August 17, 2017

HP dm3-1030us touchpad freeze and unresponsive after waking from sleep

hp-dm3-1030usWhat to do about the HP dm3 touchpad that freezes and becomes unresponsive after waking from sleep. I purchased a HP dm3-1030us laptop from Staples recently. For the inquiring minds, I paid $499 after rebates, a price that I am quite content with. All things considered, this is a very nice laptop for the money and I plan to give it a full review soon.

One problem I immediately encountered however had to do with the touchpad becoming unresponsive once the computer awakens from sleep. No matter how much force was applied to the touchpad or whether the left or right buttons were depressed, the on-screen pointer wouldn’t budge, or would only move a slight amount. And in some cases it would change to a magnifying glass icon and be stuck in the upper left hand corner of the screen. Even more strange was that this issue would sort of resolve itself after 5-10 minutes. After that period of time, the touchpad would simply begin working normally. This was really aggravating behavior and I was just about ready to return the laptop for a refund. But I have since spent some time Googling this issue and discovered some good conversation about it in the HP Support Forum.

What my experiences have unearthed are several ways to work around this problem. I’m not a big fan of workarounds as I’d much rather have a solution that is not a workaround, whether that means a driver update or whatever. But in the meantime these suggestions may help resolve your touchpad issues.

In no particular order since they all seem to work for me…

  1. Before putting your laptop to sleep, depress the button between the space bar and the touchpad to disengage the touchpad altogether. This essentially turns off the touchpad. You’ll know it is turned off because the indicator light will change to an amber color. Once the touchpad is turned off, you may safely put your computer to sleep. When you wake your computer from sleep, enter your password if necessary and then depress the button again to turn the touchpad back on. The color of the indicator light will change from amber to white and you should be good to go. This method has worked for me consistently.
  2. In lieu of turning the touchpad off before putting your computer to sleep, you can try this instead. Open up the control panel and navigate to the Devices and Printers menu, right click on it and choose Mouse Settings. When the Mouse Properties window opens, click on the Multitouch Gestures tab and deselect all three checkboxes. Apply the changes and close the window. This method also stopped the freezing problem for me, but this method disables multitouch gestures so that may be reason enough for you not to choose this method if you plan on using gestures on the touchpad.
  3. The simplest fix and one that has also worked for me is to simply have a bit of patience. When you wake your computer up from sleep, just chill for about 10-15 seconds before you touch the touchpad. It seems that just waiting for 10-15 seconds may be enough time for the touchpad to resume normal operation upon waking from sleep.

I hope one of these three methods will work for you and if it does, let me know.

By the way, I did notice that there is a new BIOS update for the dm3-1030us available on the HP site. It is the bios version F0A.

UPDATE: In the HP forum, there has been another suggestion for fixing the touchpad freeze issue, although it makes no sense to me, but the fix is this…
Go to Start menu > Control Panel > System and Security > System > Device Manager > System Devices. Find “ACPI Lid” and right click on it. Select “Update Driver Software” and in the next window select “Search automatically for updated driver software”. It will search for a moment then report that the best driver software for your device is already installed. Doing that will supposedly also fix the touchpad freezing issue. Does it make any sense? No it does not. But people are reporting that it has fixed their freeze issue… go figure.

UPDATE: I have to conclude that the ACPI Lid “fix” is pure rubbish. I turned multi-gestures back on and did the suggested “fix” of searching for a non-existent ACPI driver update and after my computer woke from sleep my touchpad returned to its problematic state of freezing and displaying magnifying glass icon and being generally unresponsive.

UPDATE: There has just been another BIOS update for the dm3-1030us which brings the BIOS version up to F.22 A. This new update is reputed to fix the touchpad issues. I have installed the update and am waiting for a while before concluding that the problems have been fixed.

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Comments

  1. Thank you for putting a work-around out here. I almost returned my dm3 as a result of the mousepad freezing.

    -Jerome

    • Michael R Erb says:

      Glad you found it helpful. I was almost ready to return mine too. So glad I didn’t because I love the dm3… it’s an awesome laptop, especially for the price I got mine from… $499 from Staples after rebates.

  2. I wonder if HP has a TouchPad button, like Acer – Fn-F7, and if that might help? Like here: http://annoyances-resolved.blogspot.com/2009/12/acer-touchpad-not-working.html

  3. Thanks for the tech tip on the mouse. I bought the DM3 for my daughter and was ready to send it back before I read your tip. How is it that you know more than HP tech support? Great job.

    • Michael R Erb says:

      Ha! Thanks David. I’m not so sure I now more than HP support, but apparently I’m more responsive than HP tech support in this one small area ๐Ÿ™‚

  4. Hi Michael,

    Your tips are working for me and I’ve only had my DM3 1016ax a few days so was very annoyed when the touchpad starting freezing after the first day! One quick query – I’m not up on bios updates and when/how they’re needed but I checked out the site and my laptop is compatible. Should I download it and will it help fix any problems? I can seem to find any info about what the update is actually for but I’ve read masses of horror stories about how bios updates can go wrong! Any chance of some more advice??

    • Michael R Erb says:

      Emma, I’m glad that you found a way to fix your touchpad freeze issues with the tips I provided. Concerning the bios update, I don’t think there is any cause for concern as long as you follow the update procedure explicitly. The biggest potential problem with updating the bios is that if there is some sort of disruption before the bios has been fully updated you can corrupt the bios. This could have bad consequences indeed. You never want to interrupt the process when flashing the bios.

      If you get the bios update from HP website and follow the procedure explicitly (making sure you are on AC power when doing the update, not interrupting the process by closing the lid or unplugging the computer, etc, it should successfully update your bios. To the best of my knowledge, the bios update that was available for the dm3 was to address some other issue other than the touchpad. For my dm3-1030US and your 1016ax the latest bios version is F0A. You can download the bios update from this page for your model http://bit.ly/549QXY

  5. UPDATE BIOS.. Will solve issue..

    • Michael R Erb says:

      I had just noticed yesterday in the HP forum that the F.22 A BIOS had recently been released. I’ve installed it and am waiting to see if it has in fact solved the problems. Thanks for the alert.

  6. Thank you soooooooooooooooo much, i bought the dm 1035 dx from best buy and loved it every bit but started facing this same problem. I was thinking of returning mine but thanks to you found workarounds.

    • Michael R Erb says:

      You’re welcome. I’ve been using my computer a lot since updating the BIOS and have also turned multi-gestures back on… so far not a single touchpad freeze. It appears the BIOS update did the trick although I’m not sure why a BIOS update would fix the touchpad issue. But time will tell.

  7. Thank you very much for the information, you certainly have invested a lot of time and effort in creating this excellent source of information.
    As others i was considering to return the laptop until i found your information. I did follow your suggestion of waiting for 15-20 seconds before using the touchpad and have enjoyed the dm3 pretty much.
    HOWEVER, i did updated the BIOS and, at least for the last entire week, NO PROBLEMS with the touchpad. I have used it before the 15 second mark, and had no issues or problems. So, apparently, the the update addressed the problem.

    I

    • Michael R Erb says:

      Manny, I’ve had a similar experience as you. Since updating the BIOS, I’ve not seen the issue re-surface. It’s good to hear the same story from others who have updated the BIOS. Now, why HP hasn’t clearly identified this issue and mentioned in the BIOS update that it addresses this issue is beyond me.

  8. Michael<

    I don't see the F.22A BIOS on the HP website. I only see the F.13E. The F.13E does specifically state that it fixes the non-responsive touchpad out of sleep issue.

    Would like to buy this laptop….but want to confirm that I won't have touchpad issues.

    Dave

    • Michael R Erb says:

      Each dm3 model may have its own BIOS update. For the dm3-1030us, the F.22A BIOS can be found here http://bit.ly/848Kbv

      I have not had any issues with the touchpad since updating my BIOS.

  9. Thank you so much for your suggestions. I didn’t realize this problem was so popular. I have a DM3-1044nr. Do you know if there is a bios F.22 version for it?

    • Michael R Erb says:

      Catherine, I don’t know for sure, but I would imagine there is. Just go to HP.com click on the “Support & Drivers” link and then enter your particular computer model. You’ll quickly learn what the latest version of the BIOS is for your computer. Oh, what the heck, I’ll just do it for you and give you the link… http://bit.ly/9Fre5c It looks like in 12/2009 , BIOS version F.13 E was released for your model. So it’s probably new for you. Let me know if it solves your problems with the touchpad. From everything I’ve experienced and read elsewhere, it seems to fix the issues completely. Good luck.

      • There’s not enough words to express my gratitude for your suggestions and expedient reply. I’ve uploaded the F.13 and tested a couple of times. Works like a charm. Thanks again!

  10. My concern is of a different nature. Do you have any tips on conserving/extending battery life on this machine?

    I use wi-fi exclusively for my online youtube surfing and on average i get about 1 hour use per charge. This has been so from day 1.

    Any recommendations would be appreciated.

    Thanks

    • Michael R Erb says:

      I’ve never had such a short time on a charge. I’m sure you realize that having wi-fi on and watching streaming video is one of the most demanding things you can do. That is processor intensive activity and will drain your battery quickly. You might also have a bum battery. Not quite sure. Is it still under warranty? If so maybe you can get a new battery under warranty.

  11. Thank you Michael, I appreciate the information and suggestions

  12. If you put the computer in hibernate rather than standby it will fix the touchpad issue, and you can leave the multitouch functions on. I tried the other methods and they didn’t work for me…

  13. Thanks for the info. I have this same problem with my Acer Aspire 7736Z-4809(which also has a multi-touch pad, although it doesn’t work with most applications). The only difference is that I get the problem when I leave the computer on for a long time without using it, usually with the lid closed(I don’t use sleep mode). Perhaps it has something to do with overheating?

    The solution I have been using is turning the computer off and then on again. I use hibernate and have windows 7, so it doesn’t take too long and works every time. I just disabled the ‘pinch’ multitouch option, if that doesn’t work I’ll disable all of the multitouch options, and if that doesn’t work I’ll start turning off the touchpad.

    I just wanted to let you know that this issue is not limited to HP laptops, and thank you for your very helpful suggestions, I couldn’t find much else on this problem online.

    • Michael R Erb says:

      Dan, thanks for letting me know that this is not just an HP issue. Generally I find most laptop touchpads pretty lame. I usually carry a small wireless mouse with me just so i don’t have to deal with the crappy touchpad. Apple touchpads are much better than most that I see in PC’s. Anyway, hope you can find a solution for your issues. Make sure you’ve got the latest drivers as some people have reported that has fixed the issues for them.

  14. Thanks Michael. I have updated the BIOS for my DM3-1120 and the touchpad is working now. Your site is already in my bookmarks. Thank you so much!!!