So, for about two days the touchpad on my HP laptop stopped working. Of course it was right after a kernel update in Ubuntu, so I immediately blame that. You know… because 9/10 times it is.
So, I’m checking and checking things but can’t find anything. It’s weird. It’s not like it’s not working correctly, or is misconfigured — it’s like Ubuntu, which is actually pretty good at picking up on hardware changes today, can’t even see it. So on a hunch I reboot into Windows, but it’s not working there either.
So now, instead of having to tromp through the utterly useless Ubuntu forums (full of unresolved issues where people complain about some update or the other breaking something), I can now expand my search to various HP Windows forums. Where in about five minutes, I found this gem.
Apparently, on some HP laptops (or maybe all laptop hardware is set up like this, I’d honestly never encountered it before), you have to perform what’s called a “kick”:
- Turn off your laptop.
- Unplug your AC adapter.
- Take out your battery. (If you can’t take out your battery externally, time to pull out a screwdriver and start taking your laptop apart.)
- Hold down the power button on your laptop for at least 30 seconds, preferably more (just to make sure, since time is a relative construct perceived differently by all sentient forms of matter).
- Put in your battery, and turn back on. Your touchpad should now be visible to your OS, be it Ubuntu or Windows, again.
Why or how this works is anyone’s guess. I think it resets the BIOS (it seemed to do a strange double boot the first time plugging it in after performing this procedure, which is similar to what happens on a BIOS upgrade). I’m just glad it does.