Trackpad problems on MacBook Pro Core 2 Duo

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by thesheep, Jan 10, 2007.

  1. thesheep macrumors regular


    Mar 27, 2006
    I've had my new MBP for several weeks now, and never really used the trackpad much as I tend to have it hooked up to an external monitor and use a stylus.

    However, now I'm using it more in 'mobile mode' I'm noticing something really quite annoying and frustrating about the trackpad. When you first use the trackpad, it feels fine, if a little 'lighter' than my previous Powerbook. However, after using it for a couple of minutes, I start to notice something strange. The trackpad is slipping slightly, under certain types of movements. It is usually the small corrective movements that you make when you shoot straight to a button, then move the cursor slightly up or down to get it on target. Usually this is done unconsiously without thinking. But with this trackpad I keep getting it wrong. It is like the cursor is slipping slightly, then jumping slightly.

    It is quite strange because it is sort of intermittent. But overtime it is a very, very different experience from using a Powerbook trackpad. I've tried turning off 'ignore accidental input' and it doesn't help. I've tried adjusting the tracking speed and that doesn't help either.

    To do a little test, I've tried moving my finger very very very slowly down the pad. And after a bit of practice I can actually get it so I am moving my finger down, with pressure, on the pad, and the cursor stays stays stationary, without moving. So to me this points to a problem. It shows that the trackpad is somehow slipping slightly.

    Has anyone else noticed this? Is there any point in me going to the Genius bar and trying to explain all this? I'm worried they'll just use it for 20 seconds and say, 'yeah it works' and I won't get anywhere.

    This is the main drawback with my MBP. Another minor point is that the fan gets very noisy under load (ie when I have Photoshop and Illustrator running under Rosetta). But most of the time it is very quiet. It was a strange feeling when the fan first came on, I was working away and there was this slowly increasing noise, and I was thinking, what's that? Sounds like a spaceship or something...

    On the plus side the MBP is a hell of a lot faster than the Powerbook. Photoshop is noticeably quicker even under emulation.

    It just doesn't feel quite as polished as my old 1.5GHz Powerbook. I loved that machine, everything seemed to be perfect about it (except the speed of course).

    Anyway, the main problem is the trackpad... any thoughts?
  2. mad jew Moderator emeritus

    mad jew

    Apr 3, 2004
    Adelaide, Australia
    It can get messed up with even slightly wet fingers. Does resetting it help? You can just hold your palm over it for about five seconds to get it reset. This usually helps me when mine starts acting randomly. :)
  3. robotrondeluxe macrumors newbie

    May 31, 2006
    I notice the same thing on mine. Often, when I need to get the cursor into a precise spot to hit a button, the cursor will erratically move out of position and I will have to correct it. It doesn't seem to be as precise as my old powerbook. I'm still trying to decide if I want to take it in. I have kind of gotten used to it.
  4. smueboy macrumors 6502a


    Oct 30, 2006
    I love the trackpad over that on my old PB, especially the two finger feature. But when you have sweaty or wet fingers, or dirty fingers or dirt on the pad it can behave erratically (most common i find is with damp hands). Make sure everything is clean and dry, and play with the settings (i have 'ignore accidental trackpad input' ticked).
  5. thesheep thread starter macrumors regular


    Mar 27, 2006
    robotrondeluxe: sounds like you have the same problem.

    mad jew: I haven't heard about being able to 'reset' the trackpad. I've looked through the Apple support docs for the trackpad and it doesn't seem to mention it. Do you have a link for that?

    Definitely no liquid or grease or anything in my case.

    I just wonder if it's the case with all trackpads in this incarnation of the MBP. Think I'll go to the Apple Store any try out some other ones. Maybe it's a hardward 'characteristic' on this version of the trackpad and will go away with the next version of the MBP. Really annoying.
  6. mad jew Moderator emeritus

    mad jew

    Apr 3, 2004
    Adelaide, Australia

    No link, but give it a go. Rest your palm on top of your trackpad for about five seconds and see if things clear up. :)
  7. nixcastor macrumors newbie

    Jan 8, 2008
    I have the same problem with the trackpad

    Has anyone else noticed this?


    Hi Sheep!
    I have exactly the same problem you described with my MBP. It is really annoying and it costs so much concentration to actually hit a button at the screen.

    It is my first Mac (only had IBM thinkpads before), so I cannot compare to older Macs.

    Did you find any solution for your problem in the meantime?

  8. franciozzy macrumors newbie

    Jan 21, 2008
    Porto Alegre, RS - Brazil
    This problem is Santa Rosa related

    Hi there,

    I have this issue with the regular SR MacBook (not Pro). Santa Rosa is this new chipset that ships the X3100 video card and, so you know the difference, has the volume control on F10 to F12 on your keyboard.

    The trackpad just moves erratically. You won't notice if moving fast, but when trying to hit a specific spot, it can get very annoying. I took it to an Apple Repair Center in my city (Brazil) and showed them. They've compared the notebook with older models and that's definitely an issue, but Apple hasn't spoke a word about it.

    I've found a thread on an Apple Website Forum regarding this issue. Loads of people claiming this is indeed a PROBLEM, but Apple won't move a finger about it (perhaps yet?).

    Another weird issue regarding my new SR Macbook is that, once in a while, when I power the computer up, the front led will blink repeatedly and a strange beep will sound, just like during the EFI update a few months ago. Other people noticed it too, but also no official fix/comments about it.

  9. pulsewidth947 macrumors 65816


    Jan 25, 2005
    I'm getting a similar problem with mine. I notice it more when I wake my mac and it can't find an Airport signal. While it's scanning it seems like the CPU cannot handle my tracking and slow the mouse behaves erratically.

    Last night I was in a pub with no free wifi and the trackpad went crazy. Like tiny movements on the pad triggered my hot corners, so I wiggled my finger on the pad to see if it would sort it. Nope. The I saw the cursor and if I moved my finger right, the cursor went left.

    So it's definitely a problem. Like now - I've woken the Mac, and it's found an airport but the trackpad is still iffy. It's as thought the resolution has been dropped so the mouse jerks around.
  10. deniser macrumors 6502


    Sep 14, 2007
    Cornwall, England
    My son was playing halo on mine this morning. H said "hey mum look at this" he moved his hands away from the MBP and his player carried on shooting for at least 20 seconds :eek:
  11. stoffert macrumors newbie

    Mar 5, 2009
    Trouble with clicking the touchpad

    After a small drop of my beloved laptop, my the touchpad on my MBP 15' is acting weird.
    I can only "click" the trackpad in the lower area. The "touch" click is working fine. I've tried to losen the screw behind the battery, but I still have a large area in the top of the touchpad that can't do the "click" click!
    Any ideas to solve this?
  12. clientsiman macrumors 6502


    Jun 13, 2009
    I have the same problem with my macbook pro 13.I haven't found a way to fix it yet.
  13. brentmack macrumors newbie

    Mar 8, 2009
    Track Pad Problems

    lately I have noticed that often the primary click feature on both my mouse and track pad suddenly acts like the secondary click. So thus I have two secondary clicks and no primary click. To remedy this I have to shut down the Mac, wait five minutes then reboot. This seems to only happen when I plug in my iphone. This all began when I loaded the GTD app Things on the Mac and the iphone. They can sync through the wireless network. Any thoughts?
  14. channonh macrumors newbie

    Dec 5, 2009

    I couldn't agree with you more. My 12" 1.5Ghz PowerBook was a FAR SUPERIOR computer than my 13.3" MacBook Pro. It's a shame, though, that processor is simply too slow today. The new case has terribly sharp edges, the hyper-glossy reflective display is annoying, and YES, the trackpad intermittently does NOT work. It simply stops working, and the only thing I can do is command-tab to a different application and then command-tab back.
  15. wembleyboy macrumors newbie

    Jun 13, 2010
    Wembley, London, England
    mac book pro problems with track pad

    I bought my mac book pro on the same day the new i5 and i7 processors came out and i have after just 2months of owning the machine had serious problems with the trackppad did not respond until i restarted it about 5 times. I could not control mouse and consequentially had to plug in a usb mouse would advise people to restart and restart the machine again and again until it sorts the problems for itself.

    @ first I though someone was remote controlling my mouse because it was moving around on its own. I turned of my router and then the computer latched on to another network.....not sure what this problem is!!!
  16. DEXTERITY macrumors 6502a

    Aug 14, 2004
    I received my new macbook pro yesterday and could swear my trackpad is broken. Sometimes it moves around great, other times it feels like cement is holding it back. Furthermore, for some reason when I have a window open where you can control how big the icons are, it will zoom in on the icons. I don't know what I'm doing wrong to cause this but it is driving me insane. Are there certain settings that needed to be adjusted to get this thing to work properly?

    I've adjusted the speed, etc. but it still doesn't work properly. I'm not sure how I determine whether the macbook pro arrived defective or this is simply how the trackpad is?

    Thanks in advance.
  17. lifeform macrumors member

    Jan 10, 2009
    I can also confirm that I have the same problems with this MacBook Pro 13" I bought.

    It makes of crazy movements for a while and then suddenly calms down again.

    I also have problems with that the left button seems to be hold down all the time, so that I get a selection grid from whatever point the mouse cursor was located just when it started to act up...
  18. larsrc macrumors newbie

    Apr 13, 2009
    I have the same behaviour, only noticed so far while using Lightroom.

  19. Zzyzx193, Dec 22, 2010
    Last edited: Dec 22, 2010

    Zzyzx193 macrumors newbie

    Dec 22, 2010
    The trackpad is incredible sensitive, it's not made for humans. The pointer keeps jumping and sliding if I keep the factory default settings. I ended up doing two things:

    1.System Preferences > Universal Access: I moved the 2 sliders all the way to the left
    2.System Preferences > Trackpad: I unchecked all boxes and moved the Speed slider close to the left (slow)
    Now it works fine, not like they meant it to work, but at least I don't have programs opening at random like before.

    ps. also make sure your hand is dry, and if you live in an area with high humidity you might need to buy an external trackpad. I also noticed that the pointer is moody if I wear an old fleece jacket (static?) too close to the trackpad.
  20. Rdotrose macrumors newbie

    Jan 4, 2011
    I have a Macbook Pro that I bought in Canada in June 2009 and I have just started encountering similar problems when I moved to Malaysia (a 240V outlet country - so relevant to UK users) and when I installed Snow Leopard.

    To go along with some of the above posts, the trackpad does seem to be quite finicky. The cause of my problems (and maybe yours) seemed to be the power source. The Macbook adapter is not grounded, so while it will charge normally in a 240V outlet I could always feel a little extra vibration in the body because of it. I have recently started plugging the computer through a voltage converter and my trackpad problems have seemed to go away along with the vibration.

    I hope this helps anyone who's reading. Having an unresponsive trackpad is terrible.
  21. drwebber macrumors regular


    Mar 8, 2011
    Track Pad Issue

    I had the issue last week and I was already at the apple Store waiting in line for iPad 2. Mine goes all over the place and acts like I am pushing the button down even though I am not.
    The Genius reset the PRAM it worked until it started doing it again yesterday. I reset the PRAM myself and it is fine. I am still taking it to the store this weekend. Having to restart the Computer every time it has issues does not help.
  22. bengi macrumors member

    Jul 21, 2011
    I find the behavior of the new trackpads quite similar to Windows mice. I have used several MacBooks and MacBooks Pro and none of them is as smooth as the PowerBook,

  23. jabes macrumors newbie

    Jul 21, 2008
    Cape Coral, FL
    You are a true genius!

    It actually worked and it was not just the track pad that was being erratic, also my mouse. things were flying all over the place; the the buttons were like reverse magnetized; I could not hit them with the cursor 99% of the time. total frustration and a bunch of work to do. I visited the genius bar, and called Apple, ( of course when you do that the machine acts all innocent and does nothing bad). so again thanks a million for the trick. you are wonderful Mad Jew.

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