Thursday, April 19, 2012

How to Reinstall the Fingerprint Reader on a Dell Laptop

dell-fpI love my Dell Mobile Workstation. It’s a Precision M6600. Yeah. The big one. With (almost all) the works (no touch screen or SSD drive). Recently I reformatted it. I don’t mind, really, I was thinking of doing so anyway. A digital spring cleaning if you will. Spring cleaning and Decrapification.

The Story of My Woes

It took me about an hour or so to get Windows 7 up and running, and (most of) the drivers working. Just extracted the big giant drivers’ CAB for my machine, and pointed every unknown driver in the device manager at the root folder, and got it all up and running.

All but the finger print reader.

I couldn’t get it to work. There was no unidentified driver left, but there was no biometric device defined either.

Dell’s support site was no help either; I went through the site, having entered my Service Code, and got a list of drivers and applications for my machine. Nothing there pointed me in the right direction.

After a day or so, I found the finger print reader app from Authentec, and tried to get it to work, but I couldn’t. While I got Windows to identify my finger print reader module, and it read my fingers, I couldn’t get it to “enroll” my finger prints.

And for some reason the interface really didn’t look familiar.

Took another day scouring the web, looking for a solution. I started worrying that I somehow damaged my device. And that really drove me nuts. I love using the FP reader to authenticate.

And then I found -

The Solution

Important note: This download is for the Dell Precision M-series Mobile Workstations for 64 bit Windows. Before installing any driver, firmware or application, verify that your machine make is supported!

In the end, no single blog had the solution for me. I had to mix parts of this and that, but here is the result:

  1. If you’ve already futzed with the FP reader, uninstall ControlVault and and Finger Print related software
  2. Install the Dell Data Protection | Access -- Driver Package. You can get it here.
  3. Install the Dell Data Protection | Access -- Middleware Package. You can get it here.
  4. Install the Dell ControlVault Windows Biometric Framework Integrated. You can get it here.
  5. Install the Dell Data Protection | Access – Application Package. You can get it here.

You will be told to restart once or twice. Make sure you do so! It’s important.

That’s all there is to it. Unfortunately, these apps did not appear in my list of suggested apps. The installation instructions on Dell’s support site are misleading.

I hope you have an easier time of it than I had.



  1. Two of the links aren't working :(

    1. Here are the missing links:
      Dell Data Protection | Access -- Driver ==
      Dell Data Protection | Access -- Middleware ==
      Make sure your computer is compatible!!!

    2. So I tried this method and it worked! I'm so glad! the links I posted above will work.
      *** make sure your not running any security checks while installing them, you will get errors***

    3. This is good. For me, installing DELL_CONTROLVAULT-WINDOWS-BI_A00_R308326 and it works. Thanks!

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  3. I just checked myself, Driver & Middleware packages are currently unavailable (I tried reaching from Google as well). I'll see if I can find my own packages and upload them to dropbox or something...

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  7. I had an issue in fingerprint reader, I never thought reinstalling will be the solution for it. Will this work in 32 bit windows.

  8. You made my day! I've wasted 6 hours looking for a solution until I found your instructions. Thank you, thank you, thank you!

  9. i have dell precision m6400 with fingerprint, i tried to upgrade this firmware at driver identifier , but it was not a good choice of mine, becasuse i can not enter to my laptop, i dont know that happened, can somebody help me please and tell me what to do, to recover acces as before, this, thanks

    1. I would suggest that you contact Dell support. I am not sure whether or not the 6400 and 6600 are compatible, or what went wrong with the reader.

  10. does not work with windows 8 with all steps followed.
    Hope it is okay for windows 7.

  11. Dell Support would be a great start

  12. you must invest in some manual work in making configuration standards and then regular and automated comparison

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