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ovonrein
Paper Tape
Posts: 7
Registered: ‎09-13-2017
Location: GB
Views: 1,745
Message 1 of 35

X1 - erratic trackpoint - Synaptics 19.3.4.99

Hi - I buy Lenovos because of their trackpoint.  My most recent Lenovo is an X1 Carbon.  I was much surprised to note that the X1 appears to be the first ThinkPad that will no longer allow me to turn off the touchpad from the Mouse Settings.  Never mind - I disabled it for good in the BIOS.  (I would like to have the Mouse Settings back because I occasionally allow touchpad users on my laptop and they simply cannot cope.)

 

Anyway, from day #1 of ownership of this laptop, I noticed some very odd behaviour of the trackpoint:  It simply "wanders off".  It likes the left margin a lot, and the top left corner still more.  It is possible to force the cursor out of this position (by pushing hard against the trackpoint) but as soon as I let go of the trackpoint again, it wanders back.

 

Thing is, the problem will go away after a while.  "a while" may be anything between 10 and 60 secs.  I thought it might be a h/w bug - the trackpoint perhaps being "stuck" and needing to relax - but it occurs so often that I am more inclined to thing it is a driver bug.

 

I believe to be on the latest driver 19.3.4.99 so consider this post as a heads-up - something is still not quite right here.

 

PS:  I am not a geat fan of reboots.  So I have disabled Updates on my Win10Pro.  I was most recently forced into a reboot (first time in 3 months or so) because whenever I clicked the middle mouse button, my screen would turn off.  After a 2hr update extravaganza (MS and Lenovo), many system components have now changed, inter alia the Synaptics driver which I rather suspect of being responsible for the clicky fiasco.  I cannot figure out whether the sudden confusion over what the mouse buttons should do was addressed in 19.3.4.99.  If not, you may wonna reflect on this problem as well.

Lenovo Staff
Lenovo Staff
Posts: 6,141
Registered: ‎10-29-2009
Location: NC
Views: 1,691
Message 2 of 35

Re: X1 - erratic trackpoint - Synaptics 19.3.4.99

Your system has a "precision touchpad" which is controlled completely by Win10.  So there are no more touchpad settings in the mouse control panel like what you are used to.  Instead, the touchpad settings are in the OS settings:  start -> gear -> devices -> touchpad       and can be turned on/off here.  

 

As for the trackpoint drift problem, that's not normal.  My guess is a hardware problem with your particular unit.  A new keyboard assembly should fix that.  Anyway, I would recommend to request warranty on it.  Sorry for this trouble!

ovonrein
Paper Tape
Posts: 7
Registered: ‎09-13-2017
Location: GB
Views: 1,650
Message 3 of 35

Re: X1 - erratic trackpoint - Synaptics 19.3.4.99

Thanks for your reply.  The Windows settings do not allow me to disable the touchpad.  I can only adjust sensitivity.  That is my problem.  My thumbs uselessly rest/idle on it, causing havoc.  So I like to disable it (unlike 99% of mankind, I accept).

ezekielmarmoset
Paper Tape
Posts: 3
Registered: ‎06-01-2018
Location: US
Views: 1,363
Message 4 of 35

Re: X1 - erratic trackpoint - Synaptics 19.3.4.99

This is the best solution I've found:

 

I spent five months with an X1 Carbon Gen 5 dealing with recurrent trackpoint drift. Usually after the trackpoint was in use for a little while, it would intermittently drift for 5-10 seconds as soon as I stopped moving it, usually in a specific direction that varied from hour to hour. While it is moving, I could fight it by moving the trackpoint, but I would have to completely let go of the trackpoint for the full 5-10 seconds before it would stop moving. Note this is completely different from the quick (< 1 sec) reverse movement the trackpoint does when you hold it very constant and let go. 

 

Changing to different historical drivers had no effect. REPLACING the entire keyboard made no difference whatsoever. So I concluded this must be contingent upon software. Supporting that is the fact that the issue disappears for at least ten minutes if I quickly hibernate and restart the computer. Something about the initialization process must re-calibrate it on a longer time scale.

 

So reinitializing the trackpoint driver with a ten-minute scheduled task can keep it from drifting indefinitely. Lacking a more elegant way to fix it, this is how I was able to do this in Windows 10:

 

1) Go to your Device Manager and find your trackpoint - for me it is "Synaptics Pointing Device" under "Mice and other pointing devices"

2) Right-click the device and choose Properties

3) On the Details tab, choose the "Hardware IDs" property

4) One of the items in the list should appear similar to ACPI\LEN0072 - remember that for later as your device ID

5) Download Microsoft's devcon.exe command-line driver management application, 64-bit is probably the better choice for most OS. This does not require the full Windows SDK download; see https://superuser.com/a/1099688

6) Open Task Scheduler and create a new task.

7) Under General: choose "Run whether user is logged in or not"; check "Run with highest privileges"; and configure for Windows 10. This will allow it to restart the driver and keep a window from popping up every time it runs.

8) Under Triggers: create a trigger to repeat the task every 10 minutes indefinitely. This can be reduced if you still get intermittent drift.

9) Under Actions: create an action to start a program. Set Program/script to the path of the devcon.exe file you downloaded. Set Add arguments to: restart "ACPI\LEN0072" but replace ACPI\LEN0072 with the device ID you determined earlier

10) Under Conditions: uncheck "Start the task only if the computer is on AC power"

11) Save the task.

 

The task runs silently in the background every ten minutes to instantly reinitialize the trackpoint and prevent the problem.

protonot
SCSI Port
Posts: 60
Registered: ‎10-05-2013
Location: US
Views: 1,343
Message 5 of 35

Re: X1 - erratic trackpoint - Synaptics 19.3.4.99

It bothers me a lot in the 19.3.4.201 version. Apart from the drifting there are other issues as well, which do not appear on the 19.4. version for the X1 Tablet 3rd generation. Did you manage to completely get rid of the issue? and do you have any side effects of the reinitialization? like trackpoint being idle during this process? thank you for the solution, i will try it. It is upsetting that the most important feature that makes Thinkpads special and separate them from the competition, namely the trackpoint, is so remarkably neglected and sabotaged by Lenovo, instead of promoting and creating hooked users! I cant stop complaining about their stupidity on this matter. I had to return my previous X1Carbon 6th generation and get a replacement because of this issue, but the issue still persists. I wonder how stupid are they and they do not care about losing money? Somebody from Lenovo can reply?

ovonrein
Paper Tape
Posts: 7
Registered: ‎09-13-2017
Location: GB
Views: 1,306
Message 6 of 35

Re: X1 - erratic trackpoint - Synaptics 19.3.4.99

" reinitializing the trackpoint driver with a ten-minute scheduled task can keep it from drifting indefinitely"  Very impressive.  But, truly, all that your research and solution prove is what I asserted in the original post - there is a bug in the trackpoint driver and Lenovo should fix it.

 

"It is upsetting that the most important feature that makes Thinkpads special and separate them from the competition, namely the trackpoint, is so remarkably neglected and sabotaged by Lenovo, instead of promoting and creating hooked users! I cant stop complaining about their stupidity on this matter. "  I could not agree more - all the while I recognize that the skill of using a trackpoint is clearly dying out; the modern young like to caress the touchpad (as though it were a touchscreen).  As for me, the whole machine might as well come without a touchpad.  I could not care less.

ezekielmarmoset
Paper Tape
Posts: 3
Registered: ‎06-01-2018
Location: US
Views: 1,254
Message 7 of 35

Re: X1 - erratic trackpoint - Synaptics 19.3.4.99

Yes, no workarounds should be necessary. Unfortunately, even the solution I suggested has issues from time to time - sometimes the driver utility stops being able to reset the device for some reason, until the computer is rebooted. I haven't figured out how to keep that from happening yet. It's pretty reliable run manually when you need it via a shortcut with PATH and DEVICE ID replaced appropriately: "PATH\devcon.exe" restart "DEVICE ID"

 

The reinitialization has no effect on what you're doing with the trackpoint - when run "whether user is logged in or not" you will not know when it runs. If run "only when the user is logged on" you will for a split second see a command line window pop up and disappear. In either case it does not stop your current movement with the trackpoint, even if you're dragging something across the screen. So no side effects.

 

One aspect of the original problem is that over 5-10 minutes the sensitivity of the trackpoint increases in a particular direction. It's changing its "zero" on this timescale. This sensitivity is reset when the device is reinitialized. So I have no doubt at all Lenovo / Synaptics could solve this on the software side.

Pepsinio
Punch Card
Posts: 70
Registered: ‎04-24-2018
Location: AT
Views: 1,204
Message 8 of 35

Re: X1 - erratic trackpoint - Synaptics 19.3.4.99

On which device you encounter this? I have this behavior every time i wake the device up from stand by on X1 Yoga Gen 3
protonot
SCSI Port
Posts: 60
Registered: ‎10-05-2013
Location: US
Views: 1,191
Message 9 of 35

Re: X1 - erratic trackpoint - Synaptics 19.3.4.99

if you ask me, I get it randomly in the carbon X1 6th gen. And I have got this in two new machines. I cant believe it can be such a frequent hardware issue. I hope it isdrivers, which Lenovo will correct - although they do not seem so interested.

protonot
SCSI Port
Posts: 60
Registered: ‎10-05-2013
Location: US
Views: 1,190
Message 10 of 35

Re: X1 - erratic trackpoint - Synaptics 19.3.4.99

It seems Lenovo has not really identified the source of the issue. I got this same issue on two new X1 carbon 6th gen. Replacing the keyboard is not so easy on them, as all parts have to be removed. Why does this appear so incredibly frequently?

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