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  • Sony Vaio TouchPad Not Working

    Posted on October 1st, 2013 Andy Parkes 16 comments

    imageThis has been a bit of a strange problem that I’ve finally got to the bottom of.

    First a bit of backstory.

    A client asked us to get him a laptop with the key requirement based around the weight. He wanted something that would be easier for taking out of the office. So he ended up with a Sony Vaio VPCSA. All seemed ok but a few weeks in we got a call to say he was having trouble with the touchpad not working from time to time. The mouse pointer either wouldn’t move at all or it would be very difficult to drag along the touch surface.

    Plugging a normal usb mouse in was a workaround but not the solution.

    He couldn’t seem to recreate the issue either and neither could we. What didn’t help was it was so intermittent that we couldn’t recreate the problem and when we were looking at the problem we never saw it happen! It was very frustrating for our client so we did our best to figure it out but after checking drivers, mouse software, bios settings and even a full factory reset, we could only surmise it was a hardware issue and it went back to Sony under warranty.

    They sent it back a few days later with the fault report showing they’d changed a part in the mousepad. It went back to client but a few weeks later the problem reared it’s head again.

    It went back to Sony three more times. Each time Sony changed components inside and each time the problem didn’t go away.

    Eventually the client got fed up with the laptop disappearing for weeks on end so asked if he could have a new one or a different model. Sony weren’t interested in this and neither were distribution as we couldn’t consistently reproduce the problem so in the interests of keeping a long time client happy we took the laptop back, got him a new one with the idea being if someone in our office was using it every day we might finally be able to track down what was causing it and then deal with the manufacturer and distributor if needed. Seeing as all happened around the time my house was broken into I was in need of a new laptop so it ended up in my hands and of course I’ve not had any trouble with it since!

    Several months later and I was at home last week and the problem flared up while I was using the laptop and I could confirm how infuriating it was! I once again experimented with software, settings. I even discovered there is a “Function & F1” hotkey for disabling and enabling the touchpad but I still couldn’t find anything that made a difference.

    Until a few days later….

    It was a Friday night and I’d been using my laptop on the kitchen table and the touchpad was working quite happily. The battery was running low so I pulled the charger out of my bag and plugged it in. I sat down to carry on and the mouse had stopped working.

    Realising it had been working quite happily a minute ago and all I’d done was plug the power in I disconnected it and it started working again!

    I now had a reproducible problem. Every time I plugged the power adapter in, the mouse stopped working.

    If you’re following this you’ll probably be thinking,

    ”What’s changed? Surely you’ve used the charger since you’ve had the laptop.”

    Yes, but not this specific charger.

    Last week someone was tidying up a cupboard in the office and came across the original box for the laptop and inside was a spare charger.

    Turns out the client likes to have a charger on his desk and one in his laptop bag as It makes it that bit easier when coming and going. I thought that was a good idea so did the same. The original charger was on my desk. The spare had gone into my bag.

    After a bit of digging it looks like the spare charger isn’t compatible with the laptop I’ve got. However, It still plugs in and charges which is why this never came to light before.

    Once i was in the office the next day I was able to confirm everything works quite happily on the original power adapter!

    This has been bugging me for much longer than it should have. Especially since I’d gone months without seeing the problem! I’m very glad I can put this to bed.

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    Andy Parkes is Technical Director at Coventry based IT support company IBIT Solutions. He is also Microsoft Partner Area Lead for 2012-2013 and coordinates AMITPRO which is a peer group for IT Professionals in the Midlands area. He also isn't a fan of describing himself in the third person.

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    16 Responses to “Sony Vaio TouchPad Not Working”

    1. Thank you sir,
      Your advice was very effective.

    2. Thank you Sir,
      Your advice was very effective

    3. Andy, thank you for this post that you made last year. fyi I started having issues with my touchpad recently (I have a VAIO VGN-FW468 with dual-boot Ubuntu and Windows 7, and the problem has happening on both OS’s). Since my laptop is almost 5 years old, I was resigned to thinking that this Vaio was approaching EOL, until I ran across your post. I have a couple of aftermarket power adapters – both labeled as 19.5V, 4.7A – but lo-behold, I confirmed that the touchpad was behaving badly only when one of the two power adapters (actually the newer one) was being used. Exactly what you pointed out.
      Appreciate it!
      Henry

    4. Hi Henry,

      Glad it was of some help!

    5. Thanks Andy. I was unaware of the FN+F1 shortcut!

    6. Had a similar problem with a friend’s laptop but now Andy makes me realize the root of the problem. Thanks for the post.

    7. Hi,
      Some time ago I am sure I disabled the touchpad and other components putting it into a gaming mode or similar but I cant remember how I did it or find out how to reverse it, it is a sony vaio (laptop not at work with me for model number) any clues greatly appreciated, the dvd wont copy but think it still plays.
      Please help this extremely frustrated sparky before the laptop becomes part of the wallpaper

      Jason

    8. Hi Jason,

      Try pressing the FN key and F1?
      On my Vaio that’s the key combination for disabling the touch pad

      Alternatively look for the “VAIO Control Center” in your programs list (it may have a similar name)
      In there there are options for enabling and disabling the touchpad

      Vaio Control

    9. Thank you so much Andy for the post. At first I thought the touchpad needed new driver (tried a few) then assumed the touchpad hardware was broken. After reading your post I remove the mains and everything was working fine!!! I have found a workaround, move the transformer as far away as possible, seems to work fine.

      Thanks again 🙂

    10. Hi Lisa, Glad this was useful 🙂

    11. So I am not the only one. Great article Mr. Parks, it’s my same exact problem with the same exact root cause : spare (not original in my case) charger messing with the mouse trackpad.

      Thanks !!!

    12. Hi Andy

      The touchpad on my vaio VPCSA isn’t working either. I’ve tried everything including all your suggestions above; it drives me mad. Plugging in an external mouse does work.

      Any further suggestions or have I reached the end of the road?

      Thanks

    13. Hi Paul

      Does the touch pad work at all? My issue was that it did work – it was just very unresponsive

      If it doesn’t work at all then it could be a hardware issue

      Andy

    14. A few months ago the fingerprint sensor stopped responding but the rest worked fine. Then a few weeks ago the pad started becoming unresponsive, but intermittently so. Since about a week it doesn’t work at all.

    15. The hot key worked!! Thank you so much for posting this!! My daughter was using the computer and she said something popped up and the only choice was ok so she clicked it. Tried a lot and finally found your post! Thank you!!

    16. Hi Jen

      Glad this was of some help

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