It all started when I decided to do a clean install of Windows Vista onto my HP TX 1000 Tablet PC. In order to remove the set of unnecessary applications that come pre-installed in their PCs, many users prefer doing a fresh install of the OS from a standard installation media (not from the recovery disc.)
The issue: Facing error while calibrating the Tablet PC screen in a fresh install of Microsoft Windows Vista.
If you are a Tablet PC owner (a laptop with a touch sensitive screen,) you must be familiar with a thing called “Screen Calibration.” Screen calibration helps the OS to determine the edges of the screen so that the cursor and the pen touch point remain precise. (For those who play PC games: it is somewhat similar in concept to Joystick or Gamepad calibration.) All that you need to do is coincide your stylus/pen with four cross marks presented to you at four edges of the screen (one at a time).
Problem: Upon installation of Microsoft Windows Vista Operating System, I realized that the Tablet Screen needed a re-calibration. When I tried to do so, I found that whenever I tried to click one of the cross marks, I got a system beep and it did not take the input. Pointing the pen half a centimeter diagonally outwards from the actual point resulted in a valid input. However, this caused a wrong calibration and I always had an error (offset) of the cursor by half a centimeter. This was pretty frustrating and was a severe hindrance while exactly pointing at any object.
This problem is applicable to almost all brands and makes of tablet PCs (as on date.)
Steps to the Solution: This had happened almost three months back from now and I had almost stopped using the touch-screen due to this error in calibration. I had Googled many a times but did not find any solution. I called up Microsoft and they simply referred back to HP (my laptop manufacturer.)
It was just a week ago that I stumbled upon this page. http://www.gnegg.ch/2007/08/careful-when-clean-installing-tabletpcs/ This had a solution from Philip Hofstetter. Thanks a ton Philip for your efforts.
There is something called the “factory calibration” of the touch panel that End-users cannot perform using their Vista calibration tool. This calibration data is stored in the registry at HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINESYSTEMCurrentControlSetControlTabletPC. (this key location is applicable to all Vista Tablet PCs.)
This data is lost upon fresh installation of the OS. And as of now, there is no good tool to do the factory calibration.
Hence, the solution would be:
- Export this registry value before you re-install the OS. This can be done using the tool called Registry Editor (regedit). And re-import it after a clean install of the OS.
- Ask a friend/colleague to supply you the registry data of the above-mentioned key from another Tablet of the same model. (Note that other models generally doesn’t seem to work. However, you can give it a try.)
- Use special commands (click start –> run –> type “tabCal linCal” –> press enter) to start the calibration screen and generate linearity data. This option does not always work and in cases where the calibration has very high degree of error, it is almost impossible to generate a valid linearity data.
I have appended links to the registry data of a number of Tablet PCs:
- HP TX 1003au sent by Krishanu Nandy
- LE-1700 sent by Philip Hofstetter
- Fujitsu Siemens T4210 sent by P8RSON
If you have a tablet PC of some other brand (not in the list above) please post in the comment a link to the exported .reg file of the above-mentioned registry key or email the .reg file to me at [email protected].
You can find some more of these .reg files at http://forum.tabletpcreview.com/
If you are not familiar using registry editor, you can run this software by typing “regedit” at windows “run” dialog (WinKey+R). Then try following this link for an overview of the regedit software and instructions of how to use it. Regedit Documentation at Microsoft.com