Inking Not Working in Office 2007 with Vista (SP1?) – Part 2

In Part 1 I described the problem. In this Part 2 I’ll describe my attempts so far to resolve it.

But first I’ll tell you what I’m not going to do, yet anyway. As mentioned in Part 1, JK of JKOnTheRun tells me inking works fine in Office 2007 on his P1620 with Vista but without Vista SP1. Thus one logical approach is to remove Vista SP1 and see if the problem still exists in pre-Vista SP1. However, I decided not to do this. First, I believe JK. Second, removing Vista SP1 is a PITA. Third,  Vista SP1 has a lot of good features I’d like to have. Fourth, not being able to ink directly in Office 2007 is not the end of the world, particularly since I still can ink in OneNote and other applications. Fifth, I need SP1 to test if any fix works. Sixth (and probably closest to the truth), maybe I’m just stubborn, but it really, really bugs me that I would have to remove Vista SP1 to solve this problem.

This probably was the correct decision, since I learned later, and discussed below under “Fujitsu Support (Level 2)”, Vista SP1 evidently is not the culprit.

Now that I’ve explained (or at least attempted to justify) why I won’t uninstall Vista SP1, let me tell you what I have tried.

Fujitsu Support (Level 1)

I called Fujitsu Tech Support. I spoke to a gentleman who was nice and helpful. Unfortunately, he wasn’t knowledgeable. For example, when I used the term “digital” ink”, he asked what that was. He kept putting me on hold and asking others for help. Finally, he told me that the “expert” from their “classroom” (whatever that is) said you couldn’t ink in Office 2007 with the P1620. At my request, he sent me an email which said in part:

“Passive digitizers allow you to use your finger to move the cursor, in addition to the pen. The digitizer is activated by the screen itself. [¶] A passive digitizer will allows on-screen writing (inking) in OneNote or EverNote only. [¶] Active digitizers only allow control via the pen only. [¶] An active digitizer will allows on-screen writing (inking) in OneNote or EverNote and also it will allow the use of the Microsoft Word 2007 inking features. [¶] If you want to have a good inking experience using Microsoft Word 2007, an active digitizer is needed.”

Fujitsu Support (Level 2)

Of course the response I received from Fujitsu Level 1 Support was dead wrong. I then emailed John Hill of Allegiance Technology Partners. As I’ve mentioned, ATP is a Fujitsu distributor who provides excellent service and from which I bought my P1620 among several other devices. John put me in touch with a higher level of Fujitsu support.

The Fujitsu support engineer tested Office 2007 SP1 on a P1620 with Vista SP1 and reported that he was able to ink normally. Indeed, many of the the screen shots in In Part 1 came from him.

In my desperation research, I noticed that the Microsoft Support article Windows Vista Service Pack 1 is not available for installation from Windows Update and is not offered by Automatic Updates lists among drivers problematic with Vista SP1: “AuthenTec Fingerprint Sensor with the Atswpdrv.sys driver file – version 7.7.1.7 or earlier.” This driver comes with the P1620, and the version is 7.7.1.7. No update is available on Fujitsu support site or elsewhere I could find. I also brought this to the attention of the Fujitsu support engineer. He advised me that Fujitsu will discuss this issue with AuthenTec and will post an update as soon as available.In any event, I don’t think this is the issue. The Fujitsu support engineer had the AuthenTec driver on his system. I also disabled the driver in Device Manager and unchecked it in msconfig->startup, rebooted, no difference.

He speculated that the order of install could matter. I also wonder if there is some software on both my P1620 and my wife’s P1620 (which is experiencing the same problem) that could be interfering. Both are subjects for further investigation.

Microsoft Vista SP1 Support

Microsoft offers free Vista SP1 support, including by email. So I emailed. The site says you’ll get a response within 24 hours. Not quite. Try 6 days. However, we arranged a remote session (using Microsoft Easy Assist). The tech confirmed the problem for himself. Disconcertingly, he tried to install Microsoft Windows XP Tablet PC Edition 2005 Recognizer Pack. I told him I had Vista, not XP Tablet PC edition. He tried anyway, and of course failed, since I have the “wrong” OS for that install. More sensibly, he tried a clean boot. However, that didn’t change anything either. The conclusion was he would escalate the issue and I would hear back in 3 to 4 days. This morning I received an email from another tech stating: “I shall be contacting you after researching on your issue regarding inking in Word 2007 as soon as possible.”

To be continued …

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