Dec 6, 2017
Hey all,

I'm on a Thinkpad T470 (MSInfo below) that I use for hobbies and personal use, and for my writing work when I have the energy for it. Most of the time it works like a dream, especially after installing an SSD, but since I've bought it, I've had this strange and really specific problem.

I work in at-home tech support, over the phone, and I typically rest my laptop on the desk beside my monitor. When a call comes in, I switch focus to my work station, and my laptop just rests there. However, sometimes I like to rest my computer in my lap, and lean back as I type, and when a call comes in, I tip the laptop up, tucking the top edge of the still open screen against my chest.

However, when I do this behavior, where I rest the laptop in my lap, the cursor will start behaving erratically, jumping to indeterminate positions on the screen, clicking and right clicking, without any prompting from me, independent of whether or not I'm touching the trackpad. I think sometimes the machine will switch desktops, something I normally can only achieve with a keyboard shortcut, but I can't verify that. The trackpad at this point will be completely unresponsive, though I can still move the cursor using the control nub in the center of the keyboard. However, even when attempting to move the cursor using the control nub, the cursor will continue to jerk, move, and twitch on its own.

Once this behavior (the clicking and jerking) has started, the only way to resolve it is to restart the computer, but the behavior will resume if I again rest the computer in my lap. It happens on my own system or when I'm using RDP to access my desktop upstairs. It's highly strange, but this only occurs when I rest the computer on my lap in the basement. If I rest the computer on the desk in the basement, it never happens. If I rest it on my lap in other rooms, or other houses? Again, never happens.

I'd initially believed it to be a driver issue, but searching online, I couldn't find any way to manually update the trackpad drivers for a Thinkpad T470; I couldn't even find anyone who had experienced a similar issue.

Now, considering that it specifically happens when I rest the laptop on my lap, I thought it might be an issue of moisture. I frequently work in my pajamas, as I tend to work the very early morning shift, so the less amount of time between when I wake up and have to start working, the better I feel. As anyone who knows human anatomy will tell you, the human groin tends to sweat more than your average wooden desk, so I thought that it might be possible that the sweat was being heated by the laptop, and the steam was rising up, condensing on various circuits, and causing shorts. Who knows if that weird theory is correct, but it seems a little far-fetched.

So, I've tested it in other parts of the house, in other locations, and while it's hardly use-threatening, it is massively inconvenient. Does anything come to mind that could be causing this problem? What other things can I test or try?

MSInfo: [As it turns out, the MSInfo is too long to post as code. I also can't find any way to attach a file. I have it here, and have included the first text block below, but if there's any additional information that would be helpful, just tell me what to search for and I'll send it.]

System Information report written at: 07/27/19 12:41:47
System Name: DESKTOP-O06JS0T
[System Summary]

Item    Value   
OS Name    Microsoft Windows 10 Pro   
Version    10.0.17763 Build 17763   
Other OS Description     Not Available   
OS Manufacturer    Microsoft Corporation   
System Name    DESKTOP-O06JS0T   
System Manufacturer    LENOVO   
System Model    20JM000CUS   
System Type    x64-based PC   
System SKU    LENOVO_MT_20JM_BU_Think_FM_ThinkPad T470 W10DG   
Processor    Intel(R) Core(TM) i5-6200U CPU @ 2.30GHz, 2400 Mhz, 2 Core(s), 4 Logical Processor(s)   
BIOS Version/Date    LENOVO N1QET83W (1.58 ), 4/18/2019   
SMBIOS Version    3.0   
Embedded Controller Version    1.34   
BIOS Mode    UEFI   
BaseBoard Manufacturer    LENOVO   
BaseBoard Product    20JM000CUS   
BaseBoard Version    SDK0J40705 WIN   
Platform Role    Mobile   
Secure Boot State    Off   
PCR7 Configuration    Elevation Required to View   
Windows Directory    C:\Windows   
System Directory    C:\Windows\system32   
Boot Device    \Device\HarddiskVolume2   
Locale    United States   
Hardware Abstraction Layer    Version = "10.0.17763.529"   
User Name    DESKTOP-O06JS0T\Chris   
Time Zone    Mountain Daylight Time   
Installed Physical Memory (RAM)    4.00 GB   
Total Physical Memory    3.89 GB   
Available Physical Memory    1.36 GB   
Total Virtual Memory    7.39 GB   
Available Virtual Memory    3.15 GB   
Page File Space    3.50 GB   
Page File    C:\pagefile.sys   
Kernel DMA Protection    Off   
Virtualization-based security    Not enabled   
Device Encryption Support    Elevation Required to View   
Hyper-V - VM Monitor Mode Extensions    Yes   
Hyper-V - Second Level Address Translation Extensions    Yes   
Hyper-V - Virtualization Enabled in Firmware    No   
Hyper-V - Data Execution Protection    Yes