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Thinkpad T40 touchpad not working

This is a discussion on Thinkpad T40 touchpad not working within the Laptop Support forums, part of the Tech Support Forum category. Hi, my parents' thinkpad t40 (type 2373) was having a weird problem last week where the screen was randomly going


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Old 07-28-2008, 11:32 PM   #1
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Hi,

my parents' thinkpad t40 (type 2373) was having a weird problem last week where the screen was randomly going blank. I noticed that when i pushed on the bottom edge the screen came back. having some experience doing laptop repair, i knew that the connector for the monitor was in that area and i figured that the connector had come loose. so i opened up the computer and after a couple of attempts (it's been a little while) i found the monitor connector and i took it out and put it back, and the problem was fixed.
however my dad thought that there might also be a problem with the fan. so i restarted the computer with the touchpad detached so that i could see the fan while the computer was on. the fan was fine, and i was still able to move the pointer using the trackpoint. then i reattached the touchpad and restarted the computer and then neither the touchpad nor the trackpoint worked. i checked the device manager, and it did not read any mouse at all. i have a usb wireless mouse and that is read and works immediately.
i tried uninstalling and reinstalling the touchpad/trackpoint drivers. no luck.
i did manage to get the computer to recognize that there is a trackpoint by disabling it in the bios, and then restarting the computer and re-enabling it in the bios. but even though it recognizes it then, it still gives me some error in device manager and doesn't work. i tried updating the driver from there, but it asks me to restart the computer and when i do it no longer recognizes the trackpoint. i'll try to reproduce this and post the error message later.

i think that the problem is clearly not that the touchpad and trackpoint themselves are broken. but i don't know what exactly the problem is.
so... please help!

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Old 07-29-2008, 07:25 AM   #2
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Hi,

I would definitely open it up and check the touchpad cable if it is seated securely. In fact, I will remove it and put it back in place just to be very sure.

If you have disabled it in BIOS, enable it again and leave it at that. Another thing I would try without getting a replacement part at first is to run my Thinkpad with a different operating system. I will run a linux live CD like PCLinuxOS (which I think would run well on a T40). If touchpad works well in this environment, it rules out hardware immediately.

Of course my last resort is to have it replaced or to swap it with a working one.

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Old 07-29-2008, 10:05 AM   #3
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hi trigger,
thanks for answering.

i have already tried reseating the touchpad cable several times. also the options in the BIOS for the touchpad and the trackpoint are "Disabled" or "Automatic". right now they are both on "Automatic". i also tried updating the BIOS and the embedded controller with no luck. and i downloaded the freespire live iso. i'll try that as soon as i can find a burnable cd.

but i don't know that replacing the touchpad will help, for 2 reasons:

1. when i unplug the touchpad cable the option in the BIOS menu to disable the touchpad disappears, so obviously the BIOS is reading that the touchpad is connected when it is connected.

2. the trackpoint doesn't work either. originally when i had the touchpad unplugged and just the keyboard, the trackpoint worked.
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Old 07-29-2008, 10:25 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bobert13 View Post
hi trigger,
thanks for answering.

i have already tried reseating the touchpad cable several times. also the options in the BIOS for the touchpad and the trackpoint are "Disabled" or "Automatic". right now they are both on "Automatic". i also tried updating the BIOS and the embedded controller with no luck. and i downloaded the freespire live iso. i'll try that as soon as i can find a burnable cd.

but i don't know that replacing the touchpad will help, for 2 reasons:

1. when i unplug the touchpad cable the option in the BIOS menu to disable the touchpad disappears, so obviously the BIOS is reading that the touchpad is connected when it is connected. -- this is possible. it can tell the touchpad is connected but it cannot tell if the touchpad is working.

2. the trackpoint doesn't work either. originally when i had the touchpad unplugged and just the keyboard, the trackpoint worked. -- now this is strange. try running PC Doctor. I think there is one available for DOS and one for Windows. See below:
http://www-307.ibm.com/pc/support/si...cid=MIGR-67520

EDIT:
Have you tried using a mouse via USB?
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Old 07-29-2008, 10:53 AM   #5
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yes, as i said originally, my usb wireless mouse works just fine.
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Old 07-29-2008, 11:19 AM   #6
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So sorry about that. Do post back after trying out Freespire live CD and after running PC Doctor.
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Old 07-29-2008, 02:07 PM   #7
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i'm having trouble finding a usable cdr. i'll have to go out later and buy one.
i ran PC Doctor, and first ran the diagnostics which told me that the Digital Signature Test failed (possibly unrelated?), and the interactive mouse test which told me "No mouse (or mouse driver) installed". This is not really surprising because the mouse driver also doesn't show up in the device manager in windows (like it normally would if the device just wasn't working).
any other ideas?
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Old 07-29-2008, 07:35 PM   #8
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okay, i tried with freespire and it still doesn't work.
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Old 07-29-2008, 07:44 PM   #9
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both trackpoint and touchpad still do not work in freespire? if that is so, you may need to replace them (keyboard and palmrest bezel). it would be best if you have some parts like a spare keyboard so you can swap.

just an idea check the flat cables again (keyboard and touchpad) but this time check the ends that connect to the keyboard/touchpad itself and not the end that connects to the motherboard.
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Old 07-29-2008, 07:51 PM   #10
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do you think they both went bad at the same time?!?!
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Old 07-29-2008, 07:55 PM   #11
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I cannot say but it can happen if luck is not on your side. I am still hoping this is a loose cable error... specifically the ends that connect to the touchpad/keyboard. I say this because these things can be accidentally pulled out of their places. As I said, check the cable ends that connect to the touchpad and/or keyboard.
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Old 01-24-2010, 08:16 AM   #12
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Sorry for resurrecting an OLD thread, but I have the exact same problem.
I just bought a T40 and the previous owner "claimed" both touchpad and trackpoint worked before he re-installed windows XP. It appears he used a windows disc as none of the IBM SW was installed.
I have updated the drivers but the system does not recognize that either tp is even there.
Have booted up using Ultimate Boot CD and no mouse - until I plug in a USB mouse and it is immediately recognized.

My next step is to pull the keybd off and check the connections.
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Old 01-24-2010, 10:52 AM   #13
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I removed the keyboard and removed and re-inserted both the keyboard/trackpoint and touchpad connectors - Did not work.
Then I tried googling "ultranav" instead of "touchpad and trackpoint" and came across this;
Seems that if the touchpad is not working it will disable the trackpoint as well.
So i have disabled the touchpad and enabled the trackpoint and now everything works!
well, except the touchpad....
But I have never liked touchpads anyway.

Maybe at some point will pull the touchpad out and try to repair or replace.
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Old 03-20-2010, 03:03 PM   #14
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Thanks for the info, I have a T40 with a similar problem, and I never would have figured out that disabling the touchpad would make the trackpoint start working. Like you, I never use the touchpad anyway.

FYI, the problem is not with the touchpad, but must be with the motherboard. I have a spare palmrest with touchpad, and replacing it didn't fix the problem.
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Old 03-21-2010, 05:44 AM   #15
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Hey Kevin,
You may be right onthe mobo being the root cause. My T40 mbo died (or was sick - still investigating - so I cannot confirm. I now use that palm rest on my wifes T43 and it works fine. I had origianly attributed that to my completely dismanteling and cleaning the touchpad assembly and connectors with electronics cleaner. There was evidence of "a spill" which is really why I took it apart to clean in the 1st place.
I have another palmrest coming in this week and will install it on my T40 - this should confirm if it is the mobo or palm rest. If I can plug in the palmrest w/o taking the laptop apart I will also try this new palm rest on my other T4Xs.

Have you tried either of your palmrests on another T4x? There is always the chance that both are bad. Low odds but I have chased my tail in the past assuming a swap in part was good, so its always nice to be sure.
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Old 03-22-2010, 12:35 AM   #16
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I believe I've tested the other palmrest in the past so I'm pretty sure it's good. I have another T40 I could try it in but right now I'd rather not mess with it. The T40 with the touchpad problem also has other motherboard problems (audio & USB ports don't work). It needs a new motherboard but as much as I like T40's it's hard to justify putting much more time or money into a machine that old. Good luck with yours.

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