Synaptics Touchpad on Dell Inspiron 2650 not always working after restart

Bug #479839 reported by Marcin Miklas on 2009-11-10
This bug affects 5 people
Affects Status Importance Assigned to Milestone
xserver-xorg-input-synaptics (Ubuntu)

Bug Description

Binary package hint: xserver-xorg-input-synaptics

After upgrading from Ubuntu 9.04, touchpad on my Dell Inspiron 2650 didn't work sometimes. I mean, that sometimes after restart it works ok, but after other restart it doesn't work at all. USB mouse works ok everytime.
I made also a clean install of Ubuntu 9.10 and the effect is the same.
It's annoying regression from Ubuntu 9.04.

ProblemType: Bug
Architecture: i386
Date: Tue Nov 10 08:44:53 2009
DistroRelease: Ubuntu 9.10
InstallationMedia: Ubuntu 9.10 "Karmic Koala" - Release i386 (20091028.5)
MachineType: Dell Computer Corporation Inspiron 2650
NonfreeKernelModules: nvidia
Package: xserver-xorg-input-synaptics 1.1.2-1ubuntu7
 Socket 0:
   no product info available
 Socket 0:
   3.3V 32-bit PC Card
ProcCmdLine: BOOT_IMAGE=/boot/vmlinuz-2.6.31-14-generic root=UUID=716c44e4-0e11-4d58-8396-4e24c9b986ba ro pci=noacpi quiet splash
ProcVersionSignature: Ubuntu 2.6.31-14.48-generic
 xserver-xorg 1:7.4+3ubuntu7
 libgl1-mesa-glx 7.6.0-1ubuntu4
 libdrm2 2.4.14-1ubuntu1
 xserver-xorg-video-intel 2:2.9.0-1ubuntu2
 xserver-xorg-video-ati 1:6.12.99+git20090929.7968e1fb-0ubuntu1
SourcePackage: xserver-xorg-input-synaptics
Uname: Linux 2.6.31-14-generic i686
 (gnome-settings-daemon:1500): GLib-CRITICAL **: g_propagate_error: assertion `src != NULL' failed
 (gnome-settings-daemon:1500): GLib-CRITICAL **: g_propagate_error: assertion `src != NULL' failed
 (nautilus:1588): Eel-CRITICAL **: eel_preferences_get_boolean: assertion `preferences_is_initialized ()' failed
 (polkit-gnome-authentication-agent-1:1607): GLib-CRITICAL **: g_once_init_leave: assertion `initialization_value != 0' failed
 (gnome-panel:1587): Gdk-WARNING **: /build/buildd/gtk+2.0-2.18.3/gdk/x11/gdkdrawable-x11.c:952 drawable is not a pixmap or window 03/23/2004
dmi.bios.version: A13 Inspiron 2650
dmi.board.vendor: Dell Computer Corporation
dmi.board.version: None
dmi.chassis.asset.tag: No Asset Tag
dmi.chassis.type: 1
dmi.chassis.vendor: Dell Computer Corporation
dmi.chassis.version: N/A
dmi.modalias: dmi:bvnPHOENIXTECHNOLOGIESLTD.:bvrA13:bd03/23/2004:svnDellComputerCorporation:pnInspiron2650:pvrRevisionA0:rvnDellComputerCorporation:rnInspiron2650:rvrNone:cvnDellComputerCorporation:ct1:cvrN/A: Inspiron 2650
dmi.product.version: Revision A0
dmi.sys.vendor: Dell Computer Corporation
fglrx: Not loaded
 distro: Ubuntu
 architecture: i686kernel: 2.6.31-14-generic

Marcin Miklas (amoce) wrote :
Erik Kronberg (eakron) on 2009-11-10
Changed in xserver-xorg-input-synaptics (Ubuntu):
status: New → Confirmed
jhansonxi (jhansonxi) wrote :

I have the same laptop but the touchpad didn't work at all with a new installation of Ubuntu 9.10 (Karmic Koala). I had to create an xorg.conf file with the configuration for the touchpad. Option "SHMConfig" "true" had to be set to get it working.

I noticed a "Unable to query Synaptics hardware" message in the kernel logs and found this Gentoo bug report that details issues with synaptics devices and the kernel:

jhansonxi (jhansonxi) wrote :

I've noticed similar behavior to bug #415804 where the touchpad seems to work if another USB mouse is plugged in at boot. It's doesn't always fix it but seems to improve the odds.

Marcin Miklas (amoce) wrote :

I didn't notice any improvement, when usb mouse is connected. Touchpad work or don't work with the same probability. I also noticed that sometimes keybourd doesn't work, much less frequently than touchpad. Strange thing that I didn't see any errors or warnings in system logs, it seems that when touchpad isn't working it isn't detected at all.

Dmitri (bal-dim) wrote :

Same problem.
My notes:
1) the touchpad is not working on boot with 50% probability. works always after "SHMConfig" "true" added to xorg.conf
2) sometimes the keyboard AND the touchpad both do not work. With 5-10% probability. "SHMConfig" "true" DO NOT HELP IN THIS CASE...

Could it be 2 different bugs?

jhansonxi (jhansonxi) wrote :

If it's not a hardware failure then it could be a timing bug. CPU speed could also affect it in that situation. Mine is 1.6GHz.

Bryce Harrington (bryce) on 2010-03-18
tags: added: karmic
oooh (oooh-oooh) wrote :

My touchpad sometimes works, and sometimes not. The touchpad buttons always work though, and usb mouse always does.

I think this log in the /var/log/Xorg.0.log file is relevant:

(WW) AlpsPS/2 ALPS GlidePoint can't grab event device, errno=16

Anytime the touchpad does not work, I get this error in the log file. I have the feeling is related to the event number assignation, as shown in the logfile:

(**) Option "Device" "/dev/input/event9"

I think it could be related to conflictive event assignment, so maybe the touchpad event is sometimes blocked by another device grabbing the event. In any case, sometimes when it is not working, it is linked to event 9 and sometimes to other event numbers.

How could I check the current device VS event assignment ? I think that information may help us.

jhansonxi (jhansonxi) wrote :

I upgraded to 10.04 (Lucid Lynx) and the problem remained until some updates in the past week. Now both the touchpad and keyboard are dead (bug #555169). This may be a separate regression.

Yes, I'm unsure if this is the same bug, but the keyboard intermittently stops functioning. Bug 555169 seems to address the mouse/touchpad not to work at all.

I've noticed that changing my system time will result in the trackpad on my lappy to die. I can keyboard over to the OK button and select it manually and strangely enough, touchpad functionality will return to me immediately afterwards.

Marcin Miklas, this bug was reported a while ago and there hasn't been any activity in it recently. We were wondering if this is still an issue? If so, could you please test for this with the latest development release of Ubuntu? ISO images are available from .

If it remains an issue, could you please run the following command in the development release from a Terminal (Applications->Accessories->Terminal), as it will automatically gather and attach updated debug information to this report:

apport-collect -p xserver-xorg-input-synaptics REPLACE-WITH-BUG-NUMBER

Please note, given that the information from the prior release is already available, doing this on a release prior to the development one would not be helpful.

Thank you for your understanding.

Helpful bug reporting tips:

Changed in xserver-xorg-input-synaptics (Ubuntu):
importance: Undecided → Low
status: Confirmed → Incomplete
Launchpad Janitor (janitor) wrote :

[Expired for xserver-xorg-input-synaptics (Ubuntu) because there has been no activity for 60 days.]

Changed in xserver-xorg-input-synaptics (Ubuntu):
status: Incomplete → Expired
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