Fix the Dell Mini 10v Touchpad

16 10 2009

So, my lovely Wife recently got a rather cute Dell Mini 10v.

dell_mini_10v2It comes with a horribly stripped down version of Ubuntu 8.04 from Dell pre-installed. Luckily, however, that can be ripped out and a nice new install of 9.04 can take its place and it all works wonderfully….except the touchpad. To save space, Dell has used a horrible touchpad that integrates the two left and right mouse buttons into the touchpad itself, so when you go to click on something, you actualy end up moving the mouse at the same time. I was amazed that no one mentioned this in any of the reviews about the mini 10v, I guess everyone was embarrassed since they thought it was just them and they had fat fingers! Luckily, the Open Source Ubuntu community being what it is, there is a fix out there.

If you follow this post there is a clear step-by-step guide telling you how to download some specialised drivers for the touchpad that disable the lower portion of the touchpad, so that it works just as a left and right mouse button and not as part of the touchpad. THANK YOU. My Wife was getting ready to throw her netbook out the window until I found that fix. Be warned though, it only works on the 9.04 (and hopefully later) versions of Ubuntu and not on the version of Ubuntu that comes pre-installed, so you will have to install a new normal version of Ubuntu from their website first (though this is a simple process). I hope this helps some one else and allows them to love their Mini 10v, not hate it!




2 responses

8 05 2014
Rick Knight

I know this is an old post but as I was recently trying to find solutions to the Dell Mini 10 touchpad issues online and still saw no true solutions. So I’m trying spread the word on a true out of the box solution that is working for me.

The touchpad trouble seems to be the favorite complaint about the machine and I had, like many, opted for a mouse. A hint came from somewhere about trying to use tape without success and inspired my I solution that has worked independent of operating systems (windows and Ubuntu) and device drivers for a week now. The issue had seemed to be that the left and right touchpad “buttons” are also sensing a light touch for those of us that would use two fingers to run the touchpad. While using the right finger on the pad’s scrolling/pointing area the lightest touch to the left button area sent the mouse pointer flying.

Small stick-on rubber buttons, like those for putting bumper pads on cabinet doors or non-slip feet on tabletop objects can be placed on the extreme lower left and right of the touchpad. Even a firm touch to the pad’s new button will not register the finger touch while letting a pad click happen when you actually depress the button and feel and hear the “click”. The left bumper button can be used for a resting area with no flying pointer issue. I’ve used the smallest of a mixed size variety package that is about 9 or 10mm in diameter and maybe around 4mm thick with a well rounded top surface. Between the two bumper buttons you still have left to right scrolling. I have also disabled the double tap feature but feel free to experiment.

Hope this can help.

8 05 2014

Hi Rick

Thanks for the comment. Funnily enough, I only recently had to re-read this article as my wife’s laptop (same one the article was about) needed an OS upgrade and when I put Ubuntu 14.04 on it, the touchpad became horrible again.

After some googling and testing, I found a setting in Ubuntu that allows you to set a “deadzone” on the touchpad, at the bottom where the two buttons are, so that they work as buttons and not as part of the touchpad. The only issue is that it doesn’t always work with dragging and selecting stuff, though it does mostly.

However, I think your solution is infinitely preferable as it works on any OS. Nice find.

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