the touchpad story

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Although – or maybe because – I diligently clean my HP nx8220 laptop on a regular basis (sometimes even with Isopropyl acohol), the rubber on my laptop’s touchpad today went into early retirement.

Nothing to worry about, but then… you know there are some things in life that have a 1a priority – and my machine here apparently has that status.
A quick search on eBay revealed no luck in finding the right spare part – and it’s a pity because I recently had another HP nx8220 here where I exchanged some parts with my current machine and somehow missed to change the touchpad as well. Stupid.

So what do you do if spare parts aren’t available and things keep on bugging you? Right – fix it in a jua kali way:

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Now where would I be without my Leatherman Wave? Ahh….priceless.

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Removed the touchpad from the laptop, opened it, cleaned it, swapped buttons (!), removed the rubber “hole” and reassembled it. Quick fix, took me 15 minutes. Not as pretty as a used & cleaned touchpad from The Bay, but works fine and once I’ll get around a decent spare part, I can still exchange it.

Now, I really have to think about limiting my daily usage to avoid any further damage. Can’t be that I’ve already ruined a keyboard and now this touchpad within a timeframe of almost 2 years. HP Compaq built quality? HP = huge problems, high price. But still the best laptop I’ve ever used. Except for my landlord’s ThinkPad X41 of course. :-)

9 comments » Write a comment

  1. Ha, from you pics I am not so sure about “diligently cleaning” things, but then keyboards and such can become quite the Krümeltrap, if you know what I mean.
    I never liked using touchpads at all, it’s just very awkward and so the not-too-small-not-too-big Logitech Laser V450 is just the perfect device for me. Not too tiny so you can still control certain image editing/graphic design suites, and not too big that you can’t take it along…

  2. Haha, yeah, got me. Dilligently cleaning = using Q-Tips to clean those parts which are still dirty on the pic. These pic were taken with my mobile btw – with the macro mode.
    U know I had loooong & intensive Grundsatzdiskussionen about using the touchpad vs. an external mouse with Maria the other day where she succesfully convinced me that a touchpad may also be sufficient. Yani, me I also have an external mouse (cheap Logitech with laser diode) for when I need to copy & paste on longer texts.

  3. mine toshiba a200 is still under a year old so no worn out parts yet, thankfully not much grime either, i try not to eat while using it or use it in dusty areas. not too sure i would delve into it to fix a fault though, maybe by the time it needs it i shall be brave enough to indulge. :-)

    i vote for the touchpad. i have used one for a very long time and these new multifuntion ones are brilliant. i still use a mouse for my graphic design work though, do it in style with a bluetooth wireless optical mouse of dodgy origin. hehehe!!

  4. Wewe bwana,
    You’re treating your touchpad worse than Mama Ngina Road wrecks tires.
    I wonder why these masaai – sneakers kept sticking to my mind while reading this. Thinking about starting a trend here:

  5. Can u tell me how u got the touchpad out?
    My keys are sticky because a friend of my spilled redbull over it :(

    Thanx!

    • @Mert: There’s a screw just below the notebook which needs to be removed. It also has a small “touchpad” icon. It may also be wise to also remove the keyboard first to gain easier access to the touchpad. To remove the keyboard, remove the 2 (3?) screws on the bottom (labeled with a keyboard icon) and pull back those nipples on the row row between the [ESC] & [F1], [F4] & [F5], [F8] & [F9] and [F12] & [DEL] keys. This way the keyboard opens up to the top and you can unplug the flex cable from the mainboard. You may then proceed and lift up the touchpad.

      As for cleaning: try using Isopropylalcohol, applied with cotton swab (Q-Tip), once you’ve opened the touchpad. Should remove all sugar-based residue inside.

  6. Hello,

    I’ve just own the same HP Compaq notebook nx8220. I have a problem with the motherboard: A smd-chip just died and I have no idea which type it was. It seems to be that no one in the world is able to help me. Can you please make a makro-photo of the area right near the Akku connector and send it to me or place it on flickr?

    Kind regards,

    Thomas.