Laptop Keyboard Problem

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  #1  
Old 12-18-02, 04:09 PM
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Laptop Keyboard Problem

I have a three month old Dell Inspiron 2600, WinXP Home Edition, 256mg Ram, 1.2 gig Celeron,etc. It generally performs well, and is nearly as fast as my desktop with a 733 P3.

It does have one little quirk that is a tad annoying, however.
At work, I connect a standard PS2 keyboard because my old fingers type better with it. When I go portable, I have to hit the Fn and NumLk keys at the same time in order for the built in keyboard to work properly. Otherwise, the keyboard will default to the "alternate" key settings that are superimposed on several of the keys which results in occasional giberish. (not caused by old fingers)

I spent over an hour on the phone with Dell support, and they could not come up with an answer and tried to convince me that it was actually a great security feature, since others could not use my keyboard if they didn't know the magic key strokes required.

I was not particulary impressed with that solution.

Does anyone have any thoughts as to a correction?

Thanks...

ps Did Big Mike retire again?
 
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Old 12-18-02, 06:51 PM
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this is hard programmed in the cmos/bios? is the sequence programmable? could a script file be executed on windows startup to automate it?
 
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Old 12-18-02, 07:34 PM
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Sounds like a serious problem to me. And, yeah, I don't buy the "great security feature" either. I'm assuming you have a warranty on it? It might be worth trying to fish through the CMOS and see what you can find, maybe default it to see if that clears the problem. But I think you have a keyboard mapping problem here. I don't know enough about laptops to say really. If anybody has a good one at a good price, lemme know (it's still not quite Christmas yet ) Maybe next year.
 
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Old 12-21-02, 01:57 PM
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Well,

I checked with three other people at my company who got the same laptop as mine, and none of them had the problem.

Though I had not made any changes to my bios setup, I went in and set to defaults, and it seems to have cleared it up.

Thanks for that suggestion. Sure does make me wonder about Dell support, though. After spending over an hour on the phone with them, I would have thought that they would have suggested this...

Thanks
 
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Old 12-22-02, 07:43 PM
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LOL, that's funny. You really spent an hour on the phone with them and thought they might know something about computers??? Nah, j/k. I've never talked to Dell support, but I do have experience with Compaq TS. Actually, it does surprise me that they didn't suggest that too, but only because of the way their TS is set up. Basically it's like the MS Knowledge Base. If you're not familiar with this handy little know-it-all, go to www.microsoft.com and look in the Support menu, it's the first option. You search keywords and your articles come up, giving suggestions on how to fix a problem. Pretty much all TS (especially for computers) is going to work this way. Of course, you may have lucked up and got a newbie too

Oh well, I guess the important thing is, you got it working, for now anyway....
 
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Old 12-23-02, 04:21 AM
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It's Back....

I booted it up at home yesterday to do some work, and there it was again...

I am frustrated, but really don't know if it's worth going further unless the symtoms get worse.


Yes, am very familiar with the Knowledge Base concept..have used MS and others myself. And, you are correct, sir, this is exactly what the Dell rep was doing. Was going down the list of search responses while I listened patiently...

Thanks for your input. Don't know what to do now, but wait or raise "Hell" to someone who can't really help
 
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Old 12-23-02, 04:23 AM
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(symptom)

still asleep, I guess..too much Christmas Maker's Mark last night.l.
 
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Old 12-23-02, 08:48 AM
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Ok, so let's go back. Let's hear some more details on this problem and go from there. When you boot up, do any of the keyboard lights light up? I know Fn is for alternate text/keys, what is the alternate for Num Lock? Did you look through CMOS for the Boot Options to make sure it's not turning on something funny? Do you have a key mapping program for extra keys (I know some Internet keyboards require progs like this)? Have you looked at Config.sys and Autoexec.bat to make sure there are no problems running there?

Tell me again EXACTLY what you have to do to type. Do you have to hold-down the Fn and NL keys while you're typing? Do you have to press Fn/NL sequence before you type? Did you notice anything different when it started working the other day?

If none of this sounds familiar/works, you may just simply have a bad keyboard. It's been known to happen

Good luck!
 
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Old 12-23-02, 12:10 PM
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Random is the keyword here. This morning, when I hooked everything up at work, both keyboards worked properly..

Answers to your questions:

The number lock light does illuminate when booting and stays on.Right now, I can toggle back and forth with Fn/NumLk key, and I cannot get the alternate keys to work. Regardless of the toggling, I get standard output from the keys.
 
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Old 12-23-02, 12:17 PM
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Sorry, hit the wrong key and posted before I was finished

The cmos setup does not give me any options that look like it would directly affect the keyboard

Have not checked Config.sys or autoexec.bat, yet

There is no keyboard mapping program
 
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Old 12-23-02, 12:20 PM
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Start up files

Autoexec.bat and config.sys are blank, with no entries
 
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Old 12-23-02, 02:01 PM
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I would say you have a hardware problem then. If it's something random like that, and now you have no alternate text, it sounds like a short in the keyboard or something. I would have Dell check it out.
 
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Old 12-23-02, 03:41 PM
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Those are my thoughts also.

Can't wait for another exciting interaction with Michael's boys...may have to be more forceful this time.

Thanks for your help
 
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