Question Touchpad's own memory (EEPROM or the like)?

Bellzemos

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Sep 27, 2014
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Hello!

TL;DR

I disabled the touchpad of a VAIO laptop via VAIO software, then formatted the HDD and reset the BIOS, but after installing Windows anew, the touchpad was still disabled. I suspect the touchpad has it's own memory to store the setting. Read below to find out more! :)


I don't know where else on the internet to ask this, again, now that I've done some more work on this. This question relates to my old thread here (but you don't need to read it, I will explain it all here): https://forums.tomshardware.com/threads/alps-touchpad-on-sony-vaio-vpc-f13-serties-laptop-weird.3612530/

I have an older (2010) Sony VAIO laptop (F13 series) with an integrated Alps touchpad. Laptop came with Windows 7 and a bunch of VAIO software, one program was VAIO Control Center, where the touchpad could be set to eihter Enabled (default mode - it was enabled when I bougt it and it's the default setting in the program) or to Disabled.

Soon after I got the laptop (over 10 years ago) I set the touchpad to disabled because I was always using an external mouse. The laptop does not have a Fn key to enable/disable the touchpad. And now it gets interesting.

I didn't need the old laptop anymore since I got a new computer, so I formatted it and installed Windows 10. But the touchpad stayed disabled. I went in the BIOS but there's not settings there for the touchpad, I've upgraded the BIOS to the latest version and reset BIOS to default settings, of course nothing helped - touchpad was still disabled when I booted into Windows 10.

So I installed all the driveres I could find, but that didn't help either. Then I did a "low level format" (fill it with zeroes) of the laptop's HDD. Then isntalled Windows 10 anew. Drivers. Nothing, touchpad is still dead. Then I installed Linux on the laptop, but the touchpad was still dead, always had to use an external mouse.

And now, not long ago, I found the old drivers CD which came with the VAIO when I bought it. I installed Windows 7 on the laptop, then all the drivers, also the VAIO Control Center software. The touchpad still didn'twork. Then I run the VAIO Control Center. When it opened I went to the touchpad settings section and the setting was already on the default - Enabled. And yes, NOW the touchpad started working, after years of trying to make it work.

I then removed Windows 7 and installed Windows 10 over again - lo and behold, the touchpad was working, with the default drivers and withoug the VAIO Control Center software (which is not supported for Windows 10 anyway). Then I zeroed out the HDD again and booted from a Macrium Reflect (disk imaging software) USB - and the touchpad works there too.

So, this made me think, if the setting of the touchpad being enabled or disabled was not saved anywhere on the HDD (I zeroed it out) or in the BIOS (no such setting and I reset it to defaults anyway), where does the touchpad enabled/disabled setting get saved to? Could it have it's own memory of some sort (like EEPROM)? I'd really like to know more about this, but I can't find any info about Alps touchpads in VAIO laptops with own memory. If anyone knows where I could read more about this or just ask about it and get answers, I'd really appreciate it!
 
I never liked Sony computers / laptops for that exact reason - one needs the software CD/DVD for many functions to work properly. Even then, Sony did not maintain full set of drivers / utilities downloadable, you always needed CD/DVD, or even original Windows installation.

On your question - it is not uncommon for many peripherals to have they own EProm storage for settings, and I would not be suprised if Sony choose to store this setting inside the touchpad. Reading from / writing to an EProm is no longer rocket science, and is widely used to store settings everywhere.

Another options is for this setting to reside in main CMOS memory but just with no BIOS-accessible setting.
 

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