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TheGlenlivet

Dell XPS 15 trackpad issue

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Posted · Original PosterOP

Howdy Folks, 

I purchased a Dell XPS 15 (L521X) from a recycler with some light external damage for $45 last week as a project for myself to tinker with.  I purchased a WIFI card, RAM, and msata drive and installed ubuntu 18.04 LTS on it and everything works except the trackpad.  I can plug in a mouse and use the system fine, but the trackpad and buttons do nothing.

The system is old enough that the BIOS doesn't have a mouse, so I can't test it there to see if it's a hardware issue or not.  I suppose a broken track pad and the cosmetic damage on the outside of the case would be the reason it was retired by the original owner, but I am looking for a way to make sure that it is hardware and not a missing driver causing the issue.

I am pretty sure that Ubuntu includes drivers for laptop trackpads, but if there is a way to install them manually I'll try that, I just don't know where to start.  All the drivers on Dell's website are Windows only.

Thanks in advance for any help.

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Install Windows, then try? I think that'll be the easiest but one of the longer, possible solutions...


"May your frame rates be high and your temperatures low"

I misread titles/posts way too often--correct me if I don't.

 

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Windows 10 installation has support for trackpads. You could load the windows installation onto a Flash drive and boot to it then begin the installation and just see if the trackpad works. You wouldn't have to install windows 10 just start the installation.

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Posted · Original PosterOP
1 minute ago, Jasun said:

Install Windows, then try? I think that'll be the easiest but one of the longer, possible solutions...

 

Just now, ComputerGuy said:

Windows 10 installation has support for trackpads. You could load the windows installation onto a Flash drive and boot to it then begin the installation and just see if the trackpad works. You wouldn't have to install windows 10 just start the installation.

Not a bad idea.  I think i even have a factory win10 usb around here somewhere...  

If it doesn't work then, I can basically eliminate any other possibility, right?  It would HAVE to be the hardware.  It came with windows (7 though) so it should work, right?

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1 minute ago, TheGlenlivet said:

 

Not a bad idea.  I think i even have a factory win10 usb around here somewhere...  

If it doesn't work then, I can basically eliminate any other possibility, right?  It would HAVE to be the hardware.  It came with windows (7 though) so it should work, right?

Yes if that doesn't work then it is very possible that its just a hardware failure. You can find some trackpad parts for dell laptops on ebay. I have found them before and replaced them on laptops before. Sometimes you can buy just top frame that houses the trackpad as one unit on ebay. 

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Posted · Original PosterOP
6 minutes ago, ComputerGuy said:

Yes if that doesn't work then it is very possible that its just a hardware failure. You can find some trackpad parts for dell laptops on ebay. I have found them before and replaced them on laptops before. Sometimes you can buy just top frame that houses the trackpad as one unit on ebay. 

https://www.parts-people.com/index.php?action=item&id=13318

Bingo.

Thanks for the help all.  With another $35 for a sensor (if that's the issue) I'll have a $150 I7 GPU equipped, 1080P laptop!  

Fixing old stuff is cool....

 

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Posted · Original PosterOP
On 6/4/2018 at 10:18 AM, Jasun said:

Install Windows, then try? I think that'll be the easiest but one of the longer, possible solutions...

 

On 6/4/2018 at 10:18 AM, ComputerGuy said:

Windows 10 installation has support for trackpads. You could load the windows installation onto a Flash drive and boot to it then begin the installation and just see if the trackpad works. You wouldn't have to install windows 10 just start the installation.

Booted off the windows install USB and...............

No Trackpad. 

Oh well.  Looks like I found the reason this Lappy was trashed.  $35 for the new pad will hopefully get her up and running 100% again.

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