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Driver that works under Win10 for Inspiron 17XX series touchpad?


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#1 britechguy

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Posted 05 November 2015 - 01:19 PM

I have been trying, and trying, and trying to find a device driver that will make the Dell/Alps Electric touch pad on my Inspiron 1720 laptop actually function, correctly and consistently, with Win10 for weeks now and have tried many, but have had absolutely no luck.

 

Device manager shows the device "working normally" but I routinely have issues with no reaction from clicking the start button or anything on the quick-launch bar or system tray, or, conversely, these are the only things that respond while any additional clicks once they're displaying their respective menus/icon groupings/etc. do not respond.   It's very common also for double click on desktop icons to stop functioning and a single click directly on the icon giving a context menu with "open" as an option.  I'm also having issues with the inability to click on the minimize/maximize/close buttons in a given window once the window is open.

 

This is driving me mad, and if I can't solve it soon I think I'll be making this particular laptop into a Linux machine just because I'd like to have it function on some level.  

 

Prior to going to Windows 10 it had been loaded with Vista from the factory and was part of the Windows Insider preview program, eventually having Win10 Pro 32-bit installed at the end of the insider previews.  Behavior was never perfect, but it was more consistent earlier on than it is now.   I have already done a Reset installation of Win10, which didn't fix the issue, and tried several candidate device drivers since that reset.

 

Any assistance, or even confirmation that this quest is doomed, would be appreciated.

 


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#2 Aura

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Posted 05 November 2015 - 01:34 PM

There's only three official way to obtain drivers: via the computer/laptop manufacturer, via the hardware manufacturer, via Windows Updates (delivered by Microsoft). This being said, if you cannot find a driver for your version of Windows using these three resources, it means that officially, the hardware component (or laptop/computer) isn't Windows X ready. Any other drivers that exists are unofficial, could be malicious, buggy or simply work for a few users with special setups.

If you validated with these three sources that no drivers are available for Windows 10 32-bit, then this quest is "doomed" like you said. If you want, I give it a look but I need to model number of your laptop.

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#3 britechguy

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Posted 05 November 2015 - 02:29 PM

Aura,

 

        It's an Inspiron 1720 (as noted in the initial post).  If you need something more I can look on the tag on the bottom of the machine, but at Dell's website knowing Inspiron 1720 gets you to what they have for prior Windows releases.  I've been looking only at "official" Dell and other OEM stuff.

 

        Quite a bit of older equipment doesn't have any "official" driver for Win10 but the official driver for some earlier version of Windows will work.  I've exhausted what I know of from the earlier versions, but the "what I know of" is the pivotal part.  I fail to believe that there isn't a device driver for something as fundamental as a laptop touch pad, even old ones, that cannot be found to work with Win10.  The Alps Electric touch pad (which Dell used on this series) is common as dirt, and that's why I'm so frustrated at my lack of success.


Brian  AKA  Bri the Tech Guy (website in my user profile) - Windows 10 Home, 64-Bit, Version 1803, Build 17134 

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#4 Aura

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Posted 05 November 2015 - 02:42 PM

Forget the official Windows 10 support for your laptop, there's clearly none seeing that the most up to date drivers are for Vista 32-bit. This being said, it's true that Windows Vista, 7, 8 and 8.1 drivers can work with each others, but this doesn't provide 100% compabitility and even though they can be installed sometimes, it doesn't mean that the whole functionnality of the driver is there.

I fail to believe that there isn't a device driver for something as fundamental as a laptop touch pad, even old ones, that cannot be found to work with Win10.


Your laptop is from the Windows Vista era and we are in 2015, I don't have difficulty to believe that to be honest. No matter how fundamental something is, when it comes to the technology domain, you cannot just keep going on supporting everything forever.

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#5 britechguy

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Posted 05 November 2015 - 03:28 PM

Forget the official Windows 10 support for your laptop, there's clearly none seeing that the most up to date drivers are for Vista 32-bit. This being said, it's true that Windows Vista, 7, 8 and 8.1 drivers can work with each others, but this doesn't provide 100% compabitility and even though they can be installed sometimes, it doesn't mean that the whole functionnality of the driver is there.
 

I fail to believe that there isn't a device driver for something as fundamental as a laptop touch pad, even old ones, that cannot be found to work with Win10.


Your laptop is from the Windows Vista era and we are in 2015, I don't have difficulty to believe that to be honest. No matter how fundamental something is, when it comes to the technology domain, you cannot just keep going on supporting everything forever.

 

 

Believe me, I agree with you on the "you can't support something forever" front.  That being said, this hardware was issued with WinVista in its early iterations and Win7 in later ones.

 

This particular laptop is what has me complaining that MS isn't doing it's own "due diligence" before allowing the Win10 upgrade (or install) process to actually go forward.  Given the nature of this rollout they really should have compiled a database of what hardware was "officially certified" for upgrade by the various manufacturers and/or done probing of the hardware itself and then notifying the user that an upgrade cannot be guaranteed to work on a given machine.  If the user then proceeds then they have only themselves to blame.  That's not happening, and it is really unrealistic to believe that a huge number of users even know how to perform upgrade compatibility checks (and a lot of those happen to be clients of mine).

 

I have only myself to blame because I used this machine during the Windows Insider program and the warnings were there, but I also thought that certainly there would be no compatibility issues with virtually any "fundamental hardware" even if a generic driver was required by the time "ready for primetime" occurred.


Brian  AKA  Bri the Tech Guy (website in my user profile) - Windows 10 Home, 64-Bit, Version 1803, Build 17134 

      Memory is a crazy woman that hoards rags and throws away food.

                    ~ Austin O'Malley

 

 

 

              

 


#6 Aura

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Posted 05 November 2015 - 03:39 PM

That being said, this hardware was issued with WinVista in its early iterations and Win7 in later ones.


"This hardware", yes, that brand of touchpad, maybe not the same version and/or model, obviously.

I have only myself to blame because I used this machine during the Windows Insider program and the warnings were there, but I also thought that certainly there would be no compatibility issues with virtually any "fundamental hardware" even if a generic driver was required by the time "ready for primetime" occurred.


The warnings exists when the Windows 10 Compatibility Advisor encounter hardware components that aren't supposed under Windows 10. This is if you use the "Check your PC" feature of the "Get Windows 10" app. I think there's also a built-in check during the upgrade process, but it's not as thorough. I agree that a touchpad is a "fundamental" hardware components, at the same title as the CPU, RAM, hard drive, etc. but is the current model and version you have "fundamental"? I don't think so.

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#7 britechguy

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Posted 05 November 2015 - 04:42 PM

Aura,

 

       Any touchpad on any laptop by a major maker from at least 2005 forward is, to my mind, fundamental.  The Alps Electric/Dell touchpad was used for many, many years.

 

       Believe it or not, this isn't a "poor, poor pitiful me" rant.  I just think it's ridiculous that *any* touchpad could be as incompatible with Windows 10 as this one seems to be.  You'd think that a generic HID driver would work with virtually anything, but even that hasn't worked on this particular machine.  The behavior with a plug-in USB mouse is almost precisely the same, but a little bit better, and that's using Microsoft's own driver.

 

       Given that virtually all of the application software I have, some of which dates back to XP, at least, is running swimmingly under Windows 10 I'd think that device drivers would be more likely, not less, to do so.   Alas, looking at these forums and elsewhere, that's not the case.


Brian  AKA  Bri the Tech Guy (website in my user profile) - Windows 10 Home, 64-Bit, Version 1803, Build 17134 

      Memory is a crazy woman that hoards rags and throws away food.

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#8 leithanne

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Posted 05 November 2015 - 05:30 PM

I found a driver for my Vista-era Inspiron 1545 Alps touchpad here. Yep. It's unofficial, but I figured I didn't have anything to lose. Without  touchpad, I didn't see much future for Win 10 and the laptop.

 

Have you considered running a live Linux distro to make sure it's not a hardware issue?



#9 Aura

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Posted 05 November 2015 - 05:39 PM

Any touchpad on any laptop by a major maker from at least 2005 forward is, to my mind, fundamental. The Alps Electric/Dell touchpad was used for many, many years.


Once again, this touchpad brand was used for many, many years. But was the model you have used for many, many years? There's a difference between a "component" (brand) and the version/model of that same component. This being said, it seems like Alps Electric stopped making touchpads for more recent version of Windows, so why should Microsoft continue supporting them? Vista was released 8 years ago, it's almost a decade. Personally I understand Microsoft to not have drivers for touchpads that old. The average lifespan of a laptop is 5 years and I guess Microsoft used that range to determinate the hardware it'll support and which one it'll not. Also, it's not only Microsoft's job to make sure components are compatible on his OS, but the manufacturer's as well. It's the manufacturer that writes the drivers for the hardware component, if Microsoft had to release a new version of Windows without doing major changes to the "core" of the OS so older drivers would stay compatible, it would never progress at a reasonable rate and we would stay behind performance and possibility wise.

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#10 britechguy

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Posted 05 November 2015 - 05:57 PM

Aura,

 

       Microsoft makes very few device drivers, per se, but should be able to compile one of the most extensive catalogs of existing drivers for all kinds of hardware on the planet.  I just had a device driver update for the laptop I'm typing on installed today, by Windows Update, and it is not written by Microsoft:

 

[attachment=172555:Synaptics_Driver.jpg]

 

        I actually expect that OS providers will maintain extensive databases of correct device drivers for specific hardware in this day and age for long, long after that hardware is current.  There's no real "work" required to do so, and a device driver is so low level that most will typically span multiple releases of a given OS.

 

        There's a difference between expecting ongoing active support and accurate archival information for automatic retrieval when that is an actual feature of the OS in question.   We've all been taught to expect "plug n' play" for many decades now.  This laptop was made in 2007, is less than 10 years old, and while that's old there are still lots of them in existence and running.

 

         Clearly, we have a distinct difference of opinion and very different expectations.  That's OK and with this post on this subject I'm signing off for the time being.

 

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

 

Leithanne,

 

           I've already burned an ISO of Linux Mint and intend to do precisely what you suggest.  Since this laptop was functioning perfectly in pretty much every way up until the moment I did the Win10 Preview installation, and the issues began almost immediately, I feel that a hardware issue is not likely at the root of it.

 

 


Brian  AKA  Bri the Tech Guy (website in my user profile) - Windows 10 Home, 64-Bit, Version 1803, Build 17134 

      Memory is a crazy woman that hoards rags and throws away food.

                    ~ Austin O'Malley

 

 

 

              

 


#11 britechguy

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Posted 05 November 2015 - 06:43 PM

Leithanne,

 

          Tried Linux Mint and the mouse pad works there (except for a wonky right-click, which has been that way for a while and when I need a context menu I use Shift+F10).

 

          I'm looking at several additional ALPS drivers available through Dell based on your lead.  I'll see if one of those might work.


Brian  AKA  Bri the Tech Guy (website in my user profile) - Windows 10 Home, 64-Bit, Version 1803, Build 17134 

      Memory is a crazy woman that hoards rags and throws away food.

                    ~ Austin O'Malley

 

 

 

              

 


#12 leithanne

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Posted 05 November 2015 - 07:26 PM

Good luck. And don't forget to read the comments. Folks check back in and report what worked for their particular machine. That narrowed my choices down to 4.



#13 Aura

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Posted 05 November 2015 - 09:27 PM

Microsoft makes very few device drivers, per se, but should be able to compile one of the most extensive catalogs of existing drivers for all kinds of hardware on the planet. I just had a device driver update for the laptop I'm typing on installed today, by Windows Update, and it is not written by Microsoft:


Please tell me why it should be Microsoft's job to do that? Don't you think they do it already? Did you ever try to install a driver manually by selecting it from the list of available drivers from Microsoft? These lists are already huge, and they get even bigger if you let Windows look for more using Windows Update prior to that. So I think that Microsoft is already doing that, but it doesn't means that it have to keep in a catalog every single drivers published in the last 10 years for their OS, even less if the OS is new.

I actually expect that OS providers will maintain extensive databases of correct device drivers for specific hardware in this day and age for long, long after that hardware is current. There's no real "work" required to do so, and a device driver is so low level that most will typically span multiple releases of a given OS.


How do you know about that? Did you ever worked for Microsoft and were assigned to do that kind of job? These are just assumptions. A lot of things sounds easy on paper, but can be really complicated once you face them for real. Yes, that is if the manufacturer of that device is providing drivers for it, not Microsoft. Microsoft's job isn't to provide drivers, it's to provide a platform where hardware manufacturer can write drivers so their hardware can be used on the OS. An Operating System by definition is a system software that manages hardware and software resources, therefore you could see it as a "middleware". It isn't the middleware's job to provide drivers for every single piece of devices there is, but the device manufacturer. Ever heard of a device manufacturer going to Microsoft and saying "Alright so we designed X component for computers and we would like it to work under Windows, but we won't write the drivers for it, you will"? I don't think so.

There's a difference between expecting ongoing active support and accurate archival information for automatic retrieval when that is an actual feature of the OS in question. We've all been taught to expect "plug n' play" for many decades now. This laptop was made in 2007, is less than 10 years old, and while that's old there are still lots of them in existence and running.


This laptop was made for Windows Vista (hell, maybe it even came with Windows XP) and you expect Microsoft to provide hardware support for a laptop after 3 generations of Windows were released? Why? Also, did you notice that the oldest version of Windows elligible for the free Windows 10 upgrade is Windows 7? Therefore, why should Microsoft provide driver support for Windows Vista drivers, when they aren't even elligible for the free upgrade? Or when both the manufacturer and hardware manufacturer don't have drivers for it past Windows Vista? It just doesn't make sense.

I know this might be hard to understand if you don't have a programming background but think about this: what if Microsoft changed the way they implement drivers in the later version of Windows, because the way they implemented it in Windows XP or Vista wasn't good? Wasn't secure? Or had flaws that could cause bugs and issues? Ever thought about that. It's like methods in a language that gets deprecated. They get replaced by new ones because the old ones cannot be used anymore since a better way was found or the old method had a flaw. Ever thought about that?

Honestly, if Microsoft was following what you suggest, the Windows OS would keep on supporting old drivers implementation that could be easily abused today and exploited, because you know that the older something gets in the computing world, the more at risk it is to be exploited. You are a tech support (I think) like me, so I'm sure you understand that.

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#14 britechguy

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Posted 05 November 2015 - 09:32 PM

Aura,

 

       The only thing I will add here is that I have a bachelor's degree in computer science and had a career as a programmer, programmer-analyst, and DBA before going on to a career in health care, then circling back to technology again, but a different way.

 

       I am more than aware of the logistics involved in what I propose.

 

       We shall simply have to agree to disagree on this issue, as we're talking past each other and simply see the same logistical issues from very different perspectives.


Brian  AKA  Bri the Tech Guy (website in my user profile) - Windows 10 Home, 64-Bit, Version 1803, Build 17134 

      Memory is a crazy woman that hoards rags and throws away food.

                    ~ Austin O'Malley

 

 

 

              

 


#15 Aura

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Posted 05 November 2015 - 09:42 PM

We shall simply have to agree to disagree on this issue, as we're talking past each other and simply see the same logistical issues from very different perspectives.


I agree with that proposition. Let's drop the debate here and let this thread die as it'll lead no where.

Good talk :)

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