Tuesday, March 04, 2008

Workaround: Thinkpad gets into "always scroll down" state

Two or three times over the past six months or so of daily usage of my Lenovo (IBM) Thinkpad T60 laptop, I've encountered an issue where the system seems to get stuck in a "always scrolling down" state: in the active/foreground application, if the application has a vertical scroll bar, the document automatically scrolls to the bottom, even though I'm not touching the mouse wheel or otherwise doing anything that would cause the document to scroll. If I manually scroll the document up by dragging the vertical scrollbar up with the mouse, the document scrolls back down again as soon as I release the mouse button to drop the scrollbar.

The issue has always seemed to occur when I'm sitting at my desk at work and the Thinkpad is in its docking station, and I'm working with the external USB mouse. The operating system I'm running is Windows XP Pro SP2.

The workaround/solution for this issue that I've found is to just press the middle trackpoint button on the laptop once. This is the button located between the left and right mouse buttons, just below the spacebar and just above the touch pad. Thinkpad Trackpoint center button

I'm not very happy that I don't know what exactly causes my system to get into this "always scrolling down state", or why clicking the center trackpoint button gets the system out of this state, but having this workaround is a lot better than nothing!

I hope this is helpful to anyone arriving at this post from a search engine query who may be experiencing a similar issue!

10 comments:

  1. Hey Jon,
    thanks heaps for this solution. I've been trying to work it out for ages. It's only ever happened on lenovos that i manage.. amongst other really annoying errors. i've stripped out all the thinkcentre software to try and eliminate these.... but they keep coming back.

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  2. You are the man!!! THANKS A MILLION!

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  3. Jon,

    I became more and more crazy with that !!!
    Thanks a lot ;-)
    Corinne.
    from Switzerland

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  4. You can permanently stop this from happening by turning off the 'coasting' feature in the touchpad config screens. Although it won't stop an already occuring episode, it should stop any future ones.

    (Control Panel\Mouse\Touchpad settings\long distance\coasting, if I recall. Updated Synaptic Touchpad drivers will also have this set to off by deafult.)

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  5. @Anonymous,

    Thanks for the tip. The "coasting" feature does sound like the behavior that I was seeing in the original post.

    I did find the coasting feature in the Mouse control panel applet -- on my machine, it was at Control Panel | Mouse | UltraNav tab | TouchPad Settings (button) | Virtual Scrolling | Long Distance Scrolling. However, on my machine the checkbox is, for whatever reason, both checked and disabled (grayed out), so I can't uncheck it. Oh well -- hopefully your tip may prove useful for others!

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  6. Thank you .. This fix/workaround works.

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  7. Thanks for this tip. I thought I was the only one with this issue and it was driving me crazy!

    I also updating the UltraNav Pointing Device driver to the latest (dated 4/22/2010), and that has eliminated the problem completely.

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  8. THANK YOU!! Fixed my issue!!

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  9. I can't fix my laptop. My screen always scrolls down. I need help. Please.

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