pen cursor keeps freezing and disappearing

Discussion in 'VAIO / Sony' started by skyman, Sep 19, 2016.

  1. skyman

    skyman Pen Pal - Newbie

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    hey everybody. I've had the canvas for a few months and I really like it, but as of late the pen cursor has been sticking and disappearing while I'm drawing, it'll actually become totally unresponsive to the pen for what seems like longer and longer moments. It does it in every software I've tried, even occasionally in my web browser.
    I updated a bunch of drivers and deleted the windows calibration files in case their was a conflict, but it's still doing it.
    Anybody have a similar problem?
     
  2. Steve S

    Steve S Pen Pro - Senior Member Super Moderator

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    <<...as of late the pen cursor has been sticking and disappearing while I'm drawing...>>

    ...A couple of thoughts about this. When the cursor freezes, it's because some other process (i.e., a background process) has coopted the CPU's attention. My usual advice is to just wait, and functionality will eventually return; unfortunately "eventually" can sometimes be long enough to try your patience. But the user can make the problem worse by taking preemptive actions, like trying to close the active window, etc. Sometimes, patience is the best recourse IF the interruptions aren't too long.

    However, it's also just a band-aid. A better approach is to try to figure out what's going on under the hood. To do this, open Task Manager / More Details and open the Processes tab, if it's not already open. The first column, CPU, will tell you what percent of the processor's capacity each process is using. Many entries will be zero, but some may show a significant percentage. Look for any unusual memory, disk or network numbers, as well. If something looks out of whack, Google the process and see what it does. If possible, disable it (Google that, too). That may help to fix your problem.

    Finally, it sounds like you've taken several significant actions to try and fix your problem, but some of them may have been counterproductive and worsened the problem. Your best bet might be to do a System Restore ( https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/System_Restore ) to a date before this problem cropped up. Assuming that you have such a point, and you use it, you may have to rebuild part of your current load (Windows Updates, art apps... whatever you may have installed between the restore date and the present). If you restore and the problem goes away, great! If you rebuild and the problem reappears... that tells you that something! So rebuild one thing at a time...

    Good luck!
     
  3. surfaceproartist

    surfaceproartist Scribbler - Standard Member Senior Member

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    I guy I follow on Twitter also reported similar issues and ultimately returned his Canvas.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
     
  4. surfaceproartist

    surfaceproartist Scribbler - Standard Member Senior Member

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    Here's a video he posted. It's kind of tedious but perhaps you can see if his issues are the same as yours.




    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
     
  5. skyman

    skyman Pen Pal - Newbie

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    Dang, that seems disheartening. Not a lot of information on this machine, does anybody have one? I'd love to work this problem out, cause other then that it's really great. i wonder if it runs better with windows 8?
     
  6. Marty

    Marty Scribbler - Standard Member Senior Member

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    Hey @skyman,

    I've been debugging the pen issues on the Canvas for the past few months, an the issue you describe sounds like a common problem that I, @neongolden, and a few others have had.

    I haven't been able to isolate an exact cause, but the issue seems to be related to an interaction between windows pen service and some low-level driver calibration state, as far as I can tell.

    The problem occurs randomly, but is worsened particularly under these conditions:

    1. The unit is exposed to EMI sources especially when unplugged, or the pen is low on battery.
    2. High processor/OS load, coupled with low free system memory or SSD space.

    For a few "quick fixes", you can try:

    1) Replacing the battery in the pen, and running down the battery to zero on the Canvas, and then rebooting while plugged in (may clear the calibration of the pen driver/service)
    2) Raising the screen brightness when unplugged (may help the touchscreen calibrate for external interference)

    However, the only method I know that could get the Canvas into a reliable state (after becoming unusable like the video above) was to do a full system wipe and driver re-installation.

    I am still in the process of making a guide for this, but the strange pen driver behavior have thrown a wrench into my plans, necessitating more detailed documentation.

    If you are comfortable with OS installation, here is a condensed outline:

    (Please back up your data before doing this.)
    1) Download the latest ISO of Win10 Pro Anniversary from Microsoft
    2) Use Rufus, to create a bootable USB drive from the ISO with "GPT partition scheme for UEFI" option selected.
    3) Boot into the USB drive, by turning on the Canvas while holding the "Volume Up" hardware key, and selecting "Bootable USB" from the start up options
    4) In the Windows installer, delete your system partitions and install to the unallocated space.
    5) Install the drivers on the VAIO driver webpage.

    There are a few more details to the setup procedure, which I will clarify in my guide, but that at least should get your pen operational.
     
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  7. skyman

    skyman Pen Pal - Newbie

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    Hey thanks for the replies. Marty, have you used the Surface pen at all? I'm thinking that my pen might be low on batteries, so I ordered some more. I did a clean wipe of my drive and then tried it out and it kind of picked up where it had let off - pretty far along the non-responsive curve. Then i messed with the battery a little, and tried not screwing the pen top on as tight, and changing that pressure a few time, and the pen started responding much better. i wonder if it might be a seating issue with the battery. i know people have complained a few times that the pen breaks off where it screws on and is poorly designed. The calibrations stuff you're talking about seems on point too, I'll try it out when i get some new batteries monday. Any of you guys find a matte screen protector that's good for drawing on for this thing?
     
  8. Marty

    Marty Scribbler - Standard Member Senior Member

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    I'm glad that this helped you out a bit. :)

    Please write back you find any other methods for solving the pen unresponsiveness. I plan to incorporate all the findings into my (eventual) guide.

    I use the SP4 pen daily. :)

    I prefer the ergonomics of the SP4 pen, but the VAIO pen actually has slightly finer pressure response, in my experience.

    I use a matte screen protector, and the drawing texture is markedly improved (again subjectively speaking). I prefer a rough grain even on my Cintiq where I use flex nibs coupled with a Nanovid AG screen protector.

    On the Canvas, I am using the H nib from the Surface nib pack with an extra iLLumiShield screen protector for my old tablet, an EP121 (that happens to fit quite nicely).

    The H and 2H nibs I like because they are rigid, allowing you to feel the grain of the screen protector. The VAIO pen has this somewhat, but since the tip is more rounded you don't get as much friction.

    I just tried testing the pens on my Cintiq and I would say the friction is even higher, so if you like a rougher grain, you might consider the Nanovid AG for the Canvas. I will probably get this myself, if I decide to replace my screen protector.

    EDIT: Just would like to add, the iLLumishield does not introduce visual grain to the Canvas high-res display (very important to me), and only has a minute amount of rainbow speckling.

    However, I cannot say what optical characteristics the Nanovid screen protector would have on the Canvas screen, though it works very well on my Cintiq 22HDT.
     
    Last edited: Sep 24, 2016
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  9. davystein3

    davystein3 Pen Pal - Newbie

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    I posted this in another thread. This seems to have fixed my stylus issue.
    Hey, I think my stylus problem is fixed. I was emailing Vaio support about how my stylus kept skipping and disconnecting from my Canvas. After several emails they sent this:

    Thanks for your patience as we work on this issue for you. We are doing research with our engineers in Japan and talking to Microsoft about this update. However, we just talked to another customer who had a similar issue and found an unusual fix.

    The connector in the battery encasement of the stylus is rather sensitive. This other customer pulled the new battery out, blew a little air in there, and then re-settled the battery back into the case. He make sure the cap was tightened well and suddenly, the sporadic connectivity was solved. I know that you have been seeing phantom touches and other sorts of issues, but irregular connection to the stylus could easily cause exactly these problems. Please play with the battery a bit and see if reseating it in the battery encasement resolves your issue.
    So I blew out the casing the best I could. When I shone a flashlight into the case, I noticed that the battery contact in the case looked dirty. I took a Q-tip with some rubbing alcohol on it and scrubbed the contact the best I could. And that's it.

    That was three days ago, and I haven't had a single issue since. And before that it was pretty much unusable.

    Don't know if this will solve anything for everyone else, but it seems to have fixed mine.​
     
    Last edited: Oct 15, 2016
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  10. neongolden

    neongolden Scribbler - Standard Member

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    EDIT: I was wrong. The issue still persists after latest round of Win10 updates, so the only option I know of at this time is to follow Marty's guide on formatting.

    Edit 2: Also thanks again @Marty for posting that alternative solution. I just never got around to attempting it between everything going on and not having convenient access to enough storage. It's awesome that it will always be there as a last resort.
     
    Last edited: Jan 13, 2017
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