I've been looking for a new laptop that has Synaptics touchpad drivers, and eventually paying a premium (for me) for an otherwise normal laptop: Acer TravelMate P2 P2410-G2-M NX.VGTAA.006.

I'm am not sure how relevant the hardware is to my problem.

A key factor behind my decision is that the laptop apparently comes with Synaptics When I got the laptop, however, there was no Synaptics. So I would have to install it.

What are the risks of breaking something on my new Windows 10 machine, either permanently or (almost as bad) in a way that takes a lot of time to recover from? I just noticed that the driver page only allows OS filtering for Windows XP!

AFTERNOTE: I found a drivers page that seems to more appropriately target my laptop. Since Synaptics is absent from this site, in my mind, the risk of installing from the 2nd site above is greater. It's important enough to me that I'd still want to try it, if I can get a sense of the risk. Unfortunately, the more appropriate drivers page is incredibly elusive. I found it by somehow wandering to this page.

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    Drivers only install when there is relevant hardware. If your computer was advertised to come with Synaptics hardware it would require the Synaptics driver, and you'd find proof in the Device Manager and links to download the software in the appropriate locations. – music2myear Jan 15 at 4:55
  • The second link seemed to indicate that Synaptics exists for it. But I suspect that it was for a previous generation of my laptop. I'm not entirely sure, with the profileration of multipart model names, numbers, and serial numbers. The 3rd link has a name that seems to align more closely with my model. It seems to rely on Windows 10 gestures, as most laptops do these days. I'm asking about the risk of installing the Synaptics driver anyway. So I'm wandering off the beaten path. – user2153235 Jan 15 at 5:13
  • The driver won't install if you don't have a Synaptics device on the system. – music2myear Jan 16 at 3:00
  • Thanks. When I get to trialing it, this little detail will provide some measure of assurance. – user2153235 Jan 16 at 3:16

It is highly unlikely that your computer has a Synaptics device.

Attempting to install drivers for hardware your computer doesn't have will generally result in the installer telling you exactly that: the device the driver supports isn't there, so you probably won't break anything. It just won't install.

However, you need to be aware that Windows is pretty good at identifying the hardware on your computer and finding and installing the drivers it requires all on its own, and you can check what devices your computer has in the Device Manager.

Right click on your Start button and then click Device Manager. In the window that comes up you'll see all of the system hardware sorted in a device tree. Any devices that have not already been correctly identified and the drivers installed will show up with various warning symbols in this list. If you don't see any entries with warning symbols, all of your system's components have been correctly identified and their necessary drivers installed.

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  • I can only upvote for now. I'm not sure what information will be confirmed by my experience (which isn't necessarily a good indicator of correctness -- things can be correct without being corroborated by my experience). The laptop is undergoing an unusually long upgrade with multiple restarts, but I did pop open the mouse item under Device Manager. Nothing like Synaptics showed, and no warnings. This corroborates with the drivers page in the "afternote" in my original post. – user2153235 Jan 16 at 3:44
  • Good to know that Windows will protest against installation of inappropriate drivers. I was also advised to create a recovery; I will research this. The vendor said before the purchase that they don't accept returns if there is no flaw. So I blew a grand on an old medium-power computer that I don't want (looked high and low for Synaptics support). It's a consequence of goods going online. The vendor rep won't necessarily have access to the product cuz it's supplied by a 3rd party. I find what info I can, and get thoroughly confused by the many variations of a model's name and number. – user2153235 Jan 16 at 3:49
  • Windows doesn't protest, the driver installer will. – music2myear Jan 17 at 3:10

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