Multi-touch touchpads are now quite common in machines now days but some OEM machine builders have chosen to disable them in order to sell newer/different models. For example my brand new Compaq Presario CQ62 has a multi-touch enabled Synaptics LuxPad v7.4 but the stock drivers don’t enable the support… in fact the options are there but are greyed out. Yet other models sold by hp ship with it enabled such as the HP Mini 110-3100 PC series.
I did some experimenting with the latest driver from the Synaptics site and low and behold the locked out features started working at the loss of the enable/disable hot corner. So far what I have noticed between the oem and generic driver installers is the items they install.
First off the oem hp driver only installs “Synaptics (Syn TP) Mouse” driver version 188.8.131.52 dated 02/04/2010. The Generic driver installs “Synaptics (Syn TP) Mouse” and “Synaptics (Hid Usb) HIDClass” drivers both are version 184.108.40.206 from 08/27/2009. My guess is that the HIDClass enables the multi-touch support on the laptop.
Now why install the full hardware support but install crippled driver software. Anyway for those who want to enable these features on their machine can download the driver from the Synaptics site and try it out… if your laptop has a modern synaptics touchpad odds are you got the hardware to support it but the driver may not enable it.
Tried this? Did it work or not work? Other thoughts? Leave a comment below.
There is one thing that annoys me worse than activation… That one thing is how many OEM computer makers DON’T include install/restore discs.
So far I got two machines that required burning of recovery media and didnt even include a real windows disc. Restore discs are bad enough as it is but having to burn them your self is even worse.
Many people buy a new computer and use it without making the restore discs and when they get infected the trashed system is no longer capable of making the discs leaving them in a tough situation. In that case all the user can do is buy a windows disc or pay for the restore media from the OEM that built their machine. Often the OEM charges for the discs.
The most over looked issue also is that the don’t include windows install discs any more. That is a major issue since many of the OEM installs are unstable after you remove the crapware. Even more so you can’t use System File Checker if you don’t got a windows disc.
OEM machine builders should be charged for not including install/restore media since it should a crime to punish the users.
Anyway this rant is over and I better stop before I go to far
We all know everyone hates pre-installed crapware on a new computer… even worse you uninstall it and think it’s gone. Many dont realize that all the uninstalling can really mess with the registry even at times making the installed windows unstable.
But this is not about the crapware side of things. Another issue with those oem installed windows installs is they are at times still old servic pack versions (XP sp2/Vista sp0) and the upgrade to the latest service pack can do just as much damage as the crapware uninstall.
So far I’ve had to totaly reinstall Vista on 2 machines that came with it pre-installed. Not a fun experience since either the computer NEEDS lots of custom software for major functions to work or they don’t give a drivers and software dvd. Acer gives the option to burn the “Drivers and Software” dvd and so far i’ve confirmed Toshiba doesn’t since i had to make my own.
Another issue is activation… If the machine is a laptop it’s a pain to write down the key unless you turn off the machine and flip it over or if its a tower you got to crawl under your desk to write the key down. Unfortonatly i found a utility to backup/restore the oem activation onto the machine… This app could be abused but it has major legal implications. You can download this utility here… I am only promoting this app for legal use with clean Vista installs on new machines with oem pre-installed versons.
Now comes the fun part of installing all the drivers and software the machine needs. This can take some time if there are lots of custom apps that are required or if its a feature rich machine with lots of drivers.
Anyway ill leave this post off on that note… Happy Clean Installs