Precision Trackpad Driver for AW13

Found a way to force Windows Precision drivers on my Alienware 13R3.

Just to be clear, the latest touchpad driver from Dell is very good. The tracking and scrolling have improved a lot since I got my AW13. There’s just one thing bugging me – zooming in browser. It is just not as smooth like on Apple’s Safari, which Microsoft own Surface device can totally do it in Edge browser.

Seems to me the feature is available with Microsoft Precision touchpad driver, which I find it dumb not to have the same thing for other touchpad (Synaptics/ELAN). I need it because the text seems rather small on the 13″ screen with 1080p resolution. Yes I can tweak the DPI but I like the UI size to maintain native and small.

That’s just me, so here’s the workaround:

I found a thread in Superuser forum, a guy named James Manes made the driver work on his HP Spectre X360 (2017). He followed a post in Reddit for the mod, but added a fix for the driver to continue working after waking up from sleep.

I downloaded the driver from link in the Reddit post, followed the instruction to install the driver and restart the laptop. The touchpad menu in Windows 10’s Settings changed after the driver change, indicating Microsoft Precision driver is working and I am finally able to do smooth zoom in Edge.

I try putting the laptop to sleep and waking it up just to see if the gesture continues to work and it did.

But there’s some problems. Tracking is wonky, and isn’t as good as Dell latest driver, but I can live with that, some people can’t. Second, after zooming in Edge, the scroll left/right isn’t working well. I’ll bounce back if I swipe left/right, but it will scroll perfectly fine left/right. This behaviour was the same as scrolling up/down with the older Dell official driver, which they’d fix on later date.

I’ll use the new modified Precision driver for now and see how long I can tolerate the shortcomings.

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Precision Trackpad Driver for AW13

Getting Bootloop in Shanghai

I should have done a nandroid backup before I flash the latest CM13 ROM. I didn’t do it because updating a new nightly didn’t cause much of a problem until today. While at work, without any sort of internet connection, I don’t use my phone much. So I just went and update the ROM. It ended-up getting into a boot-loop. 

I ended up in Shanghai after finishing my work. So once I got my wifi in the room on my laptop, I quickly went and grab the latest version of ROM to see if I can set it up. I manage to connect briefly into my house’s VPN so for a while I was able to message my wife using Facebook Messenger. Usually I contact her using Whatsapp while overseas, but no phone no Whatsapp. 

I seem to be able to download the latest ROM and OpenGApp, so I load them into the phone, did a factory reset, and flashed both .zip. Then realities hit me, I can’t set up the phone because it needs to talk to Google server. I can’t get past the set up screen, so I can’t set up a VPN connection from my phone to reach Google’s server. 

I noticed a few days back that I can set up hotspot on my laptop, I haven’t thought of the practicality of it until today. The laptop is always connected to the internet thru wifi, so why do I need to create another wifi network out of it? If my laptop is connected thru VPN, I can share that secured connection to my phone. Thus my phone doesn’t need to set up VPN.

I tried that method and I’m guessing the connection to my house’s server is so slow that nothing seems to be loading. I went and restart the house router by connecting into its control panel. Then after that I can’t log into the VPN anymore. Now I end up with a completely useless phone. Good thing about my job is that I will be back at home tomorrow, away from all this China Great Firewall crap. 

Without Whatsapp, Google, Facebook, I can only fall back to my Yahoo Mail which seems to be working in China. I wrote an email to my wife updating her my failed attempted to setup the phone, and hit the Send button. For some weird reason, only the first letter got thru – the letter H from the word “Hi”. I don’t know was it the Safari on the iPad or what-the-fuck. I just shut everything off and goes to bed. 

Getting Bootloop in Shanghai