A few days ago I installed Linux Mint 18.1 on a laptop which originally had Microsoft Windows 7 as the operating system. The installation went pretty well with the video, network. mouse touchpad and sound systems all working.
Today, I went to use the laptop and the touchpad didn’t respond when I slid my finger across it. The cursor was frozen on the screen and I was afraid I had a hardware failure with the touchpad. The laptop was restarted a few times with no change so I booted into the BIOS setup menu to see if something in there was disabled and didn’t see a thing wrong. The laptop was rebooted and once Linux started I looked through the system settings and found the “Mouse and Touchpad” program. I opened it using the keyboard cursor keys, return and tab keys and attempted to edit the settings. It was difficult and I didn’t see anything helpful to get the touchpad working.
Things were looking dismal for the touchpad and then I got a epiphany – I tried and external USB mouse and could control the cursor again! The Mouse and Touchpad program was opened and I could scroll down further in the menu this time and found the touchpad was disable. Once it was enabled, everything was fine again with the touchpad. I don’t know how it got disabled, but I’m glad it’s working again.