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HP Notebook PCs - Troubleshoot a Fingerprint Reader

The components of your notebook's fingerprint-based security system are designed to work on specific models and with specific operating systems. The fingerprint device driver and the access manager for the original configuration of your notebook are available on the HP support web site.

WARNING: The drivers and programs available for one model may not be compatible and may not work with other models.

If you choose to change your notebook's operating system, the default fingerprint reader drivers and programs provided by HP for your notebook model may not be compatible, and the fingerprint reader may not work as a result. When searching for drivers and software, you must use your notebook's specific product number. See HP Notebook PCs - Locate the Notebook Product Number or Model Number .

Update the BIOS

If your notebook has a fingerprint reader, then it uses a version of BIOS with biometric support. This allows other hardware and software to support the fingerprint reader. For best performance, HP recommends that you periodically check hp.com for BIOS updates for your specific notebook model.

To check your BIOS:

  1. First, identify the BIOS version currently installed on your notebook. Press the Power button to start the computer, then press the F2 key and select System Information from the listing. The BIOS version is displayed.

  2. Next, identify if any BIOS updates are available for your notebook model. Open a web browser and go to hp.com , select SUPPORT & DRIVERS , enter your product number , select the current operating system , and then expand the BIOS driver option. The BIOS version is listed.

  3. If necessary, update your notebook BIOS. See HP Notebook PCs - Locate and Install Updated BIOS, Drivers, and Software for instructions.

If your notebook BIOS is up-to-date, see if biometric support is enabled.

Enable biometric support

Some types of BIOS allow you to enable or disable individual hardware components. The biometric device is the hardware that controls the fingerprint reader. Depending on your notebook model, there may be an option in the BIOS to turn the biometric device on and off.

To check your BIOS for biometric support and enable it:

  1. Press the Power button to start the computer, and press the F10 key to open the BIOS setup utility.

  2. Under System Configuration , look for a Biometric Device option; if it exists, enable it.

  3. Press F10 to save this setting and restart the computer.

If a biometric option does not exist in your BIOS, then the fingerprint reader is always enabled. Next, see if Windows supports the fingerprint reader.

Check for Windows support

Once BIOS provides access to a device, Windows displays the device name and its associated driver in the Device Manager. This indicates that Windows supports to the device, in this case the fingerprint reader.

To see if Windows supports the fingerprint reader on your notebook:

  1. Click Start , type device in the search field, and select Device Manager from the search results list.

  2. In the Device Manager , click Biometric to expand the list of recognized biometric sensor devices. The fingerprint sensor is listed as a Validity or Authentec sensor, depending on your notebook model.

  3. If there is no Biometric entry, then Windows cannot identify the fingerprint reader hardware. This is because the hardware may not be installed on the notebook, or it may be damaged. Contact HP for technical support or repair service.

    If there is a Biometric entry, then Windows supports the device.

Next, make sure the Windows device driver for the fingerprint reader is up-to-date.

Clean the fingerprint reader

You should periodically clean the fingerprint reader sensor to remove dirt and oil. Wipe the area with a soft cloth, dampened with an ammonia-based glass cleaner. Do not use a wet cloth because moisture may damage the sensor. Do not use a paper towel because the paper may scratch the surface of the sensor.

Then press the sticky side of a piece of adhesive cellophane tape on the sensor and then peel it away to collect the dust and dirt particles.

Update the device driver

The fingerprint reader hardware requires a device driver in order to allow software to control it. For best performance, HP recommends that you periodically check hp.com for device driver updates for your specific notebook model. Depending on the model, HP computers use Validity or Authentec drivers.

To update the fingerprint reader device driver:

  1. First, identify the version of the fingerprint reader device driver currently installed. Open the Device Manager , expand the Biometric list of recognized sensor devices, right-click the device, and select Properties from the pop-up menu. In the driver properties window, select the Driver tab. The driver version is displayed.

  2. Next, identify the driver version available for your model. Open a web browser and go to hp.com , select SUPPORT & DRIVERS , enter your product number , select the current Operating System , and then expand the Driver - Keyboard, Mouse and Input Devices listing. The Fingerprint Sensor Driver version is listed.

  3. If the driver available on the web site is a later version, download and install it. If the installed driver is the same version, right-click the device driver, and then select Update driver software option to refresh the driver.

If your device driver is up-to-date, see if your access manager software is compatible with your fingerprint reader.

Update the access manager

The access manager uses the fingerprint device driver to capture a fingerprint image and then control access to the logon accounts that you set up. Logon accounts contain user's names and passwords for secure applications and web sites that you register with the access manager. Once a logon account is registered and you have enrolled a fingerprint in the access manager, you can use your fingerprint to log into those applications and web sites.

Depending on your notebook model and the year it was purchased, HP provides a number of access manager applications. Use the table below to determine which access manager software was available at the time you purchased your notebook.

HP Fingerprint Access Manager Availability
Software Name
2007
2008
2009
2010
2011
Verisoft Access Manager
-
-
-
HP Security Suite
-
-
-
DigitalPersona
-
-
-
HP ProtectTools
-
-

The access manager program is designed to work on specific models and operating systems. You may need to update it for the original configuration of your notebook on the HP support web site.

To update your fingerprint reader access manager:

  1. Open a web browser and go to hp.com , select SUPPORT & DRIVERS . When prompted, enter your product number , select the current Operating System and then expand the Software - Security listing. The access manager software is listed.

  2. If the access manager software available on the web site is newer than the version installed on your notebook, download and install it.

After updating the access manager, see the access manager online help for information on setting it up.

Find new device drivers if you changed operating systems

The fingerprint device drivers and security software are designed for specific operating system. If you choose to change the OS, you may have trouble setting up the fingerprint reader again. The following information may help troubleshoot problems.

Validity fingerprint reader driver for both 32 bit and 64 bit Windows 7, Vista, and XP.

Digital Persona application software for 32 bit Vista and Windows 7.

Digital Persona application software for 64 bit Vista and Windows 7.

SimplePass application software for 32 bit and 64 bit Windows 7.

If changing to XP, some security applications (such as SimplePass and Digital Persona) do not have an XP version. You will have to locate and purchase a third party security program.

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