LEARNING OBJECTIVE – Troubleshoot laptop or netbook touch pads / mouse pads
Typical faults: Touch pad not working, working intermittently or is physically damaged.
Touchpad not working
If the touchpad is not working the first thing you should do is to check for either a function button or a button around the touchpad that switches it off.
If you can eliminate this as not the problem plug in a USB mouse and either boot the laptop up and test to see if it works with the mouse plugged in. If it now works and you have eliminated the on/off button then take the laptop apart and check the connection cables. If they are intact then order a new part.
Buttons not working
If the touchpad works but the buttons are sticky or don’t press properly then in the first instance try to pry up the buttons slightly using a small flat head screwdriver and use compressed air to blow out any debris or junk that may be preventing the buttons from making a good contact.
If this doesn’t work then take the laptop apart. Plug all of the laptop parts back together such as the keyboard and screen (leave the case apart) and power the laptop up. Try pressing the micro switches that the touchpad buttons press against. Do they work? If yes then check for physical problems with the touchpad buttons, use a common sense to fix them, i.e is there a part that has snapped and can be glued back together perhaps? If the buttons don’t work then replace the touchpad part.
Keep a spare USB keyboard and mouse to hand for times like these.
A replacement touchpad comes as part of the top bezel of the case and not as an individual part itself.
How long this should take
It could take upward of an hour to troubleshoot and carry out a repair as you will most likely need to strip down the laptop to access the touchpad.