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touchpad freezes after printing


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#1 ko46

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Posted 16 September 2009 - 03:29 PM

"Hardware" may not be the best forum for this - please advise if another forum is more appropriate. I have spent hours and hours over months searching the web for a solution but nothing - any advice very welcomed.
I have a vanilla flavour Gateway laptop running XP. It works fine until I print more than a small amount of information on the attached HP all-in-one printer. After a single busy page has printed, or after a couple of simple text pages, the touchpad mouse pointer virtually freezes. The pointer will move a few mm but then bounce back to almost where it started. The touchpad tray icon shows that it is in use even though I'm not touching it. I have waited to see if the problem will cure itself, but no. I have used alt-ctrl-del during this freeze to see CPU utilisation on Windows Task Manager but there is nothing obvious. I can toggle between windows using alt-tab, and work normally except that I cannot use the touchpad - quite inconvenient! The only solution is to close and restart.

I have experimented by sending pages to the printer whilst it is turned off. All is fine until I turn the printer on - and after a page or two has printed - bingo!

I have no idea what connection there could be between the printer and touchpad.

Any ideas greatly appreciated!!! Many thanks.

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#2 hamluis

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Posted 16 September 2009 - 03:42 PM

I would remove the touchpad drivers...and then reinstall same...they are probably damaged and not functioning properly because of this.

Louis

#3 ko46

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Posted 17 September 2009 - 06:50 AM

Thanks hamluis. Actually I already tried this. When I discovered that the installed driver was dated 2004 I got excited... but when I went to gateway.com and found the computer model etc etc the required driver was still dated 2004. Nonetheless, with much trepidation (never having played with drivers before) I managed to install the "new" one... but the problem remains.

The only query I have is that in your reply you mention "driverS" in the plural. Is there more than one?

Thanks again.

#4 hamluis

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Posted 17 September 2009 - 12:38 PM

OK.

Did you actually remove the old drivers...before attempting to install a new set? A damaged driver which is installed might keep an undamaged driver from properly installing, IMO...which is why I uninstall the old, even if I'm replacing it with the exact same package.

Even though we often refer to a device "driver", there is often a set of files which make up the "driver" for any device...it's seldom just one file, IME.

Take a look at the package that installs as a video "driver" sometime :thumbsup:.

Louis

#5 ko46

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Posted 18 September 2009 - 07:58 AM

Louis (thanks for your name),

Thanks for the suggestion. You may have gathered that I'm not into what's under the covers. OK. I downloaded again the "new" driver, saving it to desktop as suggested in the download instructions. Via control panel I located driver details and pressed "uninstall". A few moments later Windows gave a message that the hardware had changed and therefore a restart was necessary. I clicked the "restart now". I was wondering what would happen upon restart - I was guessing that I'd have no mouse and was hoping that I would be able to install the new driver using the keyboard. Well, I needn't have worried because after restart Windows told me "Windows has finished installing your new hardware". Now - how did it do that? I was expecting to have to double-click on the downloaded driver file.

Anyway I experimented with a print job. Once again after a couple of pages - mouse pointer freezes. But after say 20 seconds it seemed to start working normally (the 8 page printing job was still churning through). Well, 2 cheers I thought, I can live with a 20-second outage. But a little while after the print job completed (maybe a minute or so) the mouse pointer started to behave erratically - not frozen, but upon removing my finger from the touchpad the pointer bounces large distances from my selected point. As I write it's still got a mind of its own... another restart coming up.

But - using the control panel I clicked "driver file details" and then drilled down from "my computer" to find them. I note that all the files have a "date created" of 2007 (and interestingly a "date modified" of 2004(??!!). Should I delete all the files that are shown in "driver file details"? And then double-click the downloaded "new" driver?

Thank you so much for your support,

Keith.

#6 hamluis

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Posted 18 September 2009 - 10:49 AM

No problem.

The typical way to uninstall drivers for hardware (your touchpad is a hardware item...may be seen in Device Manager as mouse)...is via Device Manager.

Device Manager Basics - http://www.cybertechhelp.com/tutorial/arti...-manager-basics

Go Start/Run...type devmgmt.msc and hit Enter. That should get you into Device Manager which reflects hardware components of the system.

Scroll down to mouse, click the plus sign to the left, that shows the detail item.

Double-click the particular item and that should reveal a number of tabs. Select the tab marked Driver, click Uninstall button on that tab.

Reboot the system and see what happens.

Windows can install drivers automatically...if it already has them in storage. Installing XP includes a folder for various drivers and these can be used to install hardware.

The drivers cache in XP may not necessarily have all drivers, particularly (IMO) for newer systems...hence the need (for some) to install drivers from either a CD or downloaded drivers which have been saved on the hard drive.

Louis

#7 ko46

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Posted 19 September 2009 - 12:53 PM

Thanks again Louis, but no joy I'm afraid. I uninstalled in the way you suggested. To be honest when I got to the "uninstall" window it seemed to be just the same as the one I'd used yesterday using "Control Panel". Anyhow I clicked "Uninstall" and was then prompted to restart. I did. As before, on the restart, Windows informed me that new hardware had been found and I should restart (again, of course). So I did. I then tried a 3-page print job, and about half-way through printing the 2nd page the mouse pointer went haywire (as normal!).

That was 5 minutes ago and the pointer is still misbehaving and the touchpad icon shows that the touchpad is being pressed, but of course it isn't.

Can you think of any connection between printer and computer that could interfere with a seemingly unrelated peripheral?? It's clear that the printer routinely communicates with the computer because if the printer ink runs low for example then a message pops up on the laptop. And of course the printer must tell the computer that a print job is finished, for example. And as I say it seems to be something to do with the amount of data being printed - the mouse pointer goes wrong if I print just one busy page (like a photo).

Almost every day I try searching the web from a different angle about this. Yesterday I stumbled across "biderectional communication(?)" for HP printers. I looked at the way my printer is set up and this option is ticked. I thought about unticking it but from what I read that didn't seem to be a good idea, so I didn't.

One thing I haven't said is that I think this problem existed from the day I got this laptop and connected the HP all-in-one printer. The Gateway laptop is a refurbished one that I bought 2 years ago. I live between two homes with a computer in each and it's quite probable that I didn't use this computer very much before leaving for my other home. Normally I don't print much, so I'm guessing that the problem was there from day one.

(It's now 20 minutes since the pointer went berserk, and it's still bad.)

I also experimented with printing one page and waiting for that to finish before printing another - but the problem still happens. In an earlier reply I mentioned that after a freeze the pointer seemed to recover after 20 seconds - well, I think that was a false dawn - the exact symptoms of the badly-behaved pointer are not quite the same each time - sometimes it virtually stays still, other times it will move but bounce back upon releasing the touch pad.

I suppose I could ask a friend if I could connect my laptop to his printer, but of course I will have to install his printer's software so it will be a totally different set up, but at least the experiment would yield some info either way.

Unless you can suggest another line of enquiry?

Thanks again,

Keith.

#8 ko46

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Posted 20 September 2009 - 03:56 AM

An amazing thing has happened. I was using the HP all-in-one printer to simply copy two pages. I had not used the printer before since booting up. After copying the second page the mouse pointer froze! So - the printer is interfering with the touchpad pointer even when being used as a copier!!!

#9 ko46

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Posted 20 September 2009 - 08:00 AM

Sorry to add to this in a piece-meal fashion, but I just experimented with copying as follows. I removed the printer's USB connection from the laptop. I copied two pages on the printer. The touchpad pointer was fine (I'd have been amazed if somehow the printer had communicated to the laptop by ESP!). But - as soon as I reconnected the USB cable the touchpad pointer went wrong.

I followed up with another experiment. I disconnected the printer from the laptop, and did a clean boot on the laptop. I copied two pages on the printer. I then turned the printer off and then connected it to the laptop. (I was wondering what would happen when I turned the printer on.) To my astonishment as soon as I connected the TURNED-OFF printer to the laptop the touchpad pointer froze again!!!

HOWEVER… after a few minutes the pointer was OK!! I then turned the printer on and all remained fine!!???

How can making a USB connection from a turned-off device do anything??? I just don't have the technical knowledge to begin to guess.

Still, the accidental discovery that copying triggers the problem as well as printing adds some info to the pot I suppose.

Any ideas??

Thanks,

Keith.

#10 hamluis

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Posted 20 September 2009 - 09:06 AM

Probably damaged drivers...would be my guess.

The drivers are still in the system, whether the hardware is on/off. Once installed, the drivers interact with the rest of the system.

I suppose that the all-in-one drivers could be causing problems with other drivers...I've never experienced such, but it seems possible.

Louis

#11 ko46

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Posted 26 September 2009 - 08:34 AM

Well, I have abandoned all hope of fixing this!! I took the laptop and printer to a computer SOS shop. They replaced the hard drive and did a clean installation of XP etc etc. They connected another HP printer and all was fine. They connected mine - and the problem occurred. They conclude that there must be something wrong with the printer. Well, printers are so inexpensive that I'm going to ditch this one and get a new one. The SOS place has a "no fix no fee" policy, but at least they'll get a sale of a printer.

Case closed (kind of).

Thanks to Louis for being a shoulder to cry on.

#12 hamluis

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Posted 26 September 2009 - 09:59 AM

Glad you resolved it, thanks for the feedback.

Happy ocmputing :thumbsup:.

Louis




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