My Dell Touchscreen Computer Keeps Touching Itself

Travis is heading to college in a few weeks. That’s very exciting, but he’s nervous that he’ll be heading to school with no computer or no working computer. He got a new laptop at the beginning of the year, and it’s no longer working all that well. The touchscreen keeps touching itself, moving the pointer to random points on the screen and disrupting whatever he’s doing. A Dell technician came to his house, didn’t fix the problem, and broke his headphone port. A second tech didn’t help all that much, and now it’s at Dell’s repair depot, still not getting the touchscreen fixed. What should he do?

I have a dell xps 17 laptop purchased late December and delivered January 5th 2012. I chose to get the touch screen option and that has been nothing but problems. In around March and April I contacted support because the touchscreen would randomly touch points on the screen. Very annoying when you’re working on something and suddenly everything’s minimized and having to fight with the laptop to keep the windows up! Or it randomly scrolling down the page.

The first dell tech was an idiot and we asked his boss to have him banned from our house. Last system he worked on he took the Bluetooth card that my mother needs for her mouse, 3 minutes after he left we called him, he said he wouldn’t come back because he was doing 80 on the freeway( in a 55-65 zone).

Then on my laptop he didn’t fix the screen… But broke the headphone port. Now only 1 out of 2 works. The second tech a few days later tried to fix the screen, but didn’t. It touched random points less, but didn’t fix.

While I am on vacation I scheduled my system to be sent to the dell repair center in Houston, I saw all they did was replaced the wireless card (wifi and Bluetooth would randomly drop connection), didn’t mention anything about Bluetooth or the screen or headphone port.

I get back on the 8th and leave for college on the 17th. What could I do if the system isn’t repaired fully? Would it be too late to say its a lemon and ask for a full refund to buy a different brand laptop?

It’s not that it’s too late to call it a lemon. It’s too soon. Lemon laws apply only after an item has been repaired three times for the same problem. Dell may be trying to get around this buy pretending that the touchscreen isn’t a problem while it’s in for repair. See whether it works when it comes back, and whether the documentation says that a repair on the touchscreen problem was attempted.

When it’s time, if Dell won’t budge, have a chat with the office of Michael Dell. A general EECB might work, and you can reach the office of Michael Dell at


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  1. Captain Spock says:

    I hate to shill for Apple, but I have had nothing but success and quick service when an issue is found with a new machine. Also on my lady’s 4 year old Macbook, they fixed the whole interior casing for free under a recall in just one hour.

  2. cristiana says:

    If you can’t get it fixed, you might try to find what driver the touchscreen uses and then disable the driver in control panel. That will disable your touchscreen, however, the phantom clicks will also be gone.

  3. HFC says:

    It’s possible this isn’t a problem with the touchscreen but with the touchpad. At my previous job, we issued Dell laptops and had this issue with the newest models. There was eventually a driver fix that helped a great deal, but never totally fixed the problem. OP might want to investigate that.

    • leprofie says:

      Yes. I’ve had to disable the touchpad. My Dell has a handy keyboard key that does that exclusively.

    • KTK1990 says:

      I did try that while troubleshooting. Deleted and reinstalled touchscreen in device manager, and updated all drivers. Didn’t work :/

      So far calibrations (ntrig and windows) were the only things that helped a little. After the second screen repair, the touchscreen pointed everywhere in front of the tech and calibrated it and it was fine for a few minutes then back.

    • Chris says:

      Used to own a pavilion TX2 that had a touchscreen issue, which we “fixed” by clicking the battery icon and changing the power settings to balanced (from “high performance”).

  4. az123 says:

    Now lacking more than the OP decided to get the touchscreen option, I think the lesson learned is in part, don’t get fancy features you don’t need when you buy computers. Perhaps the OP had a good reason for it, though not mentioned, but I see a lot of people get upsold on having the gadget features they don’t need, are expensive and then, as in this case, break and make the entire system useless for something you don’t actually need to have.

    I liked the idea above, just software disable the touchscreen if you really don’t have a use for it.

    • Captain Spock says:

      If he is just starting college, he has no need for a touchscreen on a laptop. ESPECIALLY from Dell…

  5. George4478 says:

    >>My Dell Touchscreen Computer Keeps Touching Itself

    If it keeps doing that the webcam will stop working.

    /according to my Mom

  6. Aaron says:

    I had a similar problem with a malfunctioning Dell mouse pad. I just kept barraging them with support requests through every communication medium available (phone, email, chat) until they agreed to send me a new laptop. You just have to be persistent and they will eventually cave.

  7. ret3 says:

    It doesn’t want anybody else; when it thinks about you, well…

  8. msmith6044 says:

    LMAO ! Good one

  9. Rob says:

    Do a search online. I was just looking at a similar issue concerning my work latop’s touch screen and the issues I have using a projector. I remember reading several users having a similar issue and if I remember correctly it was a matter of updating drivers or disabling the touch screen in the BIOS.

  10. annecat says:

    Not sure if this is the same problem, but I have a Dell with a touchpad and if I leave the arrow anywhere “clickable” for too long, it will select that item. Super annoying, and I haven’t figured out how to fix it yet.

  11. mrbucket says:

    About 4 years ago I had to deal with a drunken Dell technician. I was swamped and didn’t have the time to swap out a defective motherboard on an $8,000 server. I opted to have a local contractor hired by Dell do the job. He showed up and was obviously inebriated, complained to Dell and ever since haven’t had them do ANY on-site work for us. That said – If this prospective college student has any tech skills or a friend who does, see if he can get the part shipped out and swapped by someone he knows. Other than that, there may be a setting in the control panel to disable the touch-screen functionality for the time being so he can at least get some work done without being interrupted until the problem is fixed.

  12. PragmaticGuy says:

    Back in the 80s there was a Divinyls song about something like this. Christina Amphlett was really great in that video.

  13. GodfreyOriole says:

    I cannot find a dell xps 17 inch laptop anywhere with a touchscreen as an option. IS he sure he has a touch screen? I even looked on the dell outlet and at their 2011 models.