Separate, physical trackpoint buttons on Lenovo Thinkpad T440p

The Lenovo Thinkpad T440p (and other models of that generation) is delivered with a touchpad, without separate physical left, middle and right buttons.

Instead the entire pad clicks and reacts depending on the area touched.

 

In my subjective opinion these buttons feel spongy and imprecise.

In use it’s common to make mistakes by clicking another button than expected.

This makes the laptop less productive and frustrating to use.

 

However it’s possible to replace the touchpad with the one from the Lenovo Thinkpad T450, which has 3 separate, physical trackpoint buttons.

thinkpad_t440p_with_t450_trackpad

 

The first challenge is getting the right replacement part, with the dimensions 10 cm x 7,5 cm.

thinkpad_t440p_clickpad_horizontal

thinkpad_t440p_clickpad_vertical

It’s not available as a separate part from Lenovo, but is sold as part of the keyboard bezel.

The part number I found and used was: 00HN550

 

Be careful with online sellers claiming to sell touchpads that fit a long range of Thinkpad models.

They may fit electrically, but possibly not physically.

If you are considering performing this replacement, please verify that the part fits your particular Thinkpad model.

 

The next challenge is to disassemble the laptop and performing the replacement.

I refer to the hardware maintenance manual and online guides.

 

The final challenge is to solve driver problems on Windows.

The hardware ID for the touchpad is on the motherboard, which remains unchanged.

The default Synaptics Pointing Device drivers are not compatible and won’t work.

 

Simplest way to solve the driver problems on Windows:

1. Connect a USB mouse, because the trackpoint won’t work reliably until these steps have been completed.

2. Uninstall the Synaptics Pointer Device drivers using Programs and Features.

3. Restart the computer.

4. Remove any remaining Synaptics components by opening Control Panel -> Mouse

If asked: Do you want to uninstall the Synaptics driver now?

Then select yes and OK to the following dialogs:

synaptics_driver_uninstall1

synaptics_driver_uninstall2

synaptics_driver_uninstall3

5. Restart the computer.

6. Now the trackpoint and 3 physical buttons should work with a default mouse driver.

(Be aware that I have disabled the rest of the touchpad, so I don’t know if it works with the default mouse driver)

 

With Windows 10 extra steps are needed, because it can automatically install incompatible drivers.

This can be prevented by downloading and running the “Show or hide updates” program (wushowhide.diagcab) from:

https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/kb/3073930?utm_source=twitter

 

1. Click: Advanced

disable_driver_updates1

2. Deselect: Apply repairs automatically

disable_driver_updates2

3. Click: Next

4. Click: Hide updates

disable_driver_updates3

5. Select: Synaptics – Pointing Drawing – Synaptics Pointing Device

disable_driver_updates4

6. Click: Next

7. Confirm by clicking: Next

disable_driver_updates5

8. Click: Close the troubleshooter

disable_driver_updates6

 

Be aware that fully compatible drivers can be downloaded and installed from Lenovo, which will enable full touchpad functionality.

However I’m currently satisfied with a trackpoint and 3 physical buttons, so I have not found the correct drivers or procedure yet.