Touchpad Stops Working Shortly After Login – Ubuntu 11.10
It’s been a while since we last saw the Sherlock Holmes deerstalker hat around here! For all new visitors – that’s a deerstalker hat. It’s the one that Sherlock Holmes famously wore. It is not an armoured tortoise, or a 1950′s UFO movie prop. It’s my special icon reserved for when I’m feeling a little bit smug and happy that an annoying problem is now solved (or – in this case – worked around!).
My Dell Studio 17 is getting a little long in the tooth now. It happily accepts any and all updates that I throw at it, but each one adds a new brand of strangeness to the brew – not to mention the fact that the screen hinge is now held together with chicken wire and insulating tape! Anyway, a weird little problem started happening where, shortly after login, the touchpad would stop working.
I tried checking dmesg, and tailing syslog, but no error messages were reported, and everything seemed to be working as normal. Stranger still, the problem only happens about one out of five logins. If I Ctrl+Alt+Del, logout and back in, the problem may recur, or the touchpad may work properly.
I’ve searched for different solutions to this – and tried them all. Some suggested trying to reload Unity, others suggested downloading new Synaptics drivers. I tried all of these, and the problem persists.
Anyway, eventually, opening a terminal window and typing:
synclient TouchpadOff = 0
Seemed to get everything working again. A great command, but I knew that there was no way I’d remember that command. So, I put it into a script, put the script in my home folder and now, whenever the problem happens, I just Ctrl+Alt+T to open a terminal window and type ./tpon.sh. Hey presto! Touchpad works!
The script is here if you want to do the same yourself. Place it in your home folder, and then run:
chmod +x ~/tpon.sh
To make it executable. If the same problem happens, just Ctrl+Alt+T to open the terminal window, and then type ./tpon.sh to get your touchpad back.