Synaptics Pointing Device and CIS

I just noticed this last night.

After installing and getting familiar with COMODO Firewall and Defense+ (I’m still getting used to it. It can be a nag sometimes, always telling me to make sure that such and such an application is trying to do this and that and that I should make sure it is safe…)

I have a laptop. And as such its got a built-in touchpad. It is a synaptic touchpad.

When the laptop was new, I could setup the touchpad in such a way that it will auto-disable when an external mouse is plugged in. The thing is, I noticed last night (as my other COMODO issue was being resolved) that the touch pad is still active, despite the mouse being plugged-in.

That’s strange. That didn’t use to be the case before.

So I access Control Panel to access the mouse configuration, only for it to tell me to uninstall and reinstall the synaptic driver. My synaptic driver is the latest version, v10.1.8.

So I do that. But now I cannot find the option, “Disable Touchpad when external mouse is connected.”

I don’t know if this new topic is in the proper place, but I’m putting it here because I have no idea where else to put it.


are you sure that your re-install of the Synaptics driver actually worked? I have had lots of problems because of a prior use of an external mouse on my Dell Inspiron 9400, and the presence of a couple of inf files left from the original installation of the Synaptics driver. In my case, the scrolling functions disappeared, and the touchpad had a tap to click function set with no way to turn it off.

If your touchpad is working just as a PS/2 mouse, then when you try to use the Synaptics control panel you will get a message like “Unable to connect to the Synaptics Pointing Device Driver.” If that is the case, respond back and I’ll post a fix.


HELLO i have the same problem a this message shows whenever i click on mouce icon in the configuration panel
" unable to connect to synaptics pinting device " please send me the fix

Hi All,

I had the same problem. but I didn’t want to post this long solution unless somebody needed it.

My work laptop was a Dell Inspiron 9400 that I inherited from a previous user who was “casual” about his firewall, antivirus, and basic attention to detail, so besides the viruses, trojans, and malware, the Intel 3945ABG card and the Synaptics touch pad didn’t work as they were supposed to when I got the machine.

It was easy to clean the viruses, etc., less easy to fix the wireless problem, and it took THREE DAYS to figure out how to get the Synaptics touch pad working right. Since that is the problem described in the string, here is what you have to do to fix it, and for those who are very experienced in the workings of XP, please excuse the “baby steps” instructions that are meant to help everybody including the newbie. Please note that I don’t use Vista, so I don’t know if this will work for it or if the file structure and folder location is the same as XP.

First, an explanation. When Windows doesn’t like something about your touchpad driver, it justs reverts it to a basic PS/2 mouse driver. This gives you mouse buttons and cursor movement, but no scrolling or gestures. That way, when you look at the hardware manager under the “Mice and other pointing devices” section, (control panel, double-click System, select Device Manager) you don’t see a yellow ? or a red X. I could have lived with that, but my version of the problem also had a very sensistive “tap to click” function working that I could not stop, and it was driving me batty.

So, first of all, delete any Synaptic driver that may be semi-installed by going to your control panel, selecting “Add or Remove Programs” (who adds programs with this thing?) and waiting while it “populates” the list. Scroll down (by using the elevator box, since your touchpad can’t scroll) to the entry “Synaptics Pointing Device Driver,” clicking on it and then click again on the Remove button. Windows will want to reboot after this, so REBOOT WINDOWS after the driver is removed.

Next, go to the Synaptics website and download their latest driver to your desktop. Alternatively, you could go to your computer manufacturer’s web site where you haven’t found any useful information about this problem and download their outdated version of the touchpad driver - it is up to you. Either way, have a new Synaptics driver installer sitting on your desktop ready to be clicked upon.

Once Windows is back up you have to make hidden system files visible. To do this, go to any open WINDOWS Explorer (not Internet Explorer) window and select “Tools” then “Folder Options” from the menu at the top of the window. The menu for Folder Options should have 4 tabs - “General, View, File Types, and Offline Files” - and if it doesn’t, you have a malware problem that gets fixed in a different answer from this. On the View tab, find the folder icon titled “Hidden Files and Folders” and select the button labelled “Show hidden files and folders.” Windows may whine about this, but do it anyway. Next, be sure that the box titled “Hide extensions for known file types” is NOT CHECKED. Click the “Apply to All Folders” button at the top of the tab, then answer Yes to the next question, and finally click OK to close the Folder Options dialog.

Now that you can see hidden files, get to where you can see “My Computer” on whatever version of the desktop you use, then OPEN it so that you see a window with icons of your hard disk(s) etc. Double click on the disk icon that is your bootdisk and has the system files on it, usually the “C” disk. Find and double-click the folder titled “Windows,” and if this is your first time doing so, Windows will whine again with a warning about how you are too stupid to see their inner workings, but just click Yes or OK to display the files in the Windows folder. Start to scoll down by using the elevator box/bar untill your find the folder “inf.”

Open the “inf” folder, select “View” from the menu bar, and choose “Details” This changes the view in the main part of the window to show information under columns labelled Name, Size, Type and Date Modified. Your display may show some other choices as well. Click on the word Name in the column labels once to sort the display into Z to A order, then click it again to sort it into A to Z order. Now click the word Type to sort the display into reverse order by Type.

The topmost entries you should see should be of the Type “Setup Information” and the rightmost three letters of each filename should be “inf.” Scroll down until you get entries “oem–.inf” where “–” is a number or numbers. Look for a big file (mine was 371 KB) and OPEN the inf file using Wordpad or Notepad by selecting the file name, then right-clicking it. On the pop-up window choose OPEN or Open With… to open it.

If you have found the correct inf file to work with the first few lines will look close to this:

; SynPD.inf
; Installs Synaptics Pointing Device driver files on Windows 2000, XP and Vista.
; Copyright (c) 1996-2007, Synaptics, Inc.

also, close by to the above inf file there MAY be a much smaller inf (mine was 9 KB) that looks close to this:

; SynHID.inf
; Installs Synaptics USB filter driver.

If you have found one or both of these files, then close the Wordpad or Notepad windows and single-click the oem–.inf file that is the SynPD file, then single click it again. You should now be able to change the name of the inf file. To be paranoid, if you just change the “inf” to “fni” no changes will be made to the content of the file, but Windows won’t know what to do with it the next time you boot your PC. When you make the change, Windows will whine again, but click Yes. If you also had the SynHID file, do the same for that file, and then reboot the PC.

You are almost there - once the PC is back up, double click on the Synaptics driver installer that you put on your desktop and follow the directions (just say Yes, which is my philosphy of life), and guess what, you get to reboot again!! Isn’t Windows great?

The nice part is that when Windows finally comes up you should get a “splash screen” about the Synaptics touchpad, and you should have an icon in your system tray for it. Enjoy!!

Wrapper, AKA Darn Old Duck