Dell Inpiron 16 Touchpad

Sunday, March 17, 2024 03:35PM

So here comes a fun one, a big reason why strong right-to-repair laws should be enacted and preserved.

Anyway, this laptop comes to me from a long-time client of mine, a Dell Inspiron 16 Plus. Chief complaint is popups and a jumpy touchpad. So I look at it. The popups were caused by the expired McAfee trial and I got rid of that. But my efforts were lengthened by the fact that the touchpad would “jump” when I’d go to click on something.

Sure enough, I do some research into it to find out that it is a grounding issue with the touchpad. Which the repair is shown quite well in this video.

The hiccup

When trying to conduct the same repair with the particular Inspiron 16 Plus that I had, which is a bit newer than the one in the video, Dell had made the screws shorter which surrounded the touchpad. So even with a small copper wire obtained by separating stranded primary wire, wouldn’t fit under the screw while trying to screw it in.

Whether this was an anti repair move, I have no idea, but it very well could be.

Now a rational company would have just fixed the issue instead of making it nearly impossible to fix it post-manufacturing. Some people may defend that it’s the company’s right, but I think it’s slimy.

How I fixed it (for now)

For now I was able to get the actual plate hot and clean enough for some wire and a solder to bond to it. I went with a full primary wire because it fit between the battery and touchpad relatively well still, is insulated, and gives a bigger surface area for the bonding.

Soldered primary wire between the touchpad and grounding plate

We’ll have to see if that holds up.