Validity Fingerprint Sensor 5011 that came with my Dell Vostro V131, stopped working after I switched to Windows 8.1. I actually never quite used it that much (even in Windows 7 that came pre-installed), and as a result, was only aware this issue very recently. But I do put my laptop to sleep quite often, and since having to re-type the password every time I turn it ON is quite a burden, I decided to find a way to make it work in Windows 8.1.
Now Dell on their website does provide us with a driver for ‘Windows 8…’ however, while trying to install, it gave me an error (basically saying that it does not support Windows 8/8.1) and quit. Luckily though, this fingerprint sensor is somewhat popular and various other manufacturers also include it in some of their products. As a result, I found a driver for it through Lenovo’s website, that supports Windows 8.1 (32/64 bit).
So I decided to write a ‘how to ‘ article, hoping that someone having the same issue would find it quite liberating 🙂 . The installation is very simple & easy, and I have (as usual), written it down, step by step.
Before we begin, let us make sure that Windows 8.1 has not actually recognized the Validity fingerprint sensor (5011), just to make sure. Because I have read some claiming that Windows 8.1 being able to recognize it, after an update. To verify that, press the ‘Windows key’ + ‘r’, this will open up the ‘Run’ dialog-box, and then enter the below command, which in turn will open-up the ‘Device Manager’:
If under ‘Biometric devices’ it says ‘Synaptic FP Sensor (WBF) (PID=0011) as shown below, then you can jump to ‘Step 2…’ directly. If it displays something else (a generic term like ‘fingerprint sensor’) or does not even have a ‘Biometric devices’ section, then please start off with Step 1 for properly installing & configuring it.
Step 1: Go to this official Lenovo driver download page and obtain the driver. Once the download finishes, double-click on the setup and it will guide you through the installation (you might have to restart the PC at the end).
Step 2: Windows 8.1 includes built-in support (GUI) for configuring & enabling a fingerprint sensor at login screen. Although the one that came with the Dell’s official Validity sensor for Windows 7 had pretty nifty features, since our objective is to make the sensor available at login only, the Windows tool is more than enough.
To launch this GUI, press the ‘Windows key’ again, and type in the below term:
set up fingerprint
Then select and launch ‘set up fingerprint sign-in’ as shown below.
Step 3: Once you are inside the metro application, look under ‘Fingerprint’ and click the ‘Add’ button. It will guide you through the process, which is extremely simple & easy. You can add multiple fingerprints using it as well.
That is pretty much it!. Now lock your screen (or put the computer to sleep or reboot it…) and then try to un-lock it through the fingerprint sensor, if you did everything as described above, it will un-lock the screen. So far I have not encountered any issues. Good luck.