Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Kill the trackpad!

Some people really hate the Cr-48's trackpad. Even if you plug a USB mouse into it, the slightest brush of a finger across the pad is enough to move your cursor position and suddenly you're off typing somewhere you didn't mean to be. So I've found a way to kill the trackpad (software only, no hardware mods needed):

Standard Disclaimer: Making these changes may cause issues on your Cr-48. I'm not responsible for problems you may have as a result of running these commands (though they do work fine on my machine). If you run into problems, you may need to recover using Google's USB Recovery method.

  1. Get root (otherwise known as developer mode)
  2. You need read/write access to the / partition:
    /usr/share/vboot/bin/make_dev_ssd --remove_rootfs_verification
  3. reboot the Cr-48:
  4. now back at the root prompt, run one more command. qemacs is a text editor and xorg.conf is the X11 configuration file that we need to modify
    qemacs /etc/X11/xorg.conf
  5. Scroll down to the line that says Driver     "syntp". Change syntp to just mouse (leave quotes as is).
  6. Hit CTRL+X on the keyboard, then CTRL+C, you'll be asked if you want to save the file, hit Y.
  7. Reboot, the trackpad should be dead!!!


  1. Hi Jay - great blog. I have the opposite problem actually - my trackpad gave out and does not respond to any touch so I'm stuck using a USB mouse all the time which has rendered my CR-48 non mobile. I've been in contact with a Chrome Ninja but they do not have a fix at this time. Do you have any idea how to reactivate my trackpad? I've switched into dev mode and back but it was no go. Thanks in advance.

  2. Hi Nick,

    You could try Google's USB Recovery method (link is in post above). If that doesn't do it, it's probably a hardware issue unfortunately.


  3. Any idea why syndaemon -d -i won't work? I don't want to kill the mouse, just make it do the responsible thing and pause while I'm typing.

  4. Yes, that trackpad is a bother. However, I'm currently working with it turned down to lowest sensitivity and "enable tap-to-click" turned off. This seems to be the best use of it.

    But yes, I use a mouse most of the time when I'm at a desk and have learned to keep my palms and thumbs up as much as possible. Also, use the alt-arrows for navigation, as well as the alt-click for right-click functions.

    I'd use a keyboard as well if the monitor weren't so small and the external plug worked. But my main use is being able to sit in my easy chair and catch up on email, not web designing or anything serious. Still using my desktop for that function.

    Might as well paint that touchpad area orange as a warning to stay away from it... ;)

  5. >Any idea why syndaemon -d -i won't work?

    What is the above supposed to do? How does one do it? Does it work?

    My problem with the solution here is that I do want to maintain the rootfs_verification!

  6. Nick, I am actually having the same problem as you. It certainly is extremely inconvenient to need a USB mouse at all times. Have you found a solution yet?

  7. The solution I came up with was to move my cursor over another tab that I couldn't type in so if I clicked I would realize right away and I wouldn't type an essay inside itself.