Touchpad issues on Samsung laptop

Discussion in 'hardware' started by roger_m, Jun 17, 2015.

  1. roger_m

    roger_m Registered Member

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    I've just purchased a second hand Samsung NP350E5C-A01AU laptop, which I've just upgraded to Windows 8.1 from Windows 8. While the laptop is only two years old and in basically new condition, I am having a serious issue with the touchpad.

    When I use the touchpad, movement of the pointer is very slightly jerky. I've spent some time already trying to improve the situation with no luck. I've tried a number different versions of the Synaptics touchpad drivers. I have used the updated driver installed by the included SW Update software from Samsung and the driver Windows installs after uninstalling the existing driver from Device Manager. I've installed several different versions of drivers with the driver update software DriveTheLife. Also, I've installed the updated driver from Windows Update (which suprisingly is a very recent driver, and is newer than the driver at the Synaptics website, or any other Synaptics driver I've found). It makes no difference if the laptop is plugged in or running on battery power. Also, there are no options in either the Windows or Synaptics mouse properties which help.

    I'm certain it is not a defective touchpad, as I've used several laptops with similar issues in the past two years. An obvious solution is to use an external mouse, but I do want to sort out the touchpad issue (if it possible to do so). While, in this case the laptop is for someone else, with my own laptops an excellent touchpad is a must, as I use the touchpad instead of an external mouse at least 99.9% of the time, and that's not going to change anytime soon. If the issues can't be fixed, and if the customer want to use the touchpad and not a mouse, I'll have to no option but to sell this laptop and purchase an alternative one.

    This is only the second Samsung laptop I've used. As far as I can recall, the touchpad on the other model worked fine.
     
  2. roger_m

    roger_m Registered Member

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    I forgot to mention that I have tried setting SynTPEnh.exe and SynTPHelper.exe to run in Windows 7 compatibility mode, which also made no difference.

    Maybe it is just a problem with the design of the touchpad, and can't be fixed, which would be a shame. The jerkiness is not terrible, but is always noticable when compared to by ThinkPad which I'm using and now and any other laptop I've owned. A good exmple of this, is if I move my finger slowly across the touchpad on my ThinkPad, the mouse pointer moves very smoothly, whereas on the Samsung the movement is slighly jerky and not smooth.

    The touchpad has been unresponsive at times on the Samsung too. But, possibly this has been caused by hard drive errors creating problems with Windows. I ran a chkdsk /r last night and it had been for an hour or so on 11% percent, before I went to bed. In the morning, chkdsk had finished. I've found no further disk errors, and CrystalDiskInfo is showing no SMART problems.
     
  3. roger_m

    roger_m Registered Member

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    I just used the included recovery software to restore the laptop back to the factory default install of Windows 8. After doing so, the pointer is moving slightly more smoothly. It's not a big enough improvement for me to actually like using the touchpad, and if I had purchased this laptop for own use, I would sell it and buy another one, but perhaps for other people, it won't be an issue.

    I would be hesitant to buy another Samsung laptop after this experience, which is unfortunate, as the opnion online is generally that the quality of thier laptops is very good. I only buy second hand laptops online, so I am unable to test them personally before purchase. I have had the same experience with a couple of ASUS laptops I've worked on, which make me inclined to stay away from them too now. Up till the past two years, the only laptop I'd experienced similar touchpad issues on was an Acer netbook. Even on the cheap no brand Chinese S30 netbooks I've owned, the touchpad has worked fine.
     
  4. roger_m

    roger_m Registered Member

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    After upgrading to Windows 8.1 again I discovered that the Windows 8.1 is the problem. The pointer movement is far from perfect under Windows 8, but is noticably worse under Windows 8.1.

    I made a backup of the touchpad driver before upgrading, but was unable to restore the old driver under Windows 8.1. However, I downloaded and installed the same version of the driver I had made a backup of, and doing so made no difference to the touchpad operation. I did some searching on Google for problems relating to Windows 8.1, and found an issue with laggy mouse movement when gaming which could be fixed by installing a KB from Microsoft. This did not fix the issue, but to be fair it was intented for fixing issues when gaming.

    Since I have no idea of how to go about fixing the issue under Windows 8.1, and its clear that its an OS issue rather than a driver issue, I'm doing another factory restore back to Windows 8. This time, I will obviously not upgrade to Windows 8.1.

    Maybe things will be better with Windows 10. I don't think I'm going to bother trying.
     
  5. roger_m

    roger_m Registered Member

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    After not using the laptop for a few days, I powered it on again today. I've reached the conclusion that the with Windows 8 installed, the touchpad works fine. It's not ideal, but unless I'm paying a lot of attention to the mouse pointer, it the lack of smoothness is not really noticable.

    It's a shame about not being able to use Windows 8.1 though.
     
  6. Osaban

    Osaban Registered Member

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    Samsung and MS have had a long history of missed opportunities in terms of synchronizing updates and drivers. I don’t know whether to blame one or the other, but the truth of the matter is that Samsung is the one who should make sure they follow up MS upgrades, and they failed miserably, playing the arrogant game of “who cares”.

    I have one of the top Samsung notebook models which came with Win 8 installed by default. I have been trying for more than 2 years to upgrade to Win 8.1 unsuccessfully, and believe me it is a lot more than a touch pad problem. With the upgrade, battery performance decreases dramatically, display brightness can’t be controlled anymore, a lot of features do not respond anymore because of different drivers… I’m fine with Win 8, but after this experience my next computer will probably be another brand, even though in terms of materials and functionality Samsung has been the best I’ve experienced…
     
  7. krustytheclown2

    krustytheclown2 Registered Member

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    Have you guys considered taking advantage of the free downgrade rights to Windows 7? Not sure 100% if it'll solve everything, but it might. And Win7 is a much better OS IMHO.
     
  8. roger_m

    roger_m Registered Member

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    @Osaban In my brief time using Windows 8.1 on the laptop, touchpad issues were the only problem I found. However, I did not test battery life. The brightness issue can be fixed by using a more recent video driver. The other issues should be able to be solved by using different drivers - at least in theory. However, maybe they can't be considering I could not solve the touchpad issues I had with Windows 8.1, even with muitiple versions of the touchpad drivers.

    @krustytheclown2 I didn't know you could downgrade. I Googled it and found an excellent article at PCWorld explaining how to do it. However this computer can't be downgraded as it's running the basic edition of Windows 8, not Windows 8 Pro.
     
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