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I bought my T400 brand new from Lenovo at the end of 2009, but I didn't use it often until one year ago. A month ago, the left bottom button of touchpad of Lenovo T400 started to respond slowly (need to hit twice or more) and gradually stopped working ever since. The button does not work under both Ubuntu 10.10 and Windows 7.

I guess it may be because I used that left bottom button too often? But I hadn't seriously used it until one year ago, and I am not playing games, but mostly typing code, document and browse internet. So I wonder what possibly may be the reason and ways to fix my problem? Thank you very much!

By the way, is it wise to use a mouse instead of the touchpad, in order to protect it? Is a touchpad not or less replaceable while a mouse is?

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If the bottom button is flakey, then use the button(s) above the touchpad on the T400. –  sawdust Oct 30 '11 at 23:28
    
@sawdust: I think this is not the reason, but it is not very clean. How do you clean it? –  Ethan Oct 30 '11 at 23:32
    
The usual cause of an intermittent button/switch is dirty contacts. How dusty/dirty are the keyboard and screen? I keep my T400 clean, and have zero issues. Try using a (strong, not a dinky handheld) vacuum cleaner on your laptop. –  sawdust Oct 30 '11 at 23:32
    
You could also try using a can of compressed air around the edges of the bottom button. "I think this is not the reason": kudos to you for not writing "I don't think ...", but you would be surprised to know how often "broken" switches are just "dirty" switches and do not need replacement. Unless you're in the habit of pounding on the keyboard and buttons ... –  sawdust Oct 30 '11 at 23:41

1 Answer 1

up vote 1 down vote accepted

Touchpad buttons wear out and/or break regularly on notebooks, and in a few various ways.

If the plastic 'button' hasn't obviously broken off or cracked, and it's just been working less and less, and is now not working, then it's sounds like the micro switch on a PC board has worn out.

Depending on the design of the notebook, this PC board will either be the mainboard itself, or a separate PC board (many models started being designed like this because of how often the switches break/wear out).

Your best starting point is to call Lenovo (or the place you purchased it from).

If you have warranty, and it's obviously not from abuse (broken plastics, chicken soup, etc.), then you should be able to get it repaired for free. If you have an active 'accidental damage coverage'-type warranty, then they should definitely fix it.

If your warranty has run out, then they should be able to help you find the nearest authorized Lenovo repair shop to help you out.

Many people who don't have warranty left, just buy a blue-tooth mouse. :)

In a couple instances I've been able to fix this issue cheap and easy, but it was because of how they failed. Here, 'easy' includes already having the notebook apart, along with having all the tools and manuals to put it back together. ;)

Usually the plastic button you click has a pointy piece of plastic sticking off the bottom of it (inside the notebook) which clicks the micro switch. In a couple of instances I've found that this pointy piece gets worn down a bit, and stops hitting the micro switch. Even though everything else looks/works fine.

I sanded the points down a little flatter, and then took a couple small, thin peices of plastic and glued them (with 5-minute epoxy) to the points, so that they were long enough to engage the micro switches.

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Thanks! My warranty was expired one year ago. PS: I want to upvote but am not eligible to. –  Ethan Oct 30 '11 at 21:06

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