XP stupidity award

Today I got a complaint from my gf, “Since you installed XFree86 on FreeBSD, my Touchpad doesn’t work anymore in XP”. Hm…Well I was quite sure that this wasn’t the real cause, so installed half a dozen different drivers. Downgraded the last Windows Hotfixes, digged through the registry. But nothing happend, in FreeBSD the Touchpad works fine, in Windows XP it stops working a few seconds after login. Well, after a few hours digging through Google, the Acer and the Synaptics homepage, while the Laptop was performing it’s 100. restart, I suddenly saw the magic key. Fn + F7. A green message appeared: “Touchpad activated”. And everything worked. I must have pressed this key in FreeBSD, where no green Message appears on the screen (Fn + F6 and Fn + F5 are controlling the LCD screen) and nothing happens, because FreeBSD doesn’t use the proprietary Synaptics driver. To my defense I can say that the Touchpad control program doesn’t tell me if the touchpad is activated or not. But i am still angry about wasting half of the Saturday with Windows XP.

18 thoughts on “XP stupidity award”

  1. Thanks for this info. I am not sure how the touchpad got turned off but it was driving me crazy not being able to figure it out. Thanks for the tip.

  2. It actually persists – if you don’t twig to the Fn-F7 thing – if you use the recovery CD to “restore” the system. So, a big thanks for documenting this.

  3. You rule.
    I was about to throw my laptop out of the window after working on this problem for 5 hours.
    It’s pretty dumb that the software doesn’t tell you it’s locked/active.

  4. Argh! I have just been up half the night, taking my Acer 2702 to pieces, thinking that a cable had come loose that had made the mousepad stop working! Finally I find this page and realise that its all because of me pressing fn-F7. At least your page has saved me trying to send the laptop back as faulty…
    Thank you!

  5. Thanks! How nice!
    This is the first time in my life that I was able to find the beautiful and easy solution for a terrible problem dirctly by googling and BEFORE “wasting half of the Saturday with Windows XP” (which would have happened otherwise) :o)

  6. No, because I don’t like this feature.
    Did you try enabling the Synaptics extensions?

  7. i just installed freebsd, can you please tell me which synaptics extension did you use? i’m using freebsd version 5.4.. and the touchpad works fine, but the scrolling on the touchpad doesn’t work for some reason.. thanks alot 😀

  8. Well there is a tunable called hw.psm.synaptics_support which fixed a broken Synaptics touchpad for me, but i don’t know if it supports scrolling.
    Maybe ask on the freebsd-mobile Mailinglist or philip@ who did the code.

  9. Finally… I’ve been troubled by this for some hours now! I’ve reinstalled an Acer laptop, and touchpad worked until I was logged in. Have tried reinstalled drivers, uninstalling, and searched the web for another hour or two. And now I finally found arved solution. And now it works. Thanks a lot!!

  10. That got me too. But the touchpad got disabled by the USB mouse install. I never pressed anything, anyway thats my story and I’m stciking to it! By the way I got an acer laptop too. 🙂 Ferrari 3200 its awesome! Thanks for helping me sort this out.

  11. Wow! this dates bake to 2004, nice. Well I was lucky to have a USB mouse while this problemo came up. Many thank to the bright guy who found this out. I’m using an ACER TravelMate 4202WLMI , and just updated back and forth with the synaptics driver for the past 6 months.. Yee Haw..
    Happy holidays.

  12. Thank goodness I found this page before I went through the whole “how do I make a claim on the extended warranty” shannaagins and/or took my laptop to pieces. Cheers!

  13. Another thank you, it was Fn + F5 on my laptop, but could not find this documented anywhere. Systematically trying all of the Fn combinations helped after having tried reinstalling, falling back and everything.
    Agree with everyone that the state should be indicated somewhere.

  14. I did the whole uninstall/reinstall thing on my Acer Aspire 1670 including pulling the machine apart to look for broken connections. Looking at other posts Acers seem prone to this problem!

  15. I reinstalled twice and then I figured it must be a hardware problem. Almost a shame that it wasn’t… I was already shopping around for a new laptop, just when I saw your page.

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