Saturday, April 2, 2011

dm1z trackpad, eliminate cursor jumping using PalmCheck-Enhanced ACM settings in the Synaptic touchpad driver

I'm not a big fan of trackpads. I use shortcut keys a lot but at times you just have to use the trackpad. I can't say if the dm1z's is better or worse than others but it has worked well and feels solid. The dm1z has no pointer nub so your only option is the trackpad. You can always use a mouse but I have the dm1z on my lap or on small tables/tight surroundings, so using a mouse is not feasible.

With a trackpad you will experience cursor jumping due to incidental contact with the pad. It can be maddening. This jumping happens to me no matter what laptop I've used and it happens to me on the dm1z too. However, I was able to adjust the behavior of the trackpad to minimize/eliminate the cursor jumping by using the PalmCheck-Enhanced ACM setting in the Synaptic driver. It takes a few steps to complete but below is what I did.

From the Windows system tray select 'Synaptics Pointing Device' to get a context menu and then choose 'Pointing Device Properties'. This will open a 'Mouse Properties' window. Choose the 'Device Settings' tab from this window and then click 'Settings'. This will bring up the 'Properties for Synaptics ClickPad V7.4 on PS/2 Port' window.

Click to highlight 'PalmCheck-Enhanced ACM' and then click the gear icon that will appear to the right after you highlight the item. You're now in the 'PalmCheck-Enhanced ACM' window. See the 'Advanced Filters' region. Set the 'Starting zone' to be only the upper portion of the touch pad. To do this click and drag the bottom of that green box until you cannot drag it any higher. This will exclude the lower portion of the touchpad which is where the buttons are. Then set the 'Filter Activation Time' to 1 second. This means that if you start in the touch zone and them move to the click zone after the filter activation time expires your mouse pointer will not move. If you set it to 0 seconds the pointer will never move when you are outside the starting zone (e.g. clicking/touching the buttons). This change has helped minimize the cursor jumping I had been experiencing.


  1. This helps but my trackpad still sucks. So much for HP trying to be futuristic with a multi-touch trackpad. Mega fail, going to call cust service and complain. Thanks for your article though

  2. Thanks Guy in NYC. I had the same problem on my Pavilion dv7. Soon after I first got it, I fixed it. But then when somehow I lost my settings for the trackpad, I couldn't find the function again. Seemed to me they'd gone and buried it.
    Spent a half hour with an HP tech who also couldn't find it. They're supposed to call back with a fix, but in the meantime I followed your directions. Perhaps I'll be able to educate them on how to use their computers?
    One minor correction: I set mine to 0 seconds for filter activation time and it's not true that the pointer never moves outside the starting zone -- you just can't start its movement outside the zone (i.e., on the mouse buttons), but if you drag your finger from the starting zone over the mouse buttons it will continue to move the cursor. I can live with that -- I just have to be sure to pick up my finger when moving to click a mouse button, which I think I do anyway.

  3. Thank you so much. This problem has been driving me mad and hopefully this will fix it (so far so good in this comment). My green square wouldn't condense very far up, but it did a little bit and so hopefully its enough. Thanks again for this post. I really appreciate it. :D

  4. I can't find 'PalmCheck-Enhanced ACM' SETTINGS :(