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Troubleshooting a Fingerprint Reader (Windows 8)

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This document pertains to HP notebook computers with Windows 8 and a fingerprint reader.
NOTE: If you are not using the latest version of Windows 8, some graphics and information in this document may vary. You can get the latest version from the Microsoft Store.
The components of the fingerprint-based security system are designed to work on specific computer models and with specific operating systems. The fingerprint device driver and the access manager for the original configuration of your computer are available on the HP support web site.
WARNING:The drivers and programs available for one model are not compatible and do not work with other models.
If you choose to change the operating system, the default fingerprint reader drivers and programs provided by HP for your computer model might not be compatible, and the fingerprint reader will not work as a result. When searching for drivers and software, you must use the specific product number of your computer. See How Do I Find My Model Number or Product Number for more information.

Updating the BIOS for biometric support

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, check hp.com for BIOS updates for your specific model.
To check your current BIOS version:
  1. 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. Note the current BIOS version.
To look for BIOS updates:
  1. Open a web browser and go to hp.com .
  2. Select Support & Drivers , and enter your product number .
  3. Select the operating system currently on the computer, scroll down, and then expand BIOS .
    The latest BIOS version download is listed.
  4. If the BIOS available on the web site is a later version, download and install it. See Updating the BIOS for instructions.
If the BIOS is up-to-date, see if biometric support is enabled.

Enabling biometric support in the BIOS

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 the model number of your computer, there are options 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.

Checking for Windows fingerprint reader support in Windows 8

Once BIOS provides access to a device, Windows displays the device name and its associated driver in Device Manager. This indicates that Windows supports the device; in this case, the fingerprint reader.
To see if Windows supports the fingerprint reader on your computer:
  1. At the Start screen, type device manager to open the Search charm, and then select Device Manager in the search results.
    Figure 1: Search results list
    Search results list with Device Manager selected
  2. In Device Manager , click Biometric or Biometric Devices to expand the list of recognized biometric sensor devices. The fingerprint sensor is listed as a Validity Sensor or AuthenTec Sensor, depending on the model number of your computer.
    Figure 2: Biometric Validity Sensor
    Device Manager with Biometric Validity Sensor selected
  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.
To make sure the Windows device driver for the fingerprint reader is up-to-date; follow the steps in Updating the device driver .

Cleaning the fingerprint reader

Periodically clean the fingerprint reader sensor to remove dirt and oil.
CAUTION: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.
NOTE:Before using the fingerprint reader, be sure that your fingers are clean.
Wipe the area with a soft cloth, dampened with an ammonia-based glass cleaner.
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.

Updating the fingerprint reader device driver in Windows 8

The fingerprint reader hardware requires a device driver to allow software to control it. For best performance, check hp.com for device driver updates for your specific model. Depending on the model, HP computers use Validity or AuthenTec drivers.
To update the fingerprint reader device driver:
  1. Identify the version of the fingerprint reader device driver currently installed. Open the Device Manager , and then expand the Biometric list of recognized sensor devices.
  2. Right-click the device, and then select Properties . Select the Driver tab. The driver version is displayed.
    Figure 3: Sensor driver version
    Image of the Validity Sensor driver version on the Driver tab in Properties.
  3. To find driver updates for your notebook model, open a web browser and go to hp.com .
  4. Select Support & Drivers , and then enter your product number .
  5. Select the operating system currently on the computer, scroll down, and then expand Drivers - Keyboard, Mouse and Input Devices . The fingerprint sensor driver is listed. Note the version number and date.
  6. 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 to refresh the driver.
If your device driver is up-to-date, see if your access manager software is compatible with your fingerprint reader.

Updating the fingerprint reader software

The fingerprint reader software (usually referred to as the access manager software) 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. When a logon account is registered and you have enrolled a fingerprint in the access manager, you can use your fingerprint to logon to those applications and web sites.
Depending on the 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 the computer was purchased.
HP Fingerprint Reader Software
Software Name20072008200920102011201220132014
Verisoft Access Manager------
HP Security Suite ------
Digital Persona Fingerprint Reader ------
HP ProtectTools Security Manager----
HP SimplePass Identity Protection 2011 Software-------
HP SimplePass Identity Protection Software------
The access manager software is designed to work on specific models and operating systems. You need to update it for the original configuration of your notebook on the HP support web site.
To update your fingerprint reader's access manager software:
  1. Open a web browser and go to hp.com , select Support & Drivers , and then enter your product number .
  2. Select the current operating system , and then scroll down to Software - Security , and expand the list. The fingerprint access manager software is listed. Note the version number and date.
  3. 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 to set it up.

Fingerprint reader does not work after uninstalling antivirus software in Windows 8

The following steps have worked for some people to fix the SimplePass fingerprint scanner after uninstalling their antivirus software.
  1. Open SimplePass and delete all the fingerprints you have enrolled.
  2. Open Recovery Manager . For instructions, see Using Recovery Manager to Restore Software and Drivers (Windows 8) .
    Most of the drivers and software in Recovery Manager do not need to be uninstalled first. The installation package does this automatically.
  3. In the Drivers section of Recovery Manager, install or reinstall the Validity FingerPrint Sensor Driver .
  4. In the Software section of Recovery Manager, install or reinstall the SimplePass software.
  5. Restart your computer.

Fingerprint reader does not work after computer wakes from Sleep mode in Windows 8

If the fingerprint reader does not work after the computer wakes from Sleep mode, change the Power Management setting in device properties. Use the following steps:
  1. From the Windows Start screen, press the Windows key + X keys, and click Device Manager in the menu.
    Figure 4: Opening Device Manager
    Opening Device Manager
  2. Click Biometric devices to expand the selection, double-click Validity Sensors to open the Properties page, and remove the check from Allow the computer to turn off this device to save power on the Power Management tab. Click OK and close Device Manager.
    Figure 5: Changing the Power Management settings
    Changing the Power Management settings

Cannot open SimplePass in Windows 8

When attempting to open SimplePass, it briefly flashes on the screen and cannot be opened. This happens because a fingerprint has already been set up using the Windows Sign-in options. Use the following steps to remove the fingerprint and set up SimplePass.
  1. Click the Settings charm, click Change PC Settings , and then click Accounts .
    Figure 6: Opening the Accounts page
    Opening the accounts page
  2. Under Accounts, click Sign-in options , under Fingerprint, click Remove , and then close Accounts.
    Figure 7: Removing fingerprints
    Removing fingerprints
  3. At the Windows 8 Start screen, type HP SimplePass . In the search results, click HP SimplePass to open the program.
  4. SimplePass opens on the desktop. Follow the on-screen instructions to enroll your fingerprints.
    Figure 8: HP SimplePass
     HP SimplePass

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