Posted by: kurtsh | June 17, 2012

INFO: Samsung changed TouchPad vendors for the Series 9 laptop!

WHOA.  So, if you’ve been reading my blog, you know that I recently had some serious surgery done on my Samsung Series 9 1st gen laptop.  The entire front plate (the keyboard side) was replaced which is almost a 1/3rd of the actual laptop hardware.  It contained the following:

  1. Power supply jack
  2. Antenna
  3. Keyboard
  4. Touchpad
  5. Power switch

And more.  Our office tech did the surgery.  Meanwhile I went to the E3 Expo.  Yeah.  I live a charmed life.

THE SYNAPTICS DRIVER/CTRL-PANEL APPLET STOPPED WORKING
When I got back, the work was done.  I was surprised to find that all my mouse optimizations had disappeared.  If it even breathed on the touchpad, the mouse pointer moved as if I’d left clicked the mouse.  This of course made it virtually unusable again.

I investigated myself and discovered that when I looked at the SETTINGS for the Synaptics mouse in CTRLPANEL-MOUSE, there was nothing there – nothing specific to the Synaptics touchpad.  There were no configuration items to change.  It was as if all the settings checkboxes, sliders, etc. had just disappeared. 

I downloaded the Samsung touchpad drivers from the web site, ran the default driver setup, & rebooted.  No luck.  I talked to our tech and he didn’t know what to do but he mentioned that others had reported something about “ELAN drivers”.  This rang a bell because when I unpacked the Samsung touchpad drivers I saw a directory called “ELAN”.

image

DIFFERENT TOUCHPAD HARDWARE!

I navigated to the ELAN subfolder and explicitly installed JUST the ELAN drivers just to make sure and lo-and-behold:  It worked!

In other words, the Touchpad used to be a Synaptics TouchPad – but since it physically wasn’t there any more, the driver failed to install, as did the control panel applet.  Now, with the new ELAN Touchpad, it rejected the Synaptics driver.  Totally different manufacturer requiring a totally different TouchPad mouse driver.  Once I installed the ELAN drivers a completely new control panel applet appeared.  See to the snapshot to the right.

Again. the configuration screen is totally different and frankly, has a less configurable interface than the Synaptics… but the main optimizations are there:

  1. imageI recommend that folks Disable TAPPING altogether for One Finger & Two Figure usage.  If you want to ‘select’ an object, click on the bottom left corner which will act like a left mouse button as you’d expect.  If you do this, you’ll never accidentally left mouse click which is what most people do with One/Two Finger tapping enabled.
  2. I also recommend you disable Inertial Scroll for Two-Finger scrolling.  Inertial scrolling IMHO may fly for touch screen devices but not for touchpads were we have an expectation of precision.
  3. And I recommend Unchecking Drag and Drop from One-Finger controls.  Personally, if I want to drag & drop something, I want to CLICK-&-HOLD on the left mouse button, drag the item using the touchpad, then RELEASE the left mouse button to drop.  I have no use for any other type of drag & drop, personally.

I also adjusted the pointer speed & scroll speed to my liking.  And I quickened the double click speed but that’s all really personal preference stuff.

To download the driver package for the Samsung Series 9 with BOTH the Synaptics drivers & the ELAN drivers in them, visit the Samsung support web site at:


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