Can’t create Notes in HP TouchSmart? Check your user account name

Several users of the HP TouchSmart software suite have reported that they are unable to create certain kinds of notes in the HP TouchSmart notes program. I had an opportunity to investigate this issue today on an actual customer unit. The investigation details, while quite interesting to some, shall remain for some future post, perhaps. Here’s the conclusion:

If the user account you’ve created contains the ampersand character (aka. “and” symbol: &), the Notes application can’t save the “sticky” note kind. To-Do list notes are not affected by this problem.

The symptom is that you draw on the sticky note and then tap the Done button. Now the Done button will gray out, but the note won’t be saved and the creation surface won’t disappear. Only a tap on the Cancel button will make the creation surface go away (and without saving the note).

A workaround, if you want to use that Note feature, is to create a new user account that does not contain the ampersand (&) symbol. Renaming the user account is not enough, since the initial creation sets up certain things that can’t be changed later on. (After creating the new account, most of the user data needs to be copied from the old account to the new account so documents, pictures, etc. are available under the new account. For example everything from “c:\users\old&problem” needs to go to “c:\users\new-no-problem”.)

Until a proper fix can be developed and published, this is the only known workaround, unfortunately.

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