Friday, December 27, 2013

Misadventures with a Toshiba Satellite synpatics touchpad under Windows 8

Well, I’m having misadventures with the Synaptics touchpad on my Toshiba Satelitte P875-S7102.  It’s jerky and stalls, and sometimes the Windows 8 key becomes inoperable if I use it.

I bought a Logitech keyboard and mouse some time back and that always works. Well, with a couple of caveats.  If the system goes to sleep and the Windows Action Center starts to run, and I shake the mouse to wake the computer up, I sometimes get a “green screen of death”.  But the machine comes back OK if I press the power button on the main laptop once, then it unlocks everything. So apparently the driver code on the Logitech is not accessible when Action Center runs.

The other thing is that I can get the touchpad to wake up by touching it with two fingers.  I’ve read that there are three pads underneath on the Toshiba instead of just two.  But then, when I start using the Logitech, if it goes to sleep and wakes up, the pointer keeps jumping, until I touch the touchpad with two fingers a second time to “close” the original Toshiba driver.  Make sense? 

Today, I bought a Logitech mouse pointer at a Best Buy, because I would need a smaller “pad” to travel with. 

Before I install it, I’ll try to get to the bottom of the problems with the original Toshiba touchpad driver.  It seems to be software, not hardware, based on the evidence.

Maybe a Windows 8.1 install (which requires Toshiba pre-installs) would fix it?
The best site I can find to start looking into this is eHow, here.  Oh, yes, the first time I went to it, Windows stalled on a “cache” issue, and worked the second time after I backed out of the site.  Google Chrome does this, but displays a “waiting for cache”.  Firefox can do it too. 

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