One of my biggest complaints with the HP Slate 500 on Windows 8 is the lack of decent touch control with N-trig. N-trig has decided that they aren’t going to fix their drivers. That’s fine, this will be my last device that has N-trig digitizer. My dollars will be spent elsewhere.
So, what’s the problem you say. My problem with the N-trig drivers is the lack of support with the input control (Digitizer Settings, see screen shot below). This is what allows you to change how the touch and pen act (see picture). Pen Only, Touch Only, Auto Mode, Dual Mode.
This Input Control (Digitizer Settings) do not work in Windows 8 and N-trig is not going to fix. Shame.
So, what does this mean. Well, for me I get the palm rejection or false touches when I write and my hand (palm) touches the screen. The current setting is Dual mode, concurrent Touch and Pen input. Think of it like the touchpad on your laptop. You are typing and your palm touches the touchpad and causes the cursor to jump to a different spot on the page. On a laptop you have the touchpad control that allows you to turn off if it senses a mouse plugged in or when you are typing. Well, with N-trig, you don’t any longer on Windows 8. No workie & No fixie.
I was browsing the internet the other day and happened on a blog post where the blogger found a workaround. You will have to forgive me that I can’t find the blogger’s post or the blogger’s name. When I do, I will definitely give him/her credit.
What is this workaround going to do? This will temporarily disable the touch control on the Slate. This would be similar to selecting Pen Only above. This will allow only Pen touch only and the touch is temporarily disabled. This isn’t going to be for everybody, but for this is golden for me. Unfortunately, I haven’t found a way similarly to Auto mode.
Going to download a program that is a that when run connects to the Device Manager like view that allows you to enable and disable devices. However the steps below will create a shortcut or command line that will be used to disable the touch. You can also pin the shortcuts to the Task Bar for easy use.
1. Go out to www.Nirsoft.com and find a program named DevManView (direct link). At the writing of this post the current version is v1.27. Scroll down to the bottom and download the (x86) version (or x64 version for Samsung Series 7 or ASUS B121)
2. Create a directory on the root of your C Drive called TouchControl
3. Unzip the file you downloaded in Step 1 into the C:\TouchControl folder. There are 4 files that are extracted.
4. Create a shortcut in that directory using the following command.
a. Open Device Manger | Devices | N-trig DuoSense(R) Digitizers
b. Locate “N-trig DuoSense MultiTouch HID Device” and double click.
c. Click on the Events Tab. Copy the value that is highlighted in yellow. This value will be added when you create the shortcuts.
d. Open Windows Explorer, browse to the C:\TouchControl and right click in the folder and select New | Shortcut
e. Copy and paste the Disable command below into the path, but using your value that you got above.
C:\TouchControl\DevManView.exe /Disable “HID\VID_1B96&PID_0001&MI_01&Col02\7&24205bb2&0&0001”
f. Click through and give the name of the Shortcut “Disable Touch”
g. Now Create another shortcut but use the ENABLE command below and name it “Enable Touch”, also using your value that you got above.
C:\TouchControl\DevManView.exe /Enable “HID\VID_1B96&PID_0001&MI_01&Col02\7&24205bb2&0&0001″
5. Add the shortcuts to the Task Bar just right click on the shortcut and select Pin to Task Manager.
6. To give it a little flair right click on the Shortcut | Properties | Change Icon, browse through the list and select an Icon that you like for Disable and Enable shortcuts. I picked the Green for the Enable and Red for the Disable.
**Please note that the device that controls touch may not be the same on your tablet. I was able to get this to work using the information below on my HP Slate 500, Samsung Series 7 Slate, and ASUS B121 eSlate but using the 64bit version of DevManView. I have not found anything about the downloaded software that would cause any alarm. It is not installing any software it is extracting several files that launch as a separate program.
Found that the HID value is different on every computer. Updated blog post to reflect that.
Also, this does require the elevated permissions when doing so. I haven’t found a way around this. You are actually disabling a device so I don’t think there will be a workaround. I run my as a standard user and then another account that has Admin and just pop in the credentials when prompted. I have run this so long that I don’t give it a second thought.
N-trig released their much anticipated W8 drivers recently (August 13th). The drivers have been broken since the Consumer Preview. Well I downloaded these and immediately tried to install them on my W8 Release Preview. I wasn’t impressed.
After going back to the instructions I noticed a blurb “before updating to Windows 8, make sure you have the latest bundle installed”. I must have skipped right over that in my first pass.
I sent an email to N-trig support to get clarification and received email back a couple of days later. Basically they stated.
This step comes to ensure you have the latest DuoSense SW installed under Win7. Then when you upgrade to Win8, you should follow the installations of our new driver and it should work OK.
So they are expecting everybody to upgrade to W8 and not do a fresh install. I don’t know about you, but I am not a big fan of upgrading. I like to perform a fresh install.
Well, I since it didn’t seem to work very well in W8 as a fresh install I decided to go back to W7 and see if it was any better. I found my original W7 image that I took way back in March 2011 and restored it. I did have to go into the and edit the booting information that W8 updated. No real big issue. After getting back to W7 (yuck), I made my W8RTM bootable USB drive and ran the setup.exe off the USB drive. Got prompted to upgrade and save user settings. Took about 45 minutes. After reboot I found that I had no touch or stylus. I then installed the updated N-trig driver and found that touch and stylus came back. Checked Device Mgr. and found nothing missing or had issues.
The much anticipated calibration tool is great and helps with the false touches and ghost taps.
The lack of the Input Control Panel. Having upgraded from W7 it is there but throws when trying to use. The exclusion of the Input Control, the ability to put the digitizer to Touch Only, Pen Only, or Auto is a huge missing component.
I will say that the drivers are better than what they were in the Consumer Preview and Release Preview (note that they didn’t exist), but still in my opinion are lacking.
I emailed N-trig support to find out when this was going to added and their response back was there are no plans. Huge, huge disappointment.
I do a lot of inking with the stylus and without this control I get a lot of false touches or palm rejection. It comes close to being unusable.
Shame on you N-trig…
So N-trig finally posted Windows 8 drivers on their site (August 13th, 2012), you can download them here.
So I have been very critical with my comments toward N-trig and most of it has been warranted.
Time to climb up on my soapbox.
My biggest beef all along has been the lack of input control. The ability to control the how the digitizer handles touch and pen. In the Windows 7 there was the N-trig DuoSense Digitizer Settings that allowed you to control the Input mode (Pen Only, Touch Only, Auto Mode, and Dual Mode), this has been lacking since Windows 8 Consumer Preview (February 2012). Still missing…
Windows 8 Developer Preview (September 13th, 2011)
There was a hack that could be followed that you could install the N-trig drivers, the DuoSense Settings, and Calibration tool and input control.
Windows 8 Consumer Preview (February 29th, 2012)
The hack no longer works and the digitizer and touch had serious issues. Ghost clicking and touch issues.
N-trig did finally put out a beta v1.0 (March 3, 2012), but they didn’t really help.
Windows 8 Release Preview (June 28th, 2012)
The hack still doesn’t work and the digitizer and touch still have issues.
Windows 8 RTM (August 1st, 2012)
The hack still doesn’t work and the digitizer and touch still have issues.
N-trig did finally put out beta v2.0 (August 13th, 2012). They included the calibration tool, which does seem to help with the ghost clicking, however it is still missing the DuoSense Digitizer Settings. UGH!!!
Did you all notice the wording in their install instructions. Look at step 1 on page 2. Some interesting wording.
So I read this as you can’t install these on a fresh Windows 8 Install, that it has to be a Windows 7 upgrade to Windows 8. So I emailed support to clarify this and they replied back that it was true that you needed to be on Windows 7 to ensure the latest DuoSense Software was installed and then upgrade to Windows 8. Once on Windows 8 you can follow the instructions in the v2 beta drivers.
Seriously, come on N-trig, you’ve had over 6 months to be working on these drivers to make them compatible with Windows 8. Your latest v2 beta try is flail at best.
I feel for any computer manufacture that is producing a Windows 8 Slate/Tablet with these N-trig drivers. Beware! I sure won’t be purchasing another N-trig device… No way!!!
I suggest that you email their support [email@example.com] and voice your displeasure on the lack of functionality with these drivers. In my opinion the HP Slate 500 is unusable in Windows 8. The palm rejection and false touches when writing are horrendous.
Ok, stepping down from my soapbox.
What do you think?
Are you happy with these updated drivers?
Did you upgrade to Windows 8 or fresh Install?
Did you use the DuoSense Digital Settings in Windows 7 and Windows 8 Developers Preview?
Do you have issues with false touch when writing?
I just got word from N-trig support that updated Windows 8 N-trig drivers that include the calibration tool/utility will be released this month.
Keep your eye out for them.
N-trig Download Site
I just received email from N-trig support that they hope to have updated W8 beta drivers released in two weeks.
I just checked this morning and updated drivers are out there dated 8/13. In the process of downloading and testing.
In my previous post I installed Windows 8 Release Preview on the HP Slate 500. Now I am going to continue where I left on and install some additional drivers.
The first thing is to check to see what is missing in the device manager. This is the same as in previous version of Windows 8.
1. Click on the Desktop Metro Tile to get to the Desktop
2. Right Click on the Desktop and select Personalize
3. Click on the Change desktop icons link in the upper left.
4. Put a check for Computer and Control Panel.
5. Click Apply and Ok
6. Double click Control Panel
7. Click on the the Hardware and Sound link.
8. Under Devices and Printers click on Device Manager.
This is a list of the drivers that Windows is unable to find.
Then configure the Wireless and connect to your home network. The Windows 8 installation installs the Wireless card drivers. Then run Windows Update and get the latest Windows 8 Release Preview and any other hardware. As of 06/03/2012.
Unfortunately, Windows Updates does not resolve any of the missing devices in the Device Manager.
1. Create a folder on the C Drive name SWSETUP and then go out to HP’s web site (here) and download the following drivers. Install using W7 compatibility Mode (see note).
SP50501 – Broadcom Crystal HD Video Decoder Driver (2010-10-22) [DM – Multimedia Controller]
SP50503 – Intel Chipset Installation Utility and Driver (2010-10-22)
SP50504 – Intel High-Definition (HD) Graphics Driver (2010-10-22)
SP51650 – HP Quick Launch Software (2011-01-24) [SEE INSTALLATION NOTE BELOW]
SP50480 – IDT High-Def (HD) Audio (2010-10-22)
[DM] = These are the specific drivers that will resolve the missing drivers above.
NOTE: When I say to install in W7 Compatibility mode = To install these drivers you will need to right click on the file, select Properties, click on the Compatibility tab. Put a check in the Compatibility Mode (Select Windows 7), Click ok and then double click on the file to install.
SP51650 – HP Quick Launch Software (To get the Auto rotate to work)
Before installing the driver you need to enable/install .NET Framework 3.5. Open the Control Panel and select Uninstall a Program and then select “Turn Windows features on or off”. Put a check in “.NET Framework 3.5” and click OK. This will also connect to Windows Update to install software. Then execute SP51650 (in W7 Compatibility mode). Once completed browse out to “C:\Program Files\Hewlett Packard\HP Quick Launch”, and execute HPWMISVC.EXE (in W7 Compatibility mode). May require a restart for the Auto-rotate to start working.
To fix the Metro Tile choppy video you need to install the latest Intel GMA 500 Video Driver v18.104.22.1680. This was kindly brought to my attention by Vala on one of the comments on this post. Thanks Vala…
You can download this driver.
The other missing device in the Device Manager the “Duosence”, I am going to skip for now. This will require a separate blog post.
The installation of Windows 8 Release Preview is identical to the Windows 8 Developers Preview and the Consumer Preview process that I have outlined in previous posts.
1. Download the Windows 8 Release Preview 32-bit here (2.5GB)
*Note: Be sure to grab the Product Key from the download page. Key is required for installation.
2. Create a bootable USB Stick. Download Windows 7 USB/DVD download tool here. This allows you to create a bootable USB stick with the downloaded iso file. This makes the process so easy. Click, click, walk away and boom, you have a bootable Windows 8 USB drive. I used a 8 GB USB stick that you can get for $10 at Walmart. Note: A 4 GB will work for both 32-bit and 64-bit.
1. Plug USB into HP Slate 500. I have my Slate in the docking station so I have additional USB slots for my USB Mouse and Keyboard.
2. Power on the Slate.
3. Click “-“ to get into the Start Menu.
4. Click “-“ and select Boot Device and click the Home Button to select.
5. Click “-“ and select USB Stick and click the Home Button to select.
6. Go through the usual installation options. I selected fresh Install (not an upgrade) and left all the other partitions intact (SYSTEM and HP_TOOLS), I just installed over the primary partition. (Using a screen shot from previous blog post, same setting though).
This is the lock screen.
This is the main start screen.
In my next post I will go through getting drivers installed and configured.
Excited to try them out.
Use USB Stick to install Windows 8.
What you need:
1. USB Stick, a minimum of 4GB for Windows 8 (x86 or x86).
2. Download and Install the Microsoft Windows 7 USB/DVD download tool here.
3. Download the latest version Microsoft Windows 8 beta (DP, CP, RP).
1. Plug USB Stick into the Computer. Note the drive letter associated with the USB Stick.
2. Launch the Windows 7 USB/DVD Download tool
3. In Step 1 browse and select the ISO file you download above.
4. In Step 2 click on the USB device button in the lower right.
5. In Step 3 select the USB stick you plugged in and click “Begin copying” button in the lower right.
6. You will get prompted to erase USB stick, after confirming that it is the correct USB device click “Erase USB Device”.
7. You will get another confirmation. Click Yes to erase.
8. In Step 4 it will format the USB stick, make it bootable, and extract the ISO files to the USB stick.
9. Finally after about 8 minutes you will get successful message. Click the upper X in the right corner to close.
Note: Depending on the type of Tablet/Slate you have you will want to enter the BIOS and change the boot order. I did not have to do this with my Asus EP121, it automatically booted from the USB Stick. However my HP Slate 500 and Samsung Series 7 Slate you had to enter the BIOS to change the boot sequence.
I understand that it is a bit much to ask a vendor to get drivers out for a beta product, but I feel this is a bit different in the fact that Windows 8 is really being pushed as this Touch Friendly operating system.
I hope that software vendors such as Microsoft and computer vendors such as HP, Asus, Samsung, and other start pressuring part vendors such as N-trig to get some updated drivers out to the public. I think Microsoft has lots to lose and it is trickle down economics…
N-trig Press Release
According to N-trig in an earlier press release in January 2012 they state their commitment to Windows 8. Well in my opinion it is time for them to get some W8 beta drivers out to their consumers.
Contact their Support
Help the cause. Shoot them a quick note requesting some W8 drivers and that we as consumers are wanting to actually use their product. I mean seriously, they have had plenty of time; the HP Slate hasn’t had updated N-trig drivers since November 2010. Ouch!
This is the response I got back from N-trig today from my email on March 3rd. Nice canned response. 3 weeks development converted into real world time is approximately 2 months.
As of 03/28/2012 N-trig has release Windows 8 drivers. They are still pretty weak, but it’s a start.
I have run across an issue that had me more than frustrated. I was getting random crashes and the great new Windows 8 BSOD. After some searches I found several references to defrag being the culprit. Well after making the change I can happily report no more crashes and BSOD.
Turn off Defrag.
At the main Windows 8 screen (Tile Screen) click on Desktop
Hit the “Windows key” + “R” to bring up the Run and type in “Control Panel”
Up in the upper right corner type “Defrag” and hit enter.
Click “Defragment your hard drive” link under Administrative Tools.
On the Optimize Drives screen click “Change Settings”
Uncheck “Run on a schedule (recommended)” and click Ok button.