Subscriber Greg H. wrote this week about a problem he was having with his Acer notebook:
I have a little Acer Aspire 4720Z that now has a frozen cursor. Using the touchpad has no effect, the cursor just sits in one place on the screen. Any suggestions?
First, I wrote back to Greg to ask a basic question that should be a big help in debugging – what happens when he uses an alternative pointing device?
I asked Greg what happens when he connects a mouse to the PC? Does the mouse move the cursor, or is it dead, too?
An external mouse works fine.
That tells us that Windows hasn’t lost control of the mouse pointer, but that the problem has something to do with the touchpad itself or the touchpad’s driver.
I wrote back to Greg to tell him that it sounds like the touchpad driver may have become corrupted. I suggested that he check to see if he can download a new copy of it, or an updated version, from the Acer site .
He may also have the driver on the drivers DVD that he should have created from his Acer notebook when he first received it. At least, when I bought my Acer notebook, I was able to create the driver DVD when I created myRecovery DVD.
Windows has a nice feature for reinstalling drivers. It works well with standard devices like keyboards, mice and monitors. All you have to do is to "uninstall the device" from Device Manager (part of Control Panel). When you reboot, Windows finds the device and looks for the device driver. If it doesn’t find the right one, it will ask you to provide the driver on a disk.
So, once you find the driver, go into Control Panel > System > Device Manager and uninstall the Touchpad (uninstall in Device Manager, not physically remove it).
Then, when you reboot, Windows should find it again and reinstall the driver automatically. If it doesn’t — and wants you to provide the driver — provide the one from your DVD or the updated driver you downloaded.