Fingerprint scanner stopped working, now I can't boot Windows

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Fingerprint scanner stopped working, now I can't boot Windows

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Okay, so last night I just hibernated my computer like usual. No updates were installed since it last worked (I know this because when I turned it on this morning, it resumed Windows instead of booting it up as if from a cold start.

So I have the non-FIPS fingerprint scanner on my Precision 6600 running Windows 7. I have password sign on to Windows disabled so only the fingerprint scanner will work.

When I turned it on this morning, first (from hibernate or cold start) it always asks me for a fingerprint before booting. I swiped, it accepted, and began resuming Windows. But when it got to the fingerprint scan for Windows, it said that no fingerprint scanner was detected. Since I disabled my password, there is no way around it that I can see. I restarted and it still doesn't detect it. I'm not sure what to do, but I'd like to use my computer.

Please let me know if there is an easy way to solve this problem, or if I'll have to reinstall Windows (I REALLY don't want to do that since finding and installing all the right Dell drivers is NOT fun). At this point I would just like to be able to get into Windows, so if there's a slick way to use my Windows password despite my disabling that (I am trying to sign on with my personal account with all administrator privileges), I would love to know it. Fixing the fingerprint scanner too would be a plus. I've never had a problem like this before, and I can't imagine what might have caused it.

All Replies
  • I would check  manual for password override options through BIOS.

  • I've actually been chatting and interfacing with Dell tech support for a number of hours today. They are sending my problem to the engineers because the neither the tech support guy or his manager could figure it out. They don't understand why it works for pre-boot of Windows but doesn't work within Windows. They think that it's something wrong with the Dell Data Protection drivers/software, but much fiddling has yielded nothing. I will post when I hear back from the"engineers."

  • Interesting.

    So all passwords are disabled in BIOS already?

  • I don't *think* that there's a BIOS password enabled. There is an administrator password though. What do you think the BIOS password could be doing to prevent recognition of the fingerprint scanner in the Dell ControlVault/Dell Access/Dell Data Protection software? The fingerprint scanner does show up in Device Manager and says that it's working. I have fingerprints enrolled through Windows Fingerprint Scanner, but in the past I had loaded them with the Dell Access software. I continue to use a fingerprint swipe to be able to boot Windows with no problem and no interruptions despite removal of all fingerprint software (I think it stores my fingerprints somewhere else).

    It's interesting actually - when Dell Access is opened for the first time after a clean install, and you click on Authenticated Devices (think it's called that), it initially shows "fingerprint reader" and "SmartCard reader" but then instantly the "fingerprint reader" entry disappears.

  • erikkellison,

     

    Can you restart your computer and tap F8 at startup. Try a system restore point from the recovery partition?

     

     

    Rick

    #DellRockStar

    What is a Dell Service Tag and how do I locate it? 

     

     

    Original poster, If you have solved your problem, can you please mark the correct thread(s) with your solution. Thanks 

    Welcome to Dell Community!

  • The thing is, I didn't do ANYTHING to cause this. Last night it was working. I hibernated. Woke up the next morning and the fingerprint scanner didn't work. Do you think there will be an arbitrary restore point?

  • Some  Vostro laptop  BIOS options are:

    > Set Supervisor Password (Allows you to change or delete the administrator password.)

    >Password Bypass ( Allows you to bypass the system password and the internal HDD password prompts during a system restart/resume from hibernate state.)

    Does your PC have similar BIOS options that you've already played with?

    I like PudgyOnes's idea also.

  • My finger print reader failed to respond a couple times when logged out. It did return to life after win 7 restart. Peraps it was sleeping while in the logged out state. I changed finger print scanner to always on in windows mobility center.

  • Always on fingerprint reader (windows mobility center)  did not work.

    Sometimes when log off fingerprint reader won't work from log off state.

    I tried to put to sleep then awake form log off state; fingerprint reader still did not work.

    I tried "swipe your finger to log on" but it did not work.

    Windows restart does work; fingerprint reader comes back to life.

    Manual entry of password also works.

    Moral of the story is to make sure you have manual password entry option in addition to fingerprint option.

  • erikkellison,

     

    Power on the computer. Press and hold the power button for 30 seconds. Remove the battery and unplug from the wall. Press the power button 30 seconds.

     

    Now put the battery back in and power on. Did the fingerprint reader reappear?

     

    If not, can you put in the Recovery disk or a password reset disk, if you made one?

     

     

     

    Rick

    #DellRockStar

    What is a Dell Service Tag and how do I locate it? 

     

     

    Original poster, If you have solved your problem, can you please mark the correct thread(s) with your solution. Thanks 

    Welcome to Dell Community!

  • I totally removed all the drivers and the programs, rebooted after every removal. Reinstalled the drivers and the programs in the logical order, again restarting after every one. The fingerprint scanner works now, except for when I do multiple hibernations, sometimes for long periods of time, and it'll disappear. I can't seem to change any USB settings that might disable the power to my fingerprint reader. So apparently I just can't use hibernate. Thank you Windows 7. Whatever. My computer is fast, and I'll just shut it down when I'm done instead of hibernating, I guess.

  • erikkellison,

     

    Go to device manager. Can't remember if it's bimetric devices or Personal Identification devices or something else. Look for all traces of the fingerprint reader in the device manager. On each, double click, advanced. Uncheck the box, allow Windows to turn off this device to save power.

     

    Now when it comes out of hibernation, give it a few seconds(maybe 30) to get power to it, but it should work.

     

     

    Rick

     

     

    #DellRockStar

    What is a Dell Service Tag and how do I locate it? 

     

     

    Original poster, If you have solved your problem, can you please mark the correct thread(s) with your solution. Thanks 

    Welcome to Dell Community!

  • I disabled windows validity sensor power management like pudgy recommended on the 15th and have had no fingerprint  problems since. Fingerprint reader is working consistently from "Log off" state and "Switch user" state so far (fingers crossed).

    Device Manager, Biometric Devices, Validity Sensor, Rifgt click, Properties, Power Management. Don't allow computer to turn off device to save power.

  • rufton,

     

    Glad you got it working! Yes Thanks for posting back.

     

    Take care,

     

     

    Rick

    #DellRockStar

    What is a Dell Service Tag and how do I locate it? 

     

     

    Original poster, If you have solved your problem, can you please mark the correct thread(s) with your solution. Thanks 

    Welcome to Dell Community!

  • Thanks Pudgy.

    Still not a single fingerprint reader misfire since I did above changes.

    I've used "Log off" and "Switch user" several times.