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FN + numberpad not working, or am I an idiot?

Discussion in 'Alienware' started by fex, Feb 6, 2008.

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  1. fex

    fex Notebook Consultant

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    I certainly do feel like an idiot.

    Here's the thing: when I hold the FN key down and type on the in-board numberpad...

    789
    UIO
    JKL
    M<>


    Nothing happens. No numbers, no characters... nothing.

    Now, I can use FN+DELETE to turn on Num Lock, then I can use that in-board numberpad correctly, but that's a bit tedious (sorta like using Caps Lock instead of the Shift key, aye?).

    My previous computers have all had FN+numberpads, and I used them all with no problems, so I hope it's not a PEBKAC, but maybe Alienware does things differently...

    So what's the verdict? Am I missing something really obvious? Does the FN+Numberpad work for anyone else? Am I just an idiot?

    Thanks for the help. ;D
     
  2. Absinthe42

    Absinthe42 Notebook Evangelist

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    DUde, seriously, If I am correct, you use the fn key to activate quick contorls, such as volume, screen brightness, scr lk, pause, break, etc. Because on a 15.4 in laptop there are a lack of keys to accomidate these.
    On my current Vaio, f2-f3 control the volume, screen brightness, and lcd to tv.
    You can hold it on f12 for hddsleep, num lock for scr lk, insert for pause, and delete for break.
    Hope this helps
     
  3. GRB

    GRB Notebook Deity

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    No, it doesn't work for me either. However, I would suggest you try going into the BIOS as it may allow you to change the nature of the numpad. On my old Inspiron 8200 you could go into the BIOS and set an option to let FN+numpad work (default setting) or make it necessary for numlock to be on -- it is possible the m15x also has those same options in the BIOS.
     
  4. Loggie

    Loggie Notebook Evangelist

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    What is your laptop? Are you referring to the letter keys that also function as number pad keys when the Fn key is used? I didn't know that AW notebooks used this kind of keyboard-maybe the 15" models do. My m9750 has a separate number keypad so I simply press Num Lock-don't use the Fn key at all.
    I'll tried this on my old Sony laptop. Here is what the Fn key does:
    Holding down the Fn key and pressing the i and J (1 and 5) keys does nothing.

    Fn + /(+) = +
    Fn + J(-) = -
    Fn + P(*) = *
    Fn + 0(/) = /
    Fn + 8 (8) key = up-arrow
    Fn + K(2) = down-arrow
    Fn + u(4) = left-arrow
    Fn + o(6) = right-arrow
    Fn + 9(9) = page up
    Fn + L(3) = page down
    Fn + [(Enter) = Enter

    Hope this clarifies what the Fn key does.
     
  5. Crimsonman

    Crimsonman Ex NBR member :cry:

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    Umm... number lock is what allows the numbers to be pressed not FN, thats for other things like volume...
     
  6. GRB

    GRB Notebook Deity

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    You'd think, but as I said, some laptops do allow you to use the numpad to type numbers with FN (like my old Inspiron 8200).
     
  7. Loggie

    Loggie Notebook Evangelist

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    Left two out:
    Fn + 7 = Home
    Fn + .(.) = Delete
     
  8. fex

    fex Notebook Consultant

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    Yes, GRB understands what I'm getting at.

    Some laptops, like the two that I'ved owned before this (Alienware m15x), allow me to use keys on the keyboard as a makeshift numberpad by holding down the FN key.

    For instance, if I hold down FN and press 7, U, J, 8, I, K, 9, O, L, I would expect to type "741852963". Instead, I get the arrow key and page up/down movements that Loggie was describing.

    Anyway, GRB, I'll look into the BIOS option and see what I can find. :D
     
  9. jackabite

    jackabite Notebook Guru

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    I think you need to make sure Num Lock is applied and then try the FN + Key.

    EDIT: You can probably default the num lock state to on in the BIOS, mine is on by default so FN + Key works as you describe without additional Num Lock press.
     
  10. fex

    fex Notebook Consultant

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    Hmmmm, when NUM Lock is on, the laptop behaves closer to how I want it to, but backwards: when holding FN, I get normal keys, and when not holding FN, I get numbers.

    Anyway, you'll have to forgive me- I'm usually pretty tech-savvy but this is my first time attempting to screw around in the BIOS.

    Following some instructions I found via the interweb, I rebooted my computer, and during the startup phase, I entered Setup by hitting F2. I was escorted to a blue and grey screen with the following tabs:

    INFORMATION
    No pertinent editable information

    MAIN
    Displayed date and time, allowed me to edit "Quiet Boot" and "Network Boot" options.

    ADVANCED
    Allowed me to edit "Legacy USB Support" and "DFOROM (Robson) Support".

    SECURITY
    No pertinent editable information

    BOOT ORDER
    No pertinent editable information

    None of those options really seemed to indicate anything I could change related to keyboard functionality, so I'm assuming that I'm in the wrong place altogether, or that there isn't a solution available in the BIOS.

    I hate to be a pain, but could someone who's done this once or twice lend a hand? I'm sort of clueless here. :p

    I appreciate the help very much! :D
     
  11. GRB

    GRB Notebook Deity

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    It sounds like you went to the right place, and as you saw, there are no relevant options. I mean, they don't hide it from you (like it won't be some complex name like "ENABLE DCOM NUMBER KEY ANALYSIS" or some random thing like that I just made up ;) ) so if you didn't see anything explicitly mention the numpad, then I doubt there's a solution in the BIOS.

    My next piece of advice (if you're confident you don't see anything in the BIOS) would be to head over to AW support and get in contact with AW staff through the multitude of ways they offer and see if they have any advice. Maybe they can help (but if there's no BIOS option I don't see how else they could)
     
  12. szeski

    szeski Newbie

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    Hi FEX, did you found sollution for your problem. I have the same effekt. I own hP 8510p.

    If i press NUM-LK, than NUM-PAD is blocked. If I use "FN" key, it works with letters. But if I press at least once "scroll" all works correct again and NUM-PAD is working only with FN key. It happends also in BIOS, so it isn't windows driver.
     
  13. ioaniro

    ioaniro Notebook Evangelist

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    On most dells the fn+keys works to give you the numbers on the numpad, I'm sure there should be the same on the m15. Maybe a keyboard driver setting... I'll look into it tomorrow on the m15.
     
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