Long-time subscriber Oz Fisher wrote me about a problem he was having with his laptop…
Hello again Terry. You helped me out with a problem several years ago
and I am hoping you can resolve a new issue for me.
I have an older laptop on which I can no longer use the touchpad to scroll the window contents. The touchpad driver is up to date and I followed some advice
on the web to solve the problem, to no avail.
The computer is a Dell Vista and has been working fine as a second unit up to now. Can you suggest a method to restore the scrolling ability?
Thanks in advancefor any help you may provide.
I asked Oz a few questions to clarify my understanding of his problems.
For example, was he saying that the touchpad no longer works, or was he saying that the touchpad works normally — moves the mouse, left and right buttons work for selecting, but scrolling no longer works? How did he scroll (or expect to scroll) with that touchpad?
After all, different touchpads have different capabilities.
Oz responded with further details…
Hello again, Terry,
My touchpad works normally when clicking on links, and it moves around the screen as expected.
What doesn’t work is using it to scroll text up or down, which necessitates clicking just below the arrow? in the shaded right hand margin of the screen to move the text upward or downward or simply clicking at the very bottom of the shaded margin area to move the text on the screen.
On rare occasions when attempting to scroll with the touchpad, a strange looking "curly-q type" symbol appears briefly on the screen or a "magnifying glass symbol with plus and minus figures" will appear. Perhaps these two symbols are connected with the scrolling problem.
I hope this newest info is helpful. Oz
I wrote back to Oz to tell him that some touchpads will scroll as he appears to want, others won’t. Those that do usually have a limited area, such as the far right-side of the touchpad, that they use for the scroll function. He may simply be trying to scroll in the middle of the touchpad rather than in the area where that function works.
It’s often possible to turn off the scrolling function via a setting in the Mouse settings (control Panel > Hardware > Mouse), but not always. He should check the Mouse settings in the Control Panel. Also, if he has a special settings menu for the touchpad, check it, too.
On the other hand, I suspect that he has loaded a mouse driver that is a generic for touchpads, but doesn’t provide the functions originally provided for the touchpad driver as installed by Dell.
Oz responded to say:
Thank you so much for your speedy replies to my requests — your service goes above and beyond the typical response time of other services that usually take a number of days before getting back to you with a possible solution…
I got this laptop from my son when he upgraded, and he did use a mouse dongle at times — the dongle which he removed before turning the unit over to me. I guess I’ll buy my own dongle for the unit.
Once again, thanks for your help. Oz Fisher
By "mouse dongle," I assume that Oz meant a wireless mouse with the transmitter/receiver that plugs in to a USB port.
That’s the way I use my notebook computers. I almost never use the touchpad, as the mouse is a lot easier and faster to use.