Solved Fingerprint keyboard works only sporadically

Discussion in 'Microsoft Surface Pro 4' started by r_europe, Nov 25, 2016.

  1. r_europe

    r_europe Member

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    I was pleasantly surprised recently to be able to buy an SP4 keyboard with fingerprint reader in the UK (thought it was only available in the US). I'm now using it on my SP3.

    When it works, it's an absolute joy, but it seems to work only sporadically.

    More often than not, I'm afraid, it refuses to log into Windows on fingerprint. When this happens, I get asked to to specify the login options and go ahead and select fingerprint, but nope - it insists on refusing to work when I do this and I have to go back and select PIN and do it the way I did it before. Compared to my old non-fingerprint keyboard, this is sadly a step backwards. If I detach and then re-attach the keyboard when this happens, it works fine with the fingerprint afterwards, but as above, the whole rigmarole is something of a step backwards.

    I find this a real shame, because it's so nice when it works properly. Can anybody help? Am I missing something obvious?

    Am posting this also on the SP3 forum just in case...
     
  2. sharpuser

    sharpuser Super Moderator Staff Member

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    Check the cleanliness of the connectors to the keyboard. Blow through a cloth to remove any debris into your SP4, and wipe the connections on the keyboard. Even a thin layer of oil or grease can be a problem.

    In any case, @r_europe, the problem is likely temporary. I seem to recall that my SP4 keyboard (connected to a SP3) had this behavior for awhile. A hardware driver update fixed the issue.

    Meanwhile try this: Power up without any keyboard attached and attempt to login. Do this a few times, sometimes attaching the keyboard during the process of the startup. This may trigger Windows to check the driver version, allowing you to get an update.
     
  3. sharpuser

    sharpuser Super Moderator Staff Member

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    Also, check software. You may have some processes starting up when you login, slowing Windows from that very short moment that it tries to detect the fingerprint reader.

    To investigate your startup processes, start Task Manager, or Ctrl+Alt+Del then select same. You may have to select "More details ...". A tab shows your startup processes, listing the "Startup Impact". Disable as needed.
     
  4. r_europe

    r_europe Member

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    Many thanks, @sharpuser, for your help with this - and Happy New Year!

    I tried the different ruses you suggested - i.e. powering up with and without keyboard and disabling various startup processes - but it didn't seem to make any difference. Or, at least, not at first...

    Now, though, the fingerprint sign-in seems to be working distinctly better - even if it's still not 100% perfect. I can't quite pinpoint (er, 'put my finger on') when the improvement started, but it certainly wasn't immediate and seems to have come about gradually.

    One thing I can say categorically is that it works best if I just put my finger on the print reader as soon as I switch on. If I swipe up the lock screen (phone style) before trying to sign in and the sign-in 'box' appears, I can be fairly sure it will only accept password or pin - even if it posts fingerprint as one of the sign-in options. Catch it with the fingerprint before it does this and it seems to work fine...

    Strange, but there we are... Anyway, I'm a lot happier with it now, so thanks once again.
     
  5. sharpuser

    sharpuser Super Moderator Staff Member

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    Marking solved. Glad you are being identified!
     

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