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I updated to 10.10 from, I believe, 10.4; I'd only had it on this machine (dell inspiron e1505) for a few months, so it was a pretty late version. After updating, my touchpad was completely nonfunctional. After spending several hours trying to figure out what was wrong, I found out that the command synclient touchpadoff=0 was all that was needed to resolve the issue.

synclient -l before fixing the issue (I've never touched synclient or configured such things manually, this is all default to the best of my knowledge).

So my question: Why was my touchpad disabled (thru a config change) during update?

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closed as off topic by bodhi.zazen, htorque, fossfreedom Mar 1 '12 at 22:59

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For what it's worth upgrading my Dell Inspiron 1420n from 11.04 to 11.10 didn't leave the touchpad inactive as in your case. Nor did I see that problem before. –  fragos Oct 30 '11 at 21:05
That seems like an odd thing for an update to do. I see one of two possible scenarios. 1) An update to the touchpad driver caused it to be reloaded and possibly the default value was off (doubtful) 2) An update enabled functionality to a hardware key used to enable/disable the touchpad –  tgm4883 Nov 2 '11 at 19:58
Thank you for taking a shot at answering, @tgm4883! For what it's worth I do not believe my laptop has a hardware switch for the touchpad; at least I haven't seen it. –  sequoia mcdowell Nov 2 '11 at 20:53
This question should instead be filed as a bug report, and as such is off-topic, thanks! Instructions here. –  bodhi.zazen Feb 29 '12 at 18:10

1 Answer 1

@seqouia mcdowell : have you checked the logs from the time just post-update to determine why the system disabled the synaptics touchpad client? Find that most answers can be found within the logs when looking into them as they will often contain the information or some hint as to why an issue occurs (presuming that you have not lost your ability to see a screen of course).

It is frustrating when an issue occurs, but unlike a proprietary system, what makes Linux helpful is the ability to debug at a system level the occurrence of most issues with a little determination and help from others at times. Would suggest that if the logs are available, that they are the only source of information that can be of any value, otherwise no one will be able to assist with this issue at all.

The reason is not because no one wishes to help, it is simply that the facts are not present to make intelligent determination of cause. If there were some log information to review, errors might present themselves that could show the root cause and ways to resolve and avoid in future. Anything else is speculative and not likely to resolve your root question and leads you to further frustration and becomes a self-fulfilling finality of "too hard" and "doesn't work".

If you search the /var/log/apt/history.log file, you should be able to locate the date and time of the update in question. You should then be able to locate the syslog (/var/log/syslog) file that contains the output from the time of the update to determine what occurred at that date and time, or at least add the appropriate output here for examination, where a determination can be made to address the root question.

HTH. Have a nice day. :)

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