05-25-2019 05:58 AM - edited 05-25-2019 06:02 AM
Now that's interesting and something Lenovo's engineers should definately pay attention to! Whether they read these forums or not has varied over the years. Given the extend of this problem across the product line, I'd certainly hope an engineer's ear's embedded with the troops.
"However i find the the drifing is much much worse when the thinkpad is warm (either enviromental OR high CPU usage). "
I agree b/c I've seen this too. And you know, THAT makes a lot of sense that thermals would impact the TP sensors sensitivity or calibration. In these ultra thin units, engineers have made so many compromises for this thinness starting with the keyboards. Just compare them to the older W520/530, T's etc.. The TP was a separate unit in many cases assembled to the keyboards and well away from the thermals. If you flip the X1E and open it, there's a lot of density right where the TP sits.
In my case, I run the World Community Grid Application which engages compute on the CPUs and GPUs when my machine goes idle. I often close the lid (so that's not helping the thermals). In the mornings when I first pick up the the X1E, it's fans are in high gear, the machine is toasty (not hot) and the TP is exceptionally DRIFTY! That's even with all the BIOS and up-to-date firmware fixes. So guys, you could be very onto the root cause.... Lenovo? I'm interested in anyone else has noticed this link? Thanks!
05-25-2019 06:06 AM
Thinness alone should not be a problem. I also own the X1 tablet with the thinnest keyboard, and the most shallow trackpoint lever ever with absolutely no drifiting issues at all. I only get normal and quick recalibration which rarely occurs on its own.
05-25-2019 08:22 AM
I agree. The thinness should not be a major factor, but as engineer, I have noticed the top of the keyboard is very warm when I open it in the mornings, especially when compared to my W520 doing the same thing. Do you happen to run it "hot" as in running something like World Community Grid to where it definately heats up the GPUs/CPUs?
05-25-2019 09:42 AM
the X1 tablet has the cpu and gpu behind the display far from the keyboard. I have not figured out what affects the frequency and intensity of drifting on the X1 yoga. The X1 carbon 6th gen I returned had very similar behaviot to the yoga. Very annoying problem.
05-25-2019 02:03 PM - edited 05-25-2019 02:05 PM
The drifting on my X1C 20KH is driving me nuts. It happens too often, for too long.
I’ve had ThinkPads for 20 years, +16 machines and never seen cursor behavior like this.
05-25-2019 06:07 PM - edited 05-26-2019 05:55 AM
Ditto! It's still driving me crazy too and I've spent quite a few hours hunting down why and options.From reading the forums, replacing the keyboards etc... does not fix the problem and usually just makes the owners that much more unhappy. As I type this, I'm using an external Trackpoint USB keyboard which has 0 issues with "trackpoint drift" It's using the same default drivers as the X1E trackpoint b/c I cannot install the older drivers, W10 just ignores them and they never show up. The only way I've found to do that on W520 was remove the "current/latest" trackpoint drivers and install the older ones. I've not gotten brave enough to attempt this with the X1E.
With the X1E, the trackpoing is located very nearly over the two main memory DIMMS so they get pretty warm when they are slammed. At this point, on windows, the best we can do is apply all of Lenovo's firmware and BIOS updates some of which were specifically for this nasty drift. There are some parms buried in the trackpoint programming which are typcially not exposed. The default microsoft controls are patethic!!! My gut says that may be our only hope to fix this without Lenvo putting more engineers on this. It's gotta be a problem across many related products. Thanks.
05-26-2019 08:47 PM
Here is where the full settings for Synaptics can be found in the registry:
In my case there were 2 folders for the 'Stick' aka the TrackPoint called 'StickPS2TM3289-2' and 'StickSMBTM3289-2'
In these folders I changed the parameter 'TouchThreshold' to 0 -- this gave me a little more sensitivity than windows would allow. After changing the param in the registry you can open the Windows 'Additional mouse settings' dialog and close it to trigger a reload of the settings in the registry/make your change active (or alternatively reboot). With the TrackPoint more sensitive there is less force needed which can contribute to the drift issues.
There are a lot of other settings here I've had mixed success with trying to make the TrackPoint and TouchPad more responsive overall. The driver settings in Windows are certainly lacking and could be improved. This could be an opportunity for someone to make a third-party power tool for advanced management of the Synaptics registry params. Although much more trial and error would need to be done to understand what each does.
The point y'all mentioned about heat is very interesting. It certainly sounds plausible that heat would cause the sensor to expand and become more erratic. I wonder if adding some heat shielding between the underside of the keyboard/TrackPoint and the ram/mobo would help. Aluminum foil would cause issues as it is conductive, but something like several layers of kapton tape (or kapton wrapped foil) might be interesting to try but could introduce some other heat dissipation issues.
I have worked inside this laptop a little bit (namely removing the battery to check for the recall issue-loose screws). I do not necessarily want to dig deeper if I don't have to as there are a number of delicate ribbons and other connectors.
I also had the thought to aquire a Carbon keyboard and a T480 model keyboard (or some known most recent 'good' TrackPoint model)-- to extract the two TrackPoint sensors and compare them under a microscope to see if there was a physical design change and to what degree. But this would require sacrificing ~$80 on eBay for the noble experiment. Looking at pictures of the underside of each keyboard it does look like the fatter T480 series has a more discrete TP module that is more shielded (as mentioned in earlier threads)-- so we could be on to something with heat.
05-26-2019 09:19 PM - edited 05-27-2019 04:13 AM
Yeap. This trackpoint dift/recalbration is annoying as *@(*@(*@. How Lenovo can let it fester this long is beyond me. Obviously, they found a problem from the earlier BIOS fix issued but it's not enough guys. As I sit here typing this, I am literally fightling the cursor from drifting to the right. At least on my X1E, it's always to the right. I found this a while back as a way to really accelerate the TP.
Some of my testing seems to show that the more sensitive I made the TP, the worse and the longer the drift. The TP was literally fighting me trying to position it.
I'll look at your settings tomorrow. You are right, someone fluent in TP programming could create a heck of an app to fix a lot this. Windows 2 or 3 adjustments are just pathetic for the synaptics API and many registry entries we know are possible when you can find them. Thanks!
06-01-2019 04:15 AM - edited 06-01-2019 04:17 AM
I've done some more general testing on this and 2 things I've noticed in the past few days:
1) When I leave my X1E lid CLOSED and leave World Community Grid Running (as is normal for me it drives the GPU and CPU to high workloads), in the AM the machine is very warm on and around the TPoint as well as the bottom of the machine beneath where the TP is positioned. I have the machine sitting on a solid surface so not to impede normal air flow under the unit. The ambient temp is about 75 degrees F. For at least the first 30+ minutes the trackpoint is AWFUL on recalibrating itself. It will just slide and slide across the screen.
2) I've also noticed that when I'm resting my hands "heavily" on the X1E "palm" areas near / around the Touchpad, I noticed the cursor drift a few times on its own...expecially when I'm going from no hands on keyboard to full hands on keyboard. It seems to do this more when it's very warm, say after #1 has been running all night.
Next I'm going to try to leaving the setup running with the screen OPEN so the keyboard and trackpoint stay cooler.
My gut says we may be onto something that the thiness and thermals are inpacting the TP stress sensors which makes like a good theory in my mind. It would be great if some others would start watching for similar behaviors. I have a IR thermometer around here somewhere I'll try to find it. Later.