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Old 10. Jan 2015, 04:27 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Driver questions

I have a two-year old Lenovo laptop. Runs Win7 very well. My only complaint has been a somewhat finicky touchpad (Synaptics). My drivers were up-to-date per Lenovo's web site. However, last month I decided to go to Synaptics web site and download a newer version of the driver for my touchpad. I did so, and installed it via the method described below. All has gone well, and the touchpad has improved from a functional standpoint. But I'm curious...what happened to the former Synaptics driver that was on my system prior to my installing the new one? Was it automatically deleted when I installed the newer version? If not, should I do some digging around in my system to try to find the old driver files and remove them?

***************

How I updated the Synaptics driver:
- Went to Synaptics website and downloaded the driver for Win7.
- Saved zip file to Desktop.
- Extracted zip file and saved it to desktop.
- Accessed Device Manager>Mice and other pointing devices>Synaptics PS/2 Port TouchPad>Driver tab>Update driver>Browse my computer for driver software>Let me pick from a list of device drivers on my computer>Have disk>(in the install from disk window)Browse>locate folder from step 2>select WinWDF subfolder>select X64 subfolder>SynPD.inf>use next buttons to install (and ignore warnings about not being digitally signed)
- Device manager now shows new driver being used for the Mice and other pointing devices.
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Old 11. Jan 2015, 06:39 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Personally, if I had a Synaptics touchpad that was working well, I would leave things as they are. I would not worry about trying to find the old drivers and removing them.
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Old 11. Jan 2015, 07:17 PM   #3 (permalink)
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I don't know what happens to the old driver, but I guess since the new driver has been installed, the old one does not matter, and certainly shouldn't interfere with the new one.

I agree with Vic.. don't bother about finding old driver and removing it.

Although ideally, it's advisable to first uninstall the old driver, and then install the new one. But sometimes, that cannot be possible, because often, after uninstallation of a driver, restart is required, and chances are that Windows will again automatically install the driver, if the driver is present in Windows itself. So, over the top can be done too.

I have read about several users complaining about the touchpad driver on Lenovo laptops. Read an issue about it on some other forum too. Atleast yours is solved by installing the generic driver from Synaptics. The other user didn't even had luck with that.
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Old 11. Jan 2015, 07:19 PM   #4 (permalink)
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I agree with v.laurie.

I wouldn't touch old drivers as you could create a major problem if you get it wrong.

Here's some basic info to help you understand the issue:
  • Some driver installs remove all old files but it is more likely that some files remain. It all depends upon what the device driver developer has implemented.
  • There is no easy way to manually remove old driver installs. If you try to do it yourself you are likely to create inconsistencies which might cause more serious problems for your system.
  • You can often rollback to an older driver. You can check this in the device properties in Device Manager. If their is a button with "Roll Back Driver" then a previous install remains available.
  • Since Vista the installed driver package is kept in the Driver Store and remains available to be reused.
  • The driver image files stored on disk may still be used for other purposes such as shared components. This is unlikely to be the case for the touchpad.
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Old 14. Jan 2015, 08:50 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Even with the generic advice above about not trying to remove old drivers, the Synaptics drivers are a particularly difficult thing to remove cleanly.
I have a Lenovo laptop with that pad and I only ever use it if I am on the road and nowhere near a table with enough room for a mouse.
I have eventually managed to find out how to stop the drivers using a lot of resources when I don't need them.
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