Samsung Series 9 touchpad issue RESOLVED!

*****Final Update***** So it seems that Samsung has been plagued with more issues related to the touchpad and many commenters have related it to something having to do with the power connection.  Apparently when the AC adapter is plugged in the touchpad goes wacky.  When unplugged it works fine.  The solution has been to purchase a cheap power conditioner to put inline with the adapter.  I added this update because I wanted to save the reader from reading a very long post only to find the answer to their issue in the comment section.  Have a great day!

*****Update***** I found out that one must never rely on reviews, even if they are from a trusted source, for the instructions or features of your product.  Apparently one can’t rely on the support from the companies you bought said product from either.  Today while I was in a doctors office built like a bunker sans internet and sans cellphone service I decided to read my laptop manual that was preinstalled by Samsung (who reads the manual anyway?).  Well, it turns out that they specifically show how to right click using the bottom right portion of the trackpad.  This leads me to assume that this MUST be a new manual for a new version of the laptop as there are just too many posts out there talking about double press right click (here, here, here, here, and more.  Or most reviewers didn’t understand the complex trackpad in the unit and thought it was just one big trackpad.  That led consumers to take their word at face value and not read the manual.  Users like me.  Either that or I’ve just lost my mind.  You decide.  It’s probably a little from column A and a little from column B.  Anyway, after further research it would seem that the touchpad on the Samsung Series 9 is actually a lot more complex than most people think and is not just your typical multi touch trackpad like say…..Apples.

 

 

So I received my new laptop yesterday in the mail from the Microsoft Store online.  It’s a Samsung Series 9, 13“.  It was late in coming as I had purchased 2 day shipping after ordering it on Sunday and it came on Thursday at 6pm.  Granted that it WAS ordered on Sunday but even allowing for processing on Monday it still shouldn’t have taken so long.  MS was nice enough to send me a free XBox 360 even though the laptop wasn’t one of their “qualifying” versions for their current “Back to School” promotion for some strange reason.  Of course, I had to prove that the owner was a student to get it and since my wife is going back to school for another degree she has a student email address which I used as we both “share” the laptop, wink wink….nudge nudge.

Another bonus for the Microsoft store, and the reason I purchased it there, was that the laptop was more than a few hundred dollars cheaper through Microsoft than anywhere else.  In fact, one of the only reasons this laptop gets lower points than the equally beautiful MacBook Air is that it is MORE expensive.  Getting it through MS takes care of that problem.  My wife has a MacBook Air and I have to say, it’s hard to tell which is a better machine although I think this one beats it out slightly.  MS also images their laptops without all of the bloatware normally installed on the piece which is a huge boon.  This is part of their “Signature” series of PC’s.  When I buy machines I normally wipe them and reinstall the bare OS from scratch so that I can put only the things I want on them.  In this case MS did that for me.  “Yay,” I thought.  This will save me tons of time!

When it finally arrived I was really really excited to say the least.  I buy a new laptop only once every few years and always try and go all out so that it will last and serve me well.  This one is no exception.  It’s gorgeous (Check out the pic below).  Not only is it 10 grams lighter than the MacBook Air, it is also made out of this aircraft aluminum called Duralumin which makes it lighter and tougher.  It does tend to be a fingerprint magnet though.  However, for a guy like me that constantly deals with networks and has to have a native Ethernet adapter (not virtual for packet tracing) this one actually sports one via a native dongle.  I hate dongles but if it keeps the laptop slim and light, I’m down.  When I turned it on it was instantly noticeable that this was a quick machine.  However, when I tested the standby mode and then the “Fast boot” that Samsung promised was just as fast as the MacBook Air it turns out it wasn’t even installed.  On top of that the multi touch trackpad wasn’t multi touch.Samsung Series 9

Something was terribly wrong.  I quickly navigated to the Control Panel where I looked at the “mouse” settings to TURN ON the multi touch capabilities that Microsoft had TURNED OFF!!!  What???  So then I was able to do all the cool things you’d expect to do with multi touch such as two finger scrolling, four finger Aero, three finger back and forward, etc.  Yeah…everything except for two finger right click.  On every review I’ve read on this thing it mentions that it has two finger right click like the MacBook Air.  What I didn’t notice was that in the customer review sections multiple people mentioned problems with this feature.  Some people returned their unit twice until they got one that worked.  Some people did what I did and downloaded the latest drivers from Samsung’s website to see if that would fix it and for some people that DID work.  Not for me.

Looking at the posts it seemed that it was very hit or miss with getting this to work.  I had already reinstalled multiple drivers, checked settings, read through numerous forums, etc.  Nothing.  I decided that the next day I would call Samsung to see if there was a known issue or better yet, a known resolution to the issue.  When I reached technical support they told me that there is a known “AM frequency” issue and to remove the power cord from the laptop, turn it off, then turn it back on again.  I’ve actually seen these kinds of issues before in other mobile devices.  It can do all kinds of strange things including causing issues with touchpads.  “Does right click work now?” she asked.  “No,” I said.  “Still nothing.”  She asked if I was sure that I was pressing with two fingers to the point where the touchpad clicked and not just tapping on it and I assured her I was.  At that point she told me it was a hardware problem and I’d have to call MS to get it returned as it was so new.  If I went through them it would take 7 to 10 days before I received the replacement.

So I called MS.  A lovely sounding lady came on the other end of the phone almost immediately.  I was impressed even though I was angry, frustrated and disillusioned.  I mean, I just received this thing, late, and it already had to go back.  Not to mention I had already spent hours installing software and tweaking it to where I wanted it.  Yes, I could image it and place the image on the replacement but I’m always weary on that in case it’s a slightly different build.  I explained my issue and my amazement that Microsoft would DISABLE core functionality on a laptop by default.  How can one disable multi touch on a PC that doesn’t have a right click button?  To clarify, there IS a right click button on the keyboard itself but this is a pain to use and worst of all you have to left click first the item you want to right click.  Try right clicking a hyperlink then.  It’s impossible.

She was as surprised as I was that they would do that and assured me she would contact the labs to get it all sorted out.  She said that if it was a hardware problem I would have the option to do an advanced replacement.  Now an advanced replacement to me means I give my credit card info and if I don’t send back the faulty unit my credit card will be charged.  Not in Microsofts world.  For them it means that I PURCHASE A NEW LAPTOP and when they receive the old one they will credit me at some point.  Nice.  I guess I didn’t really have much of a choice as I wasn’t going to be a day without this thing.  She gave me her full name and direct number and told me she’d call back later.  That also, was impressive.

In the meantime I didn’t want to give up looking for a solution.  I went to the Synaptics website as they are the maker of the touchpad.  There I saw no driver downloads as each OEM has to write their own using the Synaptics API.  It then hit me, how could this be a hardware issue if I can do two finger scrolling?  Surely if the touchpad can see my two fingers scrolling it can feel the two fingers click the pad!  Immediately I called the woman at MS to tell her I and the Samsung support technician must have been wrong.  It HAS to be a software issue.  To my amazement the number she gave WAS a direct line to her and she picked up almost immediately.  What service!  She had actually been researching the issue and talking to the guys in the lab.  They were scratching their heads over the problem.  I told them it must be a driver issue and coincidentally the latest drivers came out August 29th which was 3 days before I received my laptop.  Maybe THAT was the issue.  She told me she’d call me back after lunch and once again I was left to myself trying to figure out a way to fix this.  I would download Synaptics‘ API and write my own driver if I had to.  Thought I’m not really good at it I’ve had to do it before in a pinch.

After reading more forums where people were so upset they returned the laptop for good I read about some other “issues”.  It seems that some touchpads are out of alignment.  Or were they?  Many people complained about the fact that the touchpad is smooth and streamlined at the top but at the bottom there is a little bezel as it is lower on each side.  Finally one person said that they think this is a design choice and is purposefully done that way as there is hidden hardware functionality in the bottom corners.  Huh?  I clicked the bottom right corner, as close to the bezel as possible.  RIGHT CLICK!

I can only deduce from this that when the initial builds came out there was a two finger right click as on the MacBook Air.  Since then there has been a driver change that altered how this works.  Unfortunately there is NO documentation on it and neither Samsung technical support or Microsoft technical support are aware of it (or at least the people I spoke with).  In the end I’m definitely frustrated on how this went and how much time out of my life it took to get it resolved.  However, I’m relieved that I don’t have to send the unit back and reinstall all of my programs, settings, etc.  The woman at Microsoft was glad to hear what happened.  She had been speaking with the people in the labs and they may put multi touch back on the default menu as well as fast start.  They’re also noting how to right click so that people don’t have to return their laptops for nothing anymore.  :)

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25 Comments

  1. Wait, sorry, but did you fix it on your own, then, or did you have to bring it to them to have it fixed? Because I’m having the same problem. The only difference is that I’ve had my computer for almost a year, and it only just started doing this about a week ago.
    If you did fix it on your own, how did you do it? I’m majorly confused and can’t find any answers, but your post seems to be the closest I’ve gotten!

    • I’m so sorry, I didn’t see this until now as it was marked as SPAM. If it just started happening to you now then I would assume that it is either a hardware or a driver issue unlike with me. What exactly seems to be the problem though? Did you lose multi-touch, can’t right-click or what?

      Incidentally, I ended up getting another Series 9 and when that one ended up having some other major problems I got rid of both. I replaced it with an Asus Ux1 Ultrabook and never looked back. It was the best decision I ever made. If you’d prefer, send an email to us directly at info@whyreboot.com and we’ll try and help you out directly with that issue. Maybe we can help!

  2. I’ve had my 15″ Samsung series 9 for about 3 weeks. I love it! (Not quite as much as my MacBook, but close.) The one thing that is driving me crazy, is the functionality of the touchpad. My MacBook allows actual programming of the touchpad so that the left side performs left click and the right side performs right click functions. The Samsung does not offer particular functionality in the touchpad set-up. And, clicking close to the bezel in the lower right corner, does nothing on my unit…

    This drives me so crazy, I may return the unit… but hate to since it offers a lot of other nice features.

    Does anyone offer aftermarket drivers for the Samsung Synaptics touchpad, that offers the Mac-style features?

    Much thanks in advance for your response!

  3. I loved it too. Unfortunately it ended up having just too many issues so after I went through a second one I sent it back and got the Asus instead. As of the time I had it I could NOT find any other drivers other than the ones offered by Synaptics themselves or by Samsung.

    Out of curiosity, if the lower right corner does not do “right click” then how do you do this? With two fingers? That’s how I was told it was supposed to work but for me it only worked with the bottom right.

    I wish I had more answers for you. The Samsung driver, once enabled, did have quite a lot of features in it, even four finger swipes. It just didn’t offer much customization. Please let me know about my question above, I’m really curious to know. Thanks!

  4. Hey all,

    I just got the NP900X3C and I discovered some interesting things re: the touchpad. Behavior is only erratic when it it plugged in and that is where it gets overly sensitive, jittery, and unuseable.

    BUT – only plugged into certain sockets/circuits in my house. That leads me to believe that the touchpad only acts up when there is certain noise on the line. So, a workaround is to just plug it into a small surge protector in-line with the power supply. Something like this:

    http://www.amazon.com/Belkin-SurgeCube-Surge-Protector-Outlet/dp/B00006BBAB/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1345078316&sr=8-1&keywords=one+outlet+surge

    Hope this helps!!

    • It’s funny you mention that because when I originally called Samsung they told me that happens due to some power issue they have (I forgot the exact terminology). However, my issue was with or without power connected so for me it didn’t happen. Apparently they fixed it on later versions, maybe you got an older one? It’s not just Samsung that has that issue though, I’ve seen it with a few other laptops in the past, one of them my Latitude XT. When it was plugged into power the touchscreen was sometimes erratic as well. Anyway, thanks for the update!

  5. Wow, Reading this and going nuts with my trackpad. No matter what I did, washed it carefully, washed my hands – no matter what, I would wiggle all over the place.

    As soon as I unplugged the power it is completely still! I was ready to send the computer back, other than this issue I would give the 256mb 15″ a 9.5 out of 10.

    THANK YOU CLIFFU!!!

  6. I was wondering if you can test your laptop and see if suffers from the same problem mine does. My touchpad works OK but the annoying issue is that there is vertical movement of the touchpad surface at the bottom edge. When I lift my fingers of the pad to type and then put them back on to scroll, if I put the finger back on the bottom portion of the touchpad, I can feel it move downwards very slightly without activating the touchpad buttons. In essence, light taps on the bottom portion of the touchpad surface cause it to move up and down slightly as if there is a bit of free play in the touchpad surface.

  7. That’s amazing. I had the same annoying ‘play’ around my trackpad pointer with jerky motions and odd button presses (without me doing so) and everything was solved once I started using a surge-protected power outlet. Thank you so much for the suggestion!

  8. Bloody hell! That’s exactly the same problem I was having. The trackpad was basically useless; unplug it from the power source and go to battery and it works fine.

    I’ll have to get a surge protector tomorrow.

  9. Ok this is the funniest thing I’ve eperienced in a long time. So I’ve had my samsung for about a week and I must say I’m pretty satisfied with the overall performance. Still i wanted to update drivers on it (using driver manager 2013) and ended up screwing up the trackpad. Struggling with restoring default settings and much more it felt pretty hopeless for a while. Then, like a revelation, i bumped in to this website and all of a sudden everything worked just fine again! I even discovered some multi-tasking features. Two fingers to slide the page, three-fingers swipe left/right will go back/forth and four-finger swipe to switch tabs. Genius!!

  10. Youre not right!

    With my Samsung new Series 9 13.1″ with 128 GB SSD and Windows 8, I have the problem with right click with or without AC source when I am pluging in a external mouse too. You will shurely agree with me that if the problem of sometime working sometime refusing right-click persist either if I work on the pad or with external mouse, it is a pure and only driver – related problem and not HW!!
    I even deactivated the pad when using external mouse : no chance! So for me they must work on that both Microsoft AND Samsung…

    • Haha…well Bruno I think you’ll have to agree that many people on here found many different problems with many different solutions to those problems. Saying people aren’t right when you have a different issue is not helpful to anybody including yourself. I hope you find a resolution to your driver issue. If and when you do I hope you can give us an update over here so that hopefully somebody with the same problem as you can get it fixed.

  11. Looks like the problem only happens with some power lines. Specifically with power lines that are not well connected to ground. Because I have the same problem in the same conections with my Series 9 and a Macbook Air.

    So if you don´t have or forget the surge protector, you can just put one hand on any metallic part of the ultraboock and the touchpad will act normally.

    Saludos

  12. Thank you!!! I live in Chile, and my girlfriend is over in Madrid tonight for her doctorate exam tomorrow morning. In the hotel her touchpad went wacky and she was freaking out (obviously). unplugging the laptop from the unstable hotel powersupply fixed the touchpad. so now she is running on batteries for now. thanks for the life saving suggestion.

  13. hello Bjorn,

    I am amazed as how we consumers can be left in our pants in front of these companies that sell us hardware with such incredibly horrendous issues and WE have to go through all sorts of maneuvers to get things work ! It should be the companies offering us to replace our hardware back and cover the expense of sending the unit. This is appalling and I can’t but say shame on them! I should have read your reviews before going to buy this ultra book specifically since in order to get the trackback work correctly I have to unplug it . I am now a the campus library and I have to use it unplugged from its ungrounded AC socket juts so I don’t go nuts with a completely unworkable unit.

    As some may know the Samsung NP900X3C US1 and ES1 don’t offer ultra boost technology when not plugged in , as far as I know. This offers very poor performance when using Illustrator and Photoshop Combined. I actually bought this ultra book to do photo editing and illustration for web design and I hate to carry a surge protector around the campus just to get extra power in, specially since one of the reasons I got an ultra book is for its low weight and bulkiness.

    Has anyone come out with another solution for this problem? I bought my unit online in Spain like a month ago. Has anyone got their unit replaced fast enough by Samsung with a workable unit ?

    I would really appreciate more info. I will try to contact my reseller to know if they have had any similar issues and if they have been able to cope successfully with Samsung to that respect.

    Thank you all for your posts

    Ramon

    • Hi Ramon,
      Yeah it amazes me too. I was finally so frustrated after receiving my second replacement that I finally moved to an Asus ultrabook. I’ve always used Asus mainboards for my home builds and had found that their hardware was always reliable. The only gripe I have with it is the keyboard is not the easiest to type on. I should have paid more heed to the reviews but at the time I needed something right away and had wasted so much time on the Samsung. I generally like Samsung products so I was surprised at all of the issues I found. I wish I could give you more info but maybe one of the other commenters can chime in on whether or not Samsung sent them a working unit.

      One thing to note, I HAVE seen this same issue on a Dell laptop before so I know it’s not just a Samsung issue. Good luck!

      -Bjørn

  14. Hi –

    I had a similar problem as you, with a very different solution. I installed Windows 7 on my new Samsung Series 9, NP9000-X3E (which originally came with Windows 8), and lost two-finger scrolling functionality. I tried the Samsung support drivers, but none of them worked. I just restored the functionality with a newer (2012) Elan driver, found here on TechSpot and the Asus website: http://www.techspot.com/drivers/driver/file/information/16466/

    Now double-finger scrolling (and zoom, etc.) works! I hope this helps someone.

  15. A latest update just removed all of the functions of the touchpad.. I originally had the three and four finger functions and now I only have the one and two finger options left.. What is that all about?!

    Does someone has an answer to that?

  16. Thank you for the touchpad fix! I just started using the Samsung with the power cord attached (I’ve always just gone off battery power), and I was so confused as to why my touchpad was all wanky suddenly. After much fighting with the touchpad, I managed to find this article. Unplugged the unit, and it was an immediate fix. I love my Samsung and was getting scared I’d have to replace it after less than a year’s use. Whew!

  17. hi all,
    well up until tonight, was a proud owner of a Samsung ultrabook 15 series 9,,,

    my issue~~~ freezing and disappearing mouse

    I moved to thailand with my brand new laptop to trade and it suddenly lost control of the curser then it disappeared,, after many reboots to no avail, i used my samsung fone to google the issue, long story short,

    u can use the keypad thank god, tap the window key, type control panel, tab to devices and printers then to mouse, then to touch pad u will notice the elan touch pad option is ready to be enabled, tab again until the enable button is highlighted and it enter and viola it works,

    Not sure why it turns itself off yet but if this little peice of info gets u through the night my job is done, then ring SAMSUNG And ring their necks for a reason

    I’m sure there is a short cut, hopefully a guru will edit my less than technical fix and directions

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