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[GUIDE] How to change your Dell MediaDirect button's functionality

Discussion in 'Dell' started by BatBoy, Aug 15, 2008.

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  1. BatBoy

    BatBoy NBR Community Moderator

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    NOTE: This was written for Vista back in 2008. I no longer have a Dell lappie with a MediaDirect button so I cannot adjust this for W7 nor test. See post here for W7 instructions.


    - How to change your Dell MediaDirect button's functionality -

    There have been many posts asking how to change the function of the Dell MediaDirect button (the little house). I thought it might be easier for people to reference if the basics were all located under one thread. What follows is the process I use.

    Couple of important bits of info before we begin:

    1. This process DOES NOT require you have MediaDirect. Quickset is required as Quickset creates the Registry Keys which we need and handles the routing.

    2. Tested and verfied compatible with MediaDirect 3.5, MediaDirect 4.0, Quickset 8.2.20+. Works with Vista 32/64, XP 32/64 and Windows 7 x64. (Thanks to arjunnedfor confirming XP and Win 7 x64)


    BE AWARE, WE WILL BE EDITING THE REGISTRY. IF YOU MAKE A MISTAKE OR CHANGE SOMETHING BY ACCIDENT, YOU CAN HOSE YOUR SYSTEM. BACK UP YOUR REGISTRY IF YOU FEEL THE NEED. IF YOU DO NOT FEEL COMFORTABLE, STOP NOW.

    Without further delay, let's get started.

    1. We will need to modify a couple of registry keys. Open REGEDIT via the RUN command (type REGEDIT). This will launch the REGISTRY EDITOR. (Again, if these keys are missing, just create them).

    Find the following keys...

    HKey_Local_Machine\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\MobilePC\HotStartButtons\0
    HKey_Local_Machine\SYSTEM\ControlSet001\Control\MobilePC\HotStartButtons\0
    HKey_Local_Machine\SYSTEM\ControlSet002\Control\MobilePC\HotStartButtons\0
    HKey_Local_Machine\SYSTEM\ControlSet003\Control\MobilePC\HotStartButtons\0

    *Note: You may note have ControlSet003 - if not, don't worry. Just proceed.

    For each of these keys, there is an Application Path entry. This is the entry you will need to modify.

    When looking at it, it will look like this:

    "C:\Program Files\Dell\MediaDirect\MDirect.exe"

    2. In order to remap it to launch another application, just edit the path to whatever application you want. So, for example:

    To map it to launch Windows Media Center, you would change the path to:

    "C:\Windows\ehome\ehshell.exe"

    You now have the process to change the mapping to any application you have. Just point the application path to the application you want the button to launch.

    *NOTE: After modifying the registry, you will need to reboot for your changes to take effect.


    POWER OFF LCD


    Fr0stbite posted a request to change the button functionality to power off the LCD. This is also possible. In order to do this, use the following process:

    1. Download TurnOffLCDv101. It's a small 85kb application that is Freeware*

    2. Extract the file to your desktop or another location.

    3. Assuming you saved TurnOffLCDv101.exe to the Program Files folder, when editing the registry, you would change the ApplicationPath key to:

    "C:\Program Files\Turn Off LCD.exe"

    Thats it! Now after rebooting, depressing the MediaDirect button will turn off the LCD. Moving the mouse or pressing a a keyboard key will power on the LCD.

    *Thanks to Taimur Asad for writing this little Application.


    LOCK WORKSTATION, RESTART, SHUTDOWN:


    You can also use this same process to perform these functions.

    So, for LOCK WORKSTATION you would:

    1. Right-click an empty space on your desktop, point at New, and then select Shortcut.

    2. Type rundll32.exe user32.dll,LockWorkStation in the location field and then press Next.

    3. Type the name of the shortcut in the name box ("LockWorkstation").

    4. Click Finish to create the shortcut. To keep the desktop clean and free of clutter, move the newly created shortcut to the root level of your C: drive.

    5. Now, in the Application path of the registry edit process, change it to point to your LockWorkstation shortcut.

    "C:\LockWorkstation"

    6. Reboot.

    Pressing the MediaDirect button will now lock your lappie. Granted its probably just as fast to use keyboard shortcuts, but some people may find it useful.


    Try this for a SHUTDOWN shortcut which will force all open application to close the system to shutdown:

    Shutdown.exe -s -t 00


    or to give the system 30 seconds, use this:


    Shutdown.exe -s


    For SLEEP, try:

    Rundll32.exe Powrprof.dll,SetSuspendState Sleep


    for HIBERNATE, try:

    Rundll32.exe Powrprof.dll,SetSuspendState Hibernate


    Again, once you have identified the shortcut/application/file you want to link the button to, just go into the registry as before and change the Application Path. You can link to any shortcut you create... Why not set it to launch a favorite website like NotebookReview's Dell Forum? Kind of cool huh? :)


    Well, there you have it. Enjoy! Feel free to PM me if you have any questions.
     
  2. Chucklz_smiley

    Chucklz_smiley Notebook Consultant

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    Really Useful guide thanks for posting BatBoy:D
     
  3. tom_baker

    tom_baker Notebook Guru

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    Really useful! No doubt I'll be using this when I set up Dells into the future!

    --Tom
     
  4. X2P

    X2P I♥COOLING | NBR Super Mod

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    Will this work for "any" dell notebook?
     
  5. atbnet

    atbnet Notebook Prophet

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    Great guide, I will use this when my M1730 gets here. Do you know how to set it to sleep or hibernate? I haven't been able to find a clear cut answer for Vista.
     
  6. Forte

    Forte NBR's Supreme Angel

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    If you press the power button once it goes to sleep.
     
  7. atbnet

    atbnet Notebook Prophet

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    I suppose I could do that, but I was aiming for a shutdown and sleep button. I suppose I'll just opt for restart or map it to something else.
     
  8. Arsenaly

    Arsenaly Notebook Guru

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    Great guide. umm Can you map it to boot xp?
     
  9. thegman

    thegman Newbie

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    wow...great guide, thanks
     
  10. BatBoy

    BatBoy NBR Community Moderator

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    Yes. It will work with any Dell that has a MediaDirect button (house) on the keyboard and has Quickset installed.
     
  11. BatBoy

    BatBoy NBR Community Moderator

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    Added SHUTDOWN, SLEEP AND HIBERNATE to Guide - see first post.
     
  12. Diversion

    Diversion Notebook Evangelist

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    I really wish there was a way to make use of the button without requiring the Media partition, Quickset & Media Direct to be intact.

    I'm surprised the OS doesn't see the Media button as another key through the Human Interface Devices service that runs in the background.

    Last resort, someone has to probably code an app to see/detect the Media button and then allow the button to do custom commands.

    Jay
     
  13. hankaaron57

    hankaaron57 Go BIG or go HOME

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    I'm still looking for a way to map the key to turn on the media buttons on the front of the laptop (the lights) so that they can be seen in the dark when I want to switch songs and the such. They turn on for five seconds after depressing them, but then go black.
     
  14. BatBoy

    BatBoy NBR Community Moderator

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    I dont think you'll find a way :( I highly doubt those LEDs are controlled by software or the BIOS. I'm thinking more along the lines of TV remote style - push activated, part of the button... ya know?

    Would be cool though. Let us know if you ever find a way.
     
  15. hankaaron57

    hankaaron57 Go BIG or go HOME

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    Remapped it to WMP on my XP pro system. Just letting you know.
     
  16. BatBoy

    BatBoy NBR Community Moderator

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    Thanks for the confirmation. I'll update the Guide.
     
  17. nm3210

    nm3210 Newbie

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    Well I can't get mine to work. I'm familiar with changing things in the registry so I'm not necessarily doing something wrong.

    I've got a Dell Inspiron E1505 and have reinstalled Vista Ultimate on it from a clean hard drive (none of the dell stuff). I noticed that in the registry i do not have a ControlSet002 - just the 001 and 003. I tried to make the correct path and once i restarted it was gone, interesting.

    Here's the path when i do a Copy Key Name (so spelling isn't an issue). Was i correct that the end was a zero and not an O?
    "HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\ControlSet001\Control\MobilePC\HotStartButtons\0"
    "HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\ControlSet003\Control\MobilePC\HotStartButtons\0"
    "HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\MobilePC\HotStartButtons\0"

    Then the I created a simple new string value - it didn't have to be special did it?
    Here's what i got for that: "Application Path" and "C:\Windows\ehome\ehshell.exe"


    Anything i'm doing wrong or will this just not work?
     
  18. weeeee

    weeeee Notebook Consultant

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    Nicely done. Rep to a very useful guide.
     
  19. DFI Fan

    DFI Fan Notebook Evangelist

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    On a fresh Vista x64 install I don't have the 0's...just HotSTartButtons and then no folder inside of that. I guess you can't do it without Quickset and/or MediaDirect installed. Unless maybe I make my own 0 folder?
     
  20. BatBoy

    BatBoy NBR Community Moderator

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    For nm3210 and DFIFan, check the first page. I've added exported registry entries for you to use since you are having issues. These entries are setup to utilize the 'Turn Off LCD.exe' app. The zip archive includes the Turn Off LCD.exe app.

    Hope this helps.
     
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