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I'd like to disable a pointing device on a Windows 7 PC. The device is built into the computer (a laptop), so I can't simply unplug it. The problem is that when I'm using the computer my hand keeps brushing the touchpad, which moves the cursor to a completely different location, which makes typing next to impossible.

The manufacturer of the Laptop (Sony) provides a piece of software which supposedly is able to disable the touchpad, but

  1. I don't want all of Sony's crap installed on the laptop.
  2. Sony's software doesn't seem to be able to install on Windows 7 (Vista and earlier only).

The specific model in this case is a Sony Viao VGN_NW250F, but I would prefer a solution which works regardless of the particular laptop/brand.

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3 Answers 3

If you don't want to install the manufacturer's software then usually you need to go into your computer's BIOS and disable these devices from there. I have to do this all the time for people who brush the touchpad accidentally....

EDIT:
If there is no option in the BIOS then you're probably resigned to installing their software... It might be that if the touchpad is the only built-in pointing device on your laptop then the BIOS would not have an option to disable it.

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There's no option to disable it there. Plus, that's less than ideal because when the USB mouse is unplugged the crappy touchpad is better than nothing. (Why can't this work like Dell boxes which can disable the touchpad automagically when a USB mouse is plugged in?) –  Billy ONeal Mar 1 '11 at 15:41
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@Billy see my edit. Ideal or not... (I hear ya, though) –  squillman Mar 1 '11 at 15:44

You can usually disable it in the Device Manager.

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No, you can't. Right Click -> Disable is not there for pointing devices. You can "Uninstall" it but that causes it to reinstall itself whenever anything forces a hardware check (such as rebooting). –  Billy ONeal Mar 1 '11 at 15:43
    
@Nifle: Try it on your own box. –  Billy ONeal Mar 1 '11 at 15:44
    
@Billy - Did you open the Device Manager and select Mice and other pointing devices? –  Nifle Mar 1 '11 at 15:46
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@Nifle: billy-oneal.com/forums/NoDisableButton.png –  Billy ONeal Mar 1 '11 at 15:51
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The option is there for some drivers and not for others. I had a similar problem with a customer's laptop recentlty and had to download the latest drivers from Synaptic (or wherever) before the option became available. –  Majenko Mar 1 '11 at 15:52

It sounds like you can just use an executable instead of having the Alps software running all the time:

Run C:\Program Files\Sony\Setting Utility Series and run VCCPointingDevice.exe. Untick the "Enable" checkbox

I wonder if you can just pull that file out of the install download and toggle the touchpad that way?

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In order to do that the software would have to be installable in the first place. –  Billy ONeal Mar 1 '11 at 16:06
    
I'll edit out the 2nd suggestion, but the first still holds. Depending on the type of installation, you may be able to open it and pull that executable out. –  Kara Marfia Mar 1 '11 at 16:17

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