colors on the TV to be totally wrong. I have to disconnect the TV and reconnect while the laptop is open to get the right colors.
Also, simply pulling out the mouse transmitter from the USB port will not always automatically turn on the touch pad. I may have to close the lid and reopen the lid to get the touch pad to work.
It seems that there are just too many options and too many ways of doing things to be certain that everything will work no matter when you turn something on or off.
But, as of this moment, my touch pad works and so does the "two finger scroll" option. The switch is set so it will ONLY work when the mouse is turned off. And that is fine with me.
End of story ------- for now.
CORRECTION: "End of story" for a few hours. When I tried use the touch pad in the afternoon, there didn't appear to be any way to make it work. Pulling out the transmitter tab for the mouse before closing the lid didn't do it. Pulling out the transmitter tab for the mouse after closing the lid didn't do it. Closing and opening the lid on the computer while the tab was removed didn't do it.
I went to the control panel switches for the touch pad, and none of them work -- probably because the touch pad is supposed to be off while the mouse is working.
So, I went to the control panel switches for the mouse and turned off the switch that says the touch pad should be off when the mouse is off. It changed nothing.
I turned that switch on again, pulled out the mouse transmitter tab, and nothing changed. The touch pad still doesn't work.
I tried turning off the computer using the power switch after disconnecting the mouse. It affected nothing. I couldn't get the touch pad to work.
At the moment (4 p.m. on Sunday, Feb. 22), I cannot think of any way to get the touch pad to work again.
I'm back where I started.
Or so I thought. But, on Monday morning, I pulled the mouse transmitter tab out of its USB socket and the touch pad was suddenly working again.
Now the question is: What did I do differently on Monday morning than on Sunday? Why is the touch pad working (including the "two finger scroll" functions) today, but not yesterday afternoon?
The only things I can think of are that there is either some set of events that have to happen in the right sequence, or that time is a factor, i.e., leaving the computer off overnight is somehow different from just shutting off the computer for a few minutes.