Wednesday, 31 August 2011

Wacom Bamboo pen not working

I've just tried to use a Bamboo tablet in Windows XP and only the 'Rubber' end of the pen seems to work. This suggests either something is wrong with the 'nib' end of the pen, or something wrong with the installation of the software (drivers).

The easiest thing to do was to have a look at the installation, and the preferences for the device. So, under Start > Programs > Bamboo > there were two preference shortcuts. I loaded up the basic one, fiddled with it but no solutions. The other preference shortcut let you have two choices:

  1. Delete preferences for the user
  2. Delete preferences for all users
Having seen this option my initial conclusion was that a lot of users have some problems with the preferences, and hence the need for these options. It was quite convincing that this might be related to my problems and so I went for option 2! Alas, pointless. These options also point to poorly made software. Users should not have to deal with these sort of problems!

My next thing to do would be to rule out the drivers by trying it on a machine that it used to work on (mac OS X) but the staff member was too busy so I thought I could look up anyone else who might have the same problem.

I found one particular person with a very nicely written blog post! He refers inspiration from this post. He had the exact symptoms as described above and found the problem lay with a broken electromagnet inside the nib end of the pen. He then goes into the particulars of fixing it. There are also a lot of comments below of thankful users.

I shall try the tablet on a machine which it definitely worked on before, and if the symptoms persist, I shall refer back to this article.

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