Touchpad sometimes unresponsive on IBM Thinkpad T43 laptop

Hi, I've got a fairly old Thinkpad T43 laptop that's been working fine for years. Just yesterday the touchpad (and mouse buttons too) sometimes became completely unresponsive. I'd have to close the lid of the computer, go into sleep mode, then open it up and come back out of it... then it would work. For a while anyway, until it started doing it again without warning. Right now it's working okay but could freeze up at any moment.
   I didn't do any Windows Updates or anything to the system that could have changed it, so it's puzzling. I checked in Device Manager and can see the driver for it is pretty old (2004), and there's a much newer driver from 2014 available here:

http://support.lenovo.com/us/en/downloads/ds019164

Should that be my first plan of attack? Would appreciate any advice.

Thanks!
    Shawn
shawn857Asked:
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rindiCommented:
Issues like that are often caused by overheating, and overheating is usually caused bybad ventilation. So clean out all the dust from the vents, or if possible open the PC so you can clean it out better.
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shawn857Author Commented:
Thanks Rindi, I will try that. Regarding overheating - I rarely shut this laptop off. I just close the lid and leave it on all night. Is this hard on it? Should I maybe be shutting it down each night?
   Also, would it be worthwhile installing the new driver?

Thanks!
   Shawn
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rindiCommented:
If you close the lid, depending on how powermanagement is setup, most laptops will either go into hibernation or go to sleep, which both are similar to shutting down.

Personally I do a real shut-down though, as a clean reboot frees up RAM which hibernation or sleep wouldn't. Also windows updates often only take effect after a reboot.

I doubt the driver to be the cause of the issue, but I try to keep my drivers (all of them) updated, as new drivers can add functionality.
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shawn857Author Commented:
Thanks Rindi... I've never opened up this laptop before and I'm a bit hesitant to do so. There's a *lot* of little screws underneath and it looks like pretty delicate work. Would it be enough to just blast some pressurized air in through the vent area?

Thanks
   Shawn
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nobusCommented:
i also suggest shutting down the laptop
it is best to open the laptop to clean it; but if you are hesitant to do that, try blowing it out from all vents

**you can also test if the problem happens when booted from a live cd, like Knoppix :
http://www.knopper.net/knoppix-mirrors/index-en.html
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rindiCommented:
Rather than blowing in the air, try using a vacuum cleaner so the dust and dust bunnies come out. If you blow the air in, that can cause the opposite of what you want to achieve, you compact the dust further making it even harder for the air to flow.

Maybe you could also consider asking someone with the expertise to open and clean it out.
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nobusCommented:
>>  Would it be enough to just blast some pressurized air in through the vent area?  << as said best is to disassemble it for this
and it will depend on how much buildup there is too; they can be completely blocked
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shawn857Author Commented:
Thanks guys. I started shutting it down completely every night, and have installed the latest driver too. No problems ever since then. It still needs a good cleaning/vacuuming however, I agree... and will get around to that once I find someone who can open it up for me and clean it safely.

Thanks!
   Shawn
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nobusCommented:
tx for the feedback
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