Getting fingerprint reader working on Dell laptop

Dell really likes ot make it tricky to get the fingerprint reader working when you install Windows from scratch.

Update 9/7/2012:
Good news! Dell has quietly released a single installer that takes care of installing all the sub-components correctly, in the correct order (thanks Mark for pointing this out). As of this update, the latest version (for the e6520) is here:

http://www.dell.com/support/drivers/us/en/04/DriverDetails/DriverFileFormats/Product/latitude-e6520?DriverId=TDC1K&FileId=2999613592&urlProductCode=False

The catch: you have to follow a specific procedure to uninstall any old versions. Also, I don’t know if this allows you to use the lighter-weight biometric framework version. I probably won’t try it until they start supporting Windows 8.

 

UPDATE 8/25/2011: Dell has released new firmware, software and several different drivers for the fingerprint readers, whihc I have not had time to evaluate yet. My experience with the first release of the “Data Protection | Access” is that is is poorly documented, incredibly slow, buggy, and flat-out not worth the effort. Fingerprint login took so much longer than password login that I stopped using it, and did not install the drivers when I later reinstalled windows.
When I get a chance to evaluate the new drivers (which will involve some image backups) I will update this post. See the comments for some more info.

Previously, you had to download several different ControlPoint packages and install them, hoping one was the right one. Well now as of the dell E6520 they have renamed everything to Dell Data Protection | Access (Dell data protection access). You will need to download these three packages and install in this order:

Data Protection | Access — Driver Package

Data Protection | Access — Middleware Package

Data Protection | Access — Application Package

You might also need the ControlVault driver, but I’m not sure – I did for safety’s sake. Update: Do NOT install the ControlVault driver. This will cause “no fingerprint reader found” rn 02000051 error message.

I hope this helps somebody.

UPDATE: If you did install the ControlVault driver, try using system restore to roll back (This is what I did after installing the driver a second time, after reinstalling windows to recover from the first time…). Uninstalling will not remove it. If System Restore doesn’t work, you will probably need to reinstall windows (or call Dell)
Reader Kristof posted some steps in a comment below that other folks confirmed successful – I’m quoting it here for reference:

I also installed the controlvault, but did not have to reinstall windows (restore points were disabled). I solved it as follows:
– uninstall controlvault
– remove fingerprint reader from installed hardware (when it asks, also remove driver)
– uninstall all other DELL Data Protection things you might have installed
– reboot
– reinstall ONLY the Data Protection tools as described in the post
– reboot

and then it just worked… (finally!)

34 thoughts on “Getting fingerprint reader working on Dell laptop

  1. This was very helpful. I also accidentally installed the ControlVault driver (how would you know not to?) and got the same error on a Latitude E6420. I could not find a way to back out the driver install, as the uninstall was not sufficient, and ended up reinstalling Windows. Now if I could actually get my fingers to register!

  2. I also installed the controlvault, but did not have to reinstall windows (restore points were disabled). I solved it as follows:
    – uninstall controlvault
    – remove fingerprint reader from installed hardware (when it asks, also remove driver)
    – uninstall all other DELL Data Protection things you might have installed
    – reboot
    – reinstall ONLY the Data Protection tools as described in the post
    – reboot

    and then it just worked… (finally!)

  3. Aiii Carramba.

    was close to reinstall windows and do the same mistake again 😀

    the instructions from Kirstof worked for me!
    no windows re-install.

    thanks!!

  4. I followed Kristof’s instructions, but after reinstall & reboot of the Data Protection software (in the order indicated), the fingerprint reader is not showing up in Device Manager, and thus not detected by the Dell software.

    What specific part of Dell software installs the driver required for this?

  5. I either receive the “no fingerprint reader not found” error message, or my fingerprint reader is recognized – but then it doesn’t recognize my finger (timeout when I try to register a fingerprint).

    What do you mean by “Do NOT install the ControlVault driver.”?
    When I uncheck the ControlVault option in the DataProtection driver package, the driver is missing from device manager (exclamation mark next to a Broadcom device).
    Then the DataProtection Access application doesn’t even offer an option to register fingerprints…

    I have also tried the Windows Biometric Framework (WBF) variant, but it doesn’t recognize my fingerprints either…

    I guess I’ll have to reinstall Windows, but then at least I want to do it correctly…
    Can you please post some more details on what is the correct procedure?

    Thanks!

    • Marvin,
      I’m sorry you are having trouble with it – I had so much trouble with it that I stopped using it entirely. Even when it was working, the fingerprint login was so slow that it was faster to just type the password.

      Dell has recently released new versions of everything, and I have not had time to evaluate the new “best” course of action. I will update the post accordingly, and will update if I get some time to work on it.

      Thanks for the comment!

  6. Hi,

    I tried to remove all the above but still cannot install “Data Protection | Access – Application Package”

    Can you please advise what exactly to remove in more details.

    Thanks

  7. Update for current versions (as of 2011/12/06), tested on Latitude E6420, Windows 7 Business x86:

    Right now the Data Protection package consists of four files:
    Data Protection | Access — Pre-Requisite Package (1.00.008, A01)
    Data Protection | Access — Driver Package (2.01.018, A03)
    Data Protection | Access – Middleware Package (2.01.010, A03)
    Data Protection | Access – Application Package (2.1.00001.001, A02)

    When installed in the listed order they indeed work and provide fingerprint access to Windows. The only thing needed to be done is to enlist your finger after the installation using “Access” program from Dell Data Protection. At the end the fingerprint access to Windows works even though is rather slow (still faster then typing password though).

    Dusan

  8. I did the installation in the right order on my E6420 with XP Professional. It works fine till I reboot the laptop. Once I reboot after a successful biometric login, it goes back to the regular Windows login

  9. Pingback: driver updater

  10. “My experience with the first release of the “Data Protection | Access” is that is is poorly documented, incredibly slow, buggy, and flat-out not worth the effort.”

    On a E6520 (Software/BIOS is up to date), I started the software as a non administrator user on Win7, quickly realized “I don’t need this” and exited. After a restart, my notebook plus BIOS is password protected. Furthermore, I have no password. There was no warning, nothing. I called Dell, there is no master password yet, solution: RMA. They replace the mainboard. The notebook is 3 days old.
    I can’t believe the whole story is true. It’s ridiculous.

  11. Here’s Dell’s description of what to do:

    In order to install the Dell Data Protection | Access solution, you must install the Dell Data Protection | Access Pre-Requisite package, the Dell Data Protection | Access driver package and the Dell Data Protection | Access Middleware package before installing the Dell Data Protection | Application package. For Systems configured with Dell ControlPoint Security Manager, please follow the instructions below to ensure proper and complete upgrade to Dell Data Protection | Access. NOTE: Installation order is very important – use the following procedure, including reboots, or the software will not function properly: 1. Backup any previously implemented security settings (if applicable) a. Backup TPM keys and credentials (on Dell ControlVault enabled systems). b. If you have any documents included in the Document Vault or Document Manager, remove these files. Dell Data Protection | Access does not contain this function and any data not removed from this feature will be lost. c. Backup any user Private Information Manager account data. 2. Dell ControlPoint Security Manager must be uninstalled (if applicable) a) Uninstall “Dell ControlPoint Security Manager” from Add/Remove Programs. b) Reboot. 3. Dell Security Device Driver Pack must be uninstalled (if applicable) a) Uninstall “Dell Security Device Driver Pack” from Add/remove programs. b) Reboot. 4. Download the Dell Data Protection |Access software packages (Pre-Requisite(XP and Vista OS only), Driver, Middleware, and Application) 5. Install downloaded software in the order listed below a) Install Dell Data Protection | Access – Pre-Requisite package (XP and Vista OS only) b) Reboot if requested. c) Install Dell Data Protection | Access – Driver package. d) Install Dell Data Protection | Access – Middleware package. e) Reboot. f) Install Dell Data Protection | Access – Application package. g) Reboot. 6. Clear any previously stored security settings implemented such as TPM enablement, fingerprints enrolled, BIOS passwords, preboot credentials, etc. (if applicable) a) Launch Dell Data Protection |Access application. b) Navigate to the advanced screen. c) Click on “Reset System” and provide all implemented passwords and follow instructions appropriately. 7. Clear any previous non-ControlVault fingerprint enrollments (for Latitude E54x0 and E55x0 only systems) a) Navigate to \Program Files\Dell\Dell Data Protection\Access\Drivers\Authentec AES2810 Fingerprint Reader\Tools folder and run AESReset.exe and follow instructions. 8. Clear any previous external fingerprint enrollments (if applicable) a) For external fingerprint readers (Dell branded Fingerprint reader, Eikon 2 and Eikon to go readers), navigate to \Program Files\Dell\Dell Data Protection\Access\Advanced\Wave\Preboot Manager and execute the deleteusers.exe utility. 9. Restore your archived security settings backed up in Step 1 (if applicable) Note: this will only restore archived TPM keys from USC 1.4 or DDPA 2.0 usage or preboot data which is enrolled within the Dell ControlVault. a) Open Dell Access, navigate to the advanced screen, click on Credential Archive and Restore. b) Click on Restore your security credentials. c) Follow the wizard until completion. 10. Launch Dell Data Protection |Access application a) Application will install into the Start Menu under Programs\Dell\Dell Data Protection\AccessNote: No desktop or task tray icons will be placed onto the system by default. b) Upon first launch of Dell Data Protection | Access, the System Access Wizard will prompt you. This wizard will guide you through the system setup process. If the System Access Wizard does not automatically launch, you can start the wizard by selecting the Access tab a

  12. Try to find over the internet this one:
    TrueSuite_5.2.2.59. It really works! Installed it at my Dell E6520 – OK. (W7-pro-64bit)

  13. Guys,

    Is it possible to have ControlVault store passwords for other programs (like VPN, Websites, etc) and use the fingerprint to authenticate? I have this on a Vostro 3450 and really really want it on my E6420.


  14. Igor:

    Try to find over the internet this one:
    TrueSuite_5.2.2.59. It really works! Installed it at my Dell E6520 – OK. (W7-pro-64bit)

    I’ve installed a trial of TrueSuite (you can find it in the FAQ section on their support site)- it works, but it takes between 5-10 secs to evaluate the fingerprint and take action – do others also experience this issue?

    • Yeah, I’ve used the Dell security suite and the Biometric Framework driver and in both cases I could type my password twice before the fingerprint reader responded. I gave up on it.

  15. I have bought a Dell Precision M6600 and I was struggling with the same problems. Following the EXACT receipe from Jason with the changes from Kristof I finally could solve the problem and the fingerprint reader works just fine!!! However, what I did was NOT downloading the actual version of the software from Dell but using the packages that were already downloaded on my machine. By typing “DDPA” under search I could find the executables for drivers, middleware, and application on my harddisk.
    So, thank you guys for your help!!!

  16. Dell now have a Setup utility that combines all the downloads and installs them in the correct order.
    Worked first time for me on Win7 64bit using DDPA_Setup_TDC1K_A06_64bits_ZPE.

  17. Thanks, was looking all over for this for my v131, as the old DigitalPersona software was long abandoned. The single installer worked for fingerprints right away.

  18. Please help, I have E6420, after installed window 8 (windows Developer Preview), it does not upgrade window as well as drivers, whenever i try to install or update software, it ask to update microsoft netframework 3.5.1 through windows update, but it can not complete update, so no touch screen, no finger print access, no window update, please help guys, it has these details; Intel i7, cpu 2.7Ghz, Ram 4gb.
    Please assist!

    • Richard,

      First, I would recommend switching to a release version of windows 8 – the developer preview is about the oldest version of Win 8 out there (I’m surprised it even runs)
      Next, I used the biometric framework drivers to get Windows 8 recognizing the fingerprint scanner, but I never actually tried to use it. If you are going to try it, follow the directions included with the download to the letter.

  19. For Me Below Procedure worked for my Company provided Dell laptop E6430 with Windows 7 Enterprise
    – uninstall controlvault
    – remove fingerprint reader from installed hardware (when it asks, also remove driver) ( This step i dont need to do , as moment i uninstall i can see Device Manager shows Yello Exclamation Mark on Other Device Found , No drivers Found and No more Finger print sensor device is shown and available as it was showing before Uninstallation.)
    – Then uninstall all other DELL Data Protection things you might have installed
    – reboot
    – Provide yours Service Tag and Choose Windows 7 64 bit OS and Go to download this software –> under Security –>

    Dell ControlVault Driver / 6/5/2012 / 2.2.117.284, A09
    Description
    Dell ControlVault A09 driver for 64 bit Operating Systems
    reinstall ONLY the Data Protection tools as described in the post

    – Click on Download –> Single Package File Download
    – It will start donwloading this file DDPA_Setup_TDC1K_A06_64bits_ZPE
    – unzipped it , will create Folder inside C:/dell/Drivers/TDC1K
    – Click on Setup.exe and Do All / Complete Installation …
    First It will Install Drivers , then Middle ware , The Application.
    – After that it will ask to reboot
    – Once logged in again , Look for Application Name “Access” and Enroll your at least 2 finger prints and I used Password OR Fingerprint .
    – Volia In a minut it started working flawlessly with CTR+ALT+DEL replaced with Fingerprint.

    Now Thanks to originator of this post , As i am really not Windows Guy , personal laptop running with Linux and Solaris 10 X86 , But Company laptop is Windows , so this post make me comfortable with Windows too.

    Thanks Guys !!!
    We say In India –> Shukriya / Dhanyawad meaning Thank You !!

    • Thank you so much! I literally spent half a day trying to get this to work. I tried dell support forum procedure(didn’t work), searched dell knowledge base and tried their procedure(didn’t work). Finally, I was about to give up or brake my laptop but found this and it worked! Simple! Dell was saying had to manually install, reboot, repeat, all in an exact order, didn’t even work after MUCH time wasted.

  20. I did a lot of research on this and tried installing multiple softwares with no luck. However, the following solution worked for me with Windows 8/8.1. Please check if the same holds good for Windows 7/10/10.1

    From Windows Search, PC Settings –> Accounts –> Sign-in options –> Fingerprint.

    Add your fingerprints here and it should work.

  21. lol. i’m so late to the party!
    I use a dell latitude e6440 a very good laptop by the way, had to reinstall windows 10 and it wiped a lot of programs. now I cant get the finger print sensor to work.

  22. i do this steps, more and more times. i tried and can’t get success :/
    i have dell latitude e6410 and today i tried to re install windows 7 x64 on it. i done it with original Win7 CD content of laptop box. everythings done well. after that i go to support.dell.com and install drivers with my service tag. now all drivers get updated but i dont know why i cant using biometric sensor for loging in windows
    can u help please

  23. @Pradeep Rama

    in windows 7 it is under Control Panel > Biometric Devices

    was never able to get the dell access software to work, it was unable to “see” the device. it said “no fingerprint reader found”

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