Help, my touchpad stopped working!

I was really busy pretending to be working hard when my phone rang. The caller was a bit upset when she described the problem: “I bought this laptop like 8 months ago and now the touchpad stops responding in about 20 seconds after I sign in to Windows 8. What’s up with that?”
Oh, let me just plug in my psychic abilities module, connect to Infinite Knowledge of the Universe, and solve the problem over the phone. 😀

So it ended up with her bringing the laptop to me the next day. I did the usual diagnosis stuff: checking installed software, swearing, removing tons of crapware that usually come with installers (when will people learn to clear checkboxes instead of numbly hitting Next-Next-Next?), uninstalling expired security software and replacing it with a free one, swearing, etc. Business as usual. 😉

During the process, I learned that the frigging touchpad stopped working just like she had described. The drivers were fine, everything was up to date… but no, the built-in mouse just refused to respond to any movement after signing in to an account. And any external mouse worked fine. Of course.

“Oh, for heaven’s sake!” my inner goddess murmured… umm, this is not the correct site.

“Oh, come on! Just follow the light and press those two keys!” someone wise inside my head screamed.

Then it suddenly dawned to me: most modern laptops have this wonderful option of switching internal modules on and off via keyboard shortcuts. A quick look at the keys revealed that Fn+F9 is used for turning the touchpad on and off. Note the crossed-out touchpad icon on the left side of the F9 key.

Asus laptop, Fn+F9 key enables or disables the touchpad

Problem solved! 🙂 I’ll take a good look at the function keys first the next time.