[SOLVED!] Synaptics touchpad on Dell notebook crashes in firefox 2022 working solution

This has been a problem for literally decades and IDK why firefox can’t seem to fix it, but because reasons a Dell Precision M6500 notebook computer will lose the ability to use its trackpad/touchpad input at all in even the latest version of Firefox i literally just downloaded days ago. I found that this failure reliably happened only when I tried to scroll on a page using the “swipe down the left side of the touchpad” gesture input on the touchpad. In my case, it made the touchpad stop responding to input altogether!

One user gave a hint that SynTPEnh.exe was a problem: https://www.dell.com/community/Laptops-General-Read-Only/Touchpad-hungs-when-scrolling-in-Firefox-M6500/td-p/3692065
I verified stopping that process would let me use the touchpad again. Hold shift/control/escape and find the process, right click and tell it end task. This was possible, happily, becauses this laptop has a trackpoint as well as a touchpoint. But that only gets the mouse back, not the ability to actually USE firefox.

Happily I found the solution thanks to Jesus and user do9man on support.mozilla.org: https://support.mozilla.org/en-US/questions/895816

Mind you: this solution is from 2011. I type this in the year of our Lord 2022 and it was STILL A PROBLEM! on a brand-new installation of Windows 10, a brand-new installation of the latest Firefox ESR, with a clean new profile in firefox, I still had the exact problem. Shocking. Anyway, in case that link dies and this one somehow remains, the solution was to edit the registry. Beware that you can break your computer by editing the registry wrongly.

start-> regedit->
navigate to [HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Synaptics\SynTPEnh]
add a 32-bit dword called UseScrollCursor and leave the value at the default all-zeroes. Restart the computer. Bang, you can scroll in firefox again but you don’t have the fancy cursors. IDC about the cursors i want the scrolling.

The scrolling is not super smooth for me, but it scrolls and the touchpad stays working.

So there you go.

[Solved] Equalizer for bluetooth headphones on Windows PC

First: Install Equalizer APO: https://sourceforge.net/projects/equalizerapo/

Restart, and install Peace Equalizer, a user interface for Equalizer APO https://sourceforge.net/projects/peace-equalizer-apo-extension/

This is supposed to be good from Windows Vista to 10, and it definitely worked on my 10 installation. YMMV.

$0 solution, nice!

[SOLVED!] How to Install Windows on Dell Optiplex 7040 (and other Skylake systems)

This should not be so hard. Dell did something with their USB hardware that is not built into USB installation media for Windows. I tried 7 and 10 installation media, USB and optical, with no joy. This literally took me two full man-days (on the clock, thanks) but I got it finally.

The NVME M2 hard drive is a separate ball of worms. Deal with those drivers and cloning disks and whatnot, if you want, after Windows is installed. The procedure described below required the use of a SATA hard drive I was glad to have sitting on the shelf. The new Windows installation may not have the networking drivers so you won’t be able to get online to download the rest of the things you need – get those drivers from Dell Support online, on another computer, and transfer them via USB after you get Windows up and running on your troublesome 7040.

The BIOS was set to UEFI, SATA to AHCI, boot to USB first.

You will need a separate, working computer with internet access. You will need a USB stick big enough, 8GB at least, 16 or 32 would be better. Use Rufus* to prepare your USB drive as an ISO with a GPT file system for UEFI boot. FAT32 is important, UEFI won’t boot from NTFS! Use your favorite Windows installation ISO to make your bootable drive. Boot from it in one of the USB2.0 ports on your 7040 and notice that it calls for drivers during the process of installing Windows – and it won’t find any. From any drive on any port. Suck.

You need to get the driver pack for the chipset from dell directly. In my case it took only this USB3 driver https://www.dell.com/support/home/Drivers/DriversDetails?driverId=CWGRX&fileId=3588430725&osCode=W764&productCode=optiplex-7040-desktop&languageCode=en&categoryId=CS found at this very simple 10-page explanation that has a wrong step and oh by the way I literally wasted an entire day trying to make it work even when i got all the steps right. Various failures including crashes. Very bad.

Anyway, insert the drivers into the boot.wim on your new USB installation media using DISM. The steps here are pretty clearly spelled out: https://www.msprofessionals.org/cloud/how-to-add-winpe-drivers-to-a-boot-wim-via-dism/

assuming you have installed the latest Windows Assessment and Deployment Kit (ADK)

Assuming a your windows installer file is located in windowsmedia\sources\ (i.e., if your installation files are on a drive called G, then G:\sources will have an install.wim inside; in this case the author used a directory of C:\WindowsMedia for their example location)

Assuming a test/working directory of \mount\boot (make a new directory e.g. C:\Mount\Boot to work in). I was on my last nerve and went ahead and worked with the boot.wim right on the installation disk and it worked.

The elevated command prompt commands you will use, copied here in case the msprofessionals web page disappears:


DISM /Mount-Image /ImageFile:”C:\WindowsMedia\sources\boot.wim” /index:1 /MountDir:”C:\Mount\Boot”

DISM /Image:C:\Mount\Boot /Add-Driver /Driver:C:\WindowsSources\10\1909\Drivers\winpe /recurse

N.B.: you may need to additionally use a /forceunsigned option in there, in case you get an error in the WinPE installation environment about unsigned drivers. Probably not. Hopefully not.

DISM /UnMount-Image /MountDir:”C:\Mount\Boot” /Commit

DISM /Mount-Image /ImageFile:”C:\WindowsMedia\sources\boot.wim” /index:2 /MountDir:”C:\Mount\Boot”

DISM /Image:C:\Mount\Boot /Add-Driver /Driver:C:\WindowsSources\10\1909\Drivers\winpe /recurse

DISM /UnMount-Image /MountDir:”C:\Mount\Boot” /Commit

Then you can go on and install windows as usual. If you don’t know how to do that, you are probably lost anyway after looking through the foregoing. Sorry.

Cautionary note: I tried to dism install all the drivers from the other two driver links on the dell explanation page and the windows installation errored out pretty hard. So maybe just brooming them all into the boot.wim was a bad idea.

*Rufus can be found here: http://rufus.akeo.ie/

Update: this has now come back and saved my bacon as I had to install Windows on a Dell 3620 tower.  The 10 installation media worked ok on this model, but the 7 installer couldn’t find drivers again. I wanted 7 on this box though, so I had to retrace my own steps.  The text has been updated a bit for clarity.

[SOLVED!] Make Firefox your default browser when Windows won’t let you do it, and it’s not even an option

I had a problem with Firefox and switched to Waterfox. All was well. Then a couple of years later, I wanted to switch back to Firefox because %reasons%. When FF started it asked if I wanted to set it as the default browser. Yes, thanks. Windows opened an applet to let me change the default browser and . . . Firefox was not on the list. I couldn’t select it as it was not there. Waterfox was masquerading as Firefox. This was the case everywhere in the system.

I right-click-> ‘open with’ changed the default program for .html documents, and that worked! But it only worked for that one filetype. There are also .htm, .xht and .xhtml to consider. This is not elegant and there must be an easier way.

Reinstalling wouldn’t help; this was a fresh installation of Firefox.

The Default Apps applet didn’t help, this wasn’t on the list of options.

Default Programs from the Classic Control Panel didn’t help. It was not on the list of options.

Bringing up the Set Defaults app (win+R -> ms-settings:defaultapps) didn’t work. I was able to change .htm but the other two didn’t have Firefox listed as options, I guess because they were listed as protocols instead of filetypes.

The ONLY thing that worked, and it only took a quick moment, was found at appuals.com where there is listed a simple shell command to execute. I didn’t even need an elevated (run as Administrator) command prompt! This was SUPER easy.

Type the following, press the following keys on your keyboard:

  • Press the Start button or your Windows key
  • cmd
  • Enter
  • “C:\Program Files\Mozilla Firefox\uninstall\helper.exe” /SetAsDefaultAppGlobal
  • Enter

Bam. Firefox is your default browser again. Thanks Jesus I finally found it, and thanks Keven Arrows for the writeup!

Really, Microsoft?

Microsoft made Windows, and it was good. Well, every other time they released a new version. The other half of the versions all sucked.

Windows 7 in particular is Good Enough. 8 failed hard. 8.1 failed hard. 9 would have been glorious. But they skipped 9, didn’t they. Straight to 10. And it is as bad as could be expected, from a privacy standpoint. It’s ugly, and still not as user-friendly as 7 was. People are avoiding it in droves. Microsoft has stated an intention to have it on a zillion or so computers pretty quickly, so the avoiding was a problem.

They decided to install Windows 10 for you. You’re welcome. Then people complained not a little, and Microsoft stopped changing your operating system without asking. Now they’re going to start it up again. You’re welcome.

2020: the year Microsoft stops supporting 7, may just finally be the year of Linux.

You’re A Jerk, Microsoft.

Dear Microsoft,

Not everyone has unlimited data plans with their Internet Service Providers.  Your automatic update that causes the ENTIRE Windows 10 Operating System to be downloaded has sent lots of users of Windows 7 and 8 right over their data caps.

I hope this costs you millions of dollars in a class-action lawsuit.  This was a jerk move 100%


-A user who has turned off automatic SECURITY updates because you lie about what’s important in your mad desire for us to GWX

P.S. if you’re on a metered internet/data plan, you might check the data use on your computer over the last few days.

Dear Google, Your New Logo Sucks, kthanksbye

It looks like something from a kindergarten classroom.  I wouldn’t care at all, except that there is also a new favicon on the tab I keep open for google searches.  I might just need to start using Bing, because your new little rainbow-colored G looks so stupid.  Even duckduckgo’s logo is less dumb than this.

I quit your blogging software because you changed the interface.  I skipped the last THREE versions of WIndows because they changed their interface.  Maybe it’s time to quit the main reason anyone uses you at all, over this.  It is possibly the ugliest icon on my whole computer.  Staring. Me. In. The. Face. All. Day.