Computer Help forum

Question

Trackpad Problems

by ratneer / September 3, 2013 9:47 AM PDT

First of all, let me start out by saying that I am not an idiot, especially when it comes to computers. I am working on my degree in Computer Science at the University of Michigan, so I've tried everything I know how to fix this problem and it has me pulling my hair out.

Here is a list of the problems I am having:
1. Whenever I left-click on my desktop, whether it be in an open space, or on an icon, it registers it as a right-click. It also does the same when using the start menu. It seems to do this under any Windows Explorer based window. Other than on the desktop, it does this randomly.
2. Randomly, the taskbar becomes unclickable.
3. I have completely lost my ability to right click anywhere on my computer.
4. Although this never happened at first, it now seems that whenever I have a window open and I go to interact with it, it automatically changes the focus of the screen back to the desktop, but still leaves the window open, making it impossible to do almost anything. The only way I have found to get around this is by using my keyboard to navigate around, which all works just fine. I am currently using Safe Mode, which seems to fix this problem, and this problem alone.
5. While use Google Chrome, I have lost the ability to right-click completely, and I have lost the ability to click on the tabs to change them (I must use CTRL+TAB to navgate through tabs. Neither using my trackpad or my left mouse key works.) ALthough I can still click the X to close the page and the New Tab button works just fine. I cannot click on the address bar at all to change the web address, although I can hit F6 to select it and then change it. I also cannot access the "Other Bookmarks" menu or the options menu at all. The back, forward, and refresh buttons all work like they should. When using Internet Explorer, none of these problems exist.
6. At random times, the right click menu pops up.
7. I cannot use my trackpad to select things, I must use the left mouse button to drag to select.
8. I can no longer use the very right edge of my trackpad to scroll anywhere on my computer. In the trackpad setting where you can set the zones on the pad for this, it recognizes that it is being touched, but does not work at all.


I have tried everything I know to attempt to fix this. I have checked every setting known to man that has to do with my trackpad, and none of it has changed. I have tried a system restore, and I have run multiple virus scans, all with no luck.

I am on a Toshiba Satellite running Windows 7.

I am just hoping someone will have had this problem before and has found a solution. I need this computer for school and this is getting in the way of my work.

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Clarification Request
Have you tried a mouse?
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / September 3, 2013 10:01 AM PDT
In reply to: Trackpad Problems

That's how I sniff out if it's a software issue. Trackpads do die in odd ways so with that out of the way I can't find where you tried some mouse or changed the trackpad out.
Bob

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Clarification Request
I have no clue...
by ratneer / September 13, 2013 7:21 AM PDT
In reply to: Trackpad Problems

An Update: I am truly flabbergasted now, as I went out and bought an external mouse, and there was no change to my problems. So, I decided I was going to finally take the plunge and upgrade to windows 8 and found that this would be a great time since if it was some kind of malware, upgrading would fix the problem. I did a clean install of windows 8 successfully and the problem is still there, even with an external mouse plugged in. I really don't understand what it could be.

I checked all of the connectors under the keyboard and they all appear to be in good condition, but I have no clue what else to do.

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CLARIFICATION question.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / September 13, 2013 10:18 AM PDT
In reply to: I have no clue...

The trackpad should still fail with the mouse plugged in. Why we use a mouse is to sniff out other issues by ignoring the trackpad and using a mouse.
Bob

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Maybe things are different
by itsdigger / September 13, 2013 10:26 AM PDT

on a Satellite. On my Qosmio with a usb mouse plugged in, my trackpad still works until I disable it.

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In this case we need to forget there is a trackpad.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / September 13, 2013 11:17 AM PDT

I run into a lot of folk that are not used to troubleshooting systems. The reason for the mouse is to ignore the trackpad and see if the system works. If it does then it's just another failed pad.
Bob

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Still
by ratneer / September 13, 2013 11:29 AM PDT

Yes, of course the trackpad would still fail. I immensely tested every possible solution suggested and those I came up with myself. Even with the trackpad disabled, and a external mouse plugged in, the same problems still aride.

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Then
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / September 14, 2013 1:50 AM PDT
In reply to: Still

If the trackpad is disabled and the external mouse does the same across OSes then you have a hardware failure. Quite the odd one too.

But keep in mind how the CURSOR works in PCs. It's a bit of hardware in the Graphics Display unit or chips. I won't hold classes on PC architecture here but given the tests it looks like you'll have to replace the main board now.

Keep in mind I'm taking your word on all the above. One member got very upset when they never tried the other OSes as suggested and we came to the bad board diagnosis. They reloaded the OS and it worked but they had fibbed a little during the discussion and I'm a trusting soul.
Bob

All Answers

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Answer
Get yourself a mouse and disable that trackpad
by wpgwpg / September 3, 2013 10:14 AM PDT
In reply to: Trackpad Problems

As Bob says, trackpads do wear out. Even when they work as designed, my opinion of them is that they're machostic devices designed by evil demons! Laugh You can get an inexpensive mouse in just about any size you want, wired or wireless. I've settled on a Microsoft notebook optical mouse 3000, disabled my trackpad (which is still working on rare occasions when I might need it), and lived happily ever after. I'm running on a Toshiba Satellite laptop too.
`
Good luck.

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Unfortunately
by ratneer / September 3, 2013 11:03 AM PDT

I don't have an external mouse. I have one back home, but I never thought to bring one with me to school. I really would hate to go out and buy one just to test this, but if I have to, I will. I do imagine there is somewhere on campus that I can snag a mouse for a few minutes. I am going to get out of Safe Mode (since it won't let me disable the trackpad in Safe Mode) and disable the trackpad, and see if I have the issues using the accessibility features as the mouse.

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That's why you borrow one for a test.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / September 3, 2013 11:13 AM PDT
In reply to: Unfortunately

You write you are on campus so ask the IT group to borrow one if your friends are that bad.
Bob

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You can buy a decent mouse for $5 or less
by wpgwpg / September 3, 2013 11:28 AM PDT
In reply to: Unfortunately
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I've seen them for 2 bucks at
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / September 3, 2013 11:30 AM PDT

Garage sales and goodwill stores.

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Answer
As someone
by Jimmy Greystone / September 3, 2013 10:55 AM PDT
In reply to: Trackpad Problems

As someone who's repaired a fair number of Toshiba laptops, especially on their lower end models, the trackpad and everything associated with it tends to be of very poor quality.

Bob's suggestion is a good one. Get a cheap USB mouse, disable the trackpad, see if things change. If yes, replace the palm rest component of your laptop which includes the trackpad or just keep on using the USB mouse. Whichever ends up being better for your situation.

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Urg
by ratneer / September 3, 2013 11:32 AM PDT
In reply to: As someone

Okay, now I just seriously don't know what is going on. Part of me seriously thinks that someone has RATed my computer and is just messing with me. I turned on Mouse Keys to try and see if it was a hardware or software issue, and after finding out that the Mouse Keys allowed me to click on all of the things that I could before in Chrome, I now find that randomly, it is deciding to work, and sometimes it decides to not work.

As of writing this though, I am now finding that my keyboard is acting weird, like acting like the keys are sticking, even though I literally replaced this keyboard a week ago.

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Same test for the keyboard.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / September 3, 2013 11:39 AM PDT
In reply to: Urg

Try an USB keyboard.

If you feel it's an infection, your IT support at the campus is well versed with such issues.

That is unless you are the loner type, etc. I can't tell but mice are usually plentiful and I never had anyone not let me try it.
Bob

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One of two
by ratneer / September 3, 2013 11:49 AM PDT

The only reason I feel it could be an infection is because it is so random.

The only other thing I could think of that could explain the randomness would some sort of loose connection somewhere.

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Which the USB mouse and such would help find.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / September 3, 2013 11:54 AM PDT
In reply to: One of two

I can't tell but your posts strike me as you are on your own. I want to encourage you to reach out to your campus IT for support.
Bob

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...
by ratneer / September 3, 2013 12:10 PM PDT

If the problem does persist, I will definitely contact them, my only hesitation is that the IT we have on campus charge quite a hefty fee just to take a look at it.

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Sorry to read that.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / September 3, 2013 1:08 PM PDT
In reply to: ...

My son's help was free. I can't imagine where you are but here, this year it's still free. It's often a long wait but they tend to help with the malware stuff.

What college is this? Something other than the usual state?
bob

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Answer
Touchpad issues
by Willy / September 3, 2013 8:40 PM PDT
In reply to: Trackpad Problems

I would see if any touchpad drivers are available for that *model(brand)* in order to update it. If you have already done this, verify is for that model# because a wrong one from brand-x maybe similar it results in little issues. Also, if so capable that the touchpad setup may have the buttons reversed by configuration, check that. Next, a true h/w fault could at work here. You need to reseat the thin wire harness and see if that improves it and/or no obstructions are present(staples, crumbs, any spills, dirt, etc.). Yes, you will need to disassemble, but its easier than you think with due care. Toshiba models can be pretty fickle due to cheap parts or design. They have gone down in quality, IMHO. Last, any s/w that control "human interface" could be interfering with the touchpad, though again just check the setup. Review the error log and see if anything pops-up for the touchpad or human devices. If you're into gaming s/w that it *might* config the touchpad for better use but doesn't release it properly, thus bad s/w.

tada -----Willy Happy

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so.....
by ratneer / September 13, 2013 7:38 AM PDT
In reply to: Touchpad issues

An Update: I am truly flabbergasted now, as I went out and bought an external mouse, and there was no change to my problems. So, I decided I was going to finally take the plunge and upgrade to windows 8 and found that this would be a great time since if it was some kind of malware, upgrading would fix the problem. I did a clean install of windows 8 successfully and the problem is still there, even with an external mouse plugged in. I really don't understand what it could be.

I checked all of the connectors under the keyboard and they all appear to be in good condition, but I have no clue what else to do.

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Thinkin'
by itsdigger / September 13, 2013 7:48 AM PDT
In reply to: so.....
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Answer
You said in a earlier post
by itsdigger / September 13, 2013 9:04 AM PDT
In reply to: Trackpad Problems

that you changed the keyboard. When you did that is it possible that you loosened up the connection to the trackpad?

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Possible
by ratneer / September 13, 2013 9:10 AM PDT

Of course that is possible, but when I recently took my keyboard off, I looked at all of the connections and they appear fine, but honestly I wouldn't know which is which

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P.S
by itsdigger / September 13, 2013 9:16 AM PDT

When you turned on the Mouse Keys, you didn't by chance turn on Sticky Keys too ? They're on the same page

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No
by ratneer / September 13, 2013 10:19 AM PDT
In reply to: P.S

Nope, just checked it to be sure.

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