Table of Contents

Problems with Fn key and Numlock

Key not responding or typing wrong character

Key fell off

Key functions explained

AccessDirect Hot Keys (buttons at the top) not working

How to buy and replace a keyboard


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Problems with Fn key and Numlock

The keys on the right side of the keyboard with the blue numbers on them are controlled by the Numlock key and Fn key. The light at the top of the keyboard near the power button, with the number "9" inside a picture of a lock, will be lit if the Numlock is enabled.

You may need to press the Fn key to type numbers even if the Numlock is turned on. There is a setting in the BIOS called Enable Keypad and if you set it to By Numlock you will not have to hold down this key to type a number.

Changing Enable Keypad settings in the BIOS

Any key with a blue symbol on it will type that symbol or perform its indicated function if you hold down the Fn key.

Blue key-functions explained

If you are still having trouble with these keys, please see the general keyboard troubleshooting guide in this help file.

General keyboard troubleshooting


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Key not responding or typing wrong character

  1. Undock the system if it is in a docking station.
  2. Be sure the Numlock key is turned off.
  3. Problems with Fn key and Numlock

  4. Reset the defaults in the BIOS.
  5. Loading BIOS defaults

  6. Press the System Reset button and reboot for Latitude LM, Latitude LT, Inspiron 3000/3200, 3500, 7000/7500, and 5000 systems only.
  7. System Reset Instructions

  8. Try an external keyboard if available.
  9. Test the keyboard using Dell Diagnostics from your Resource CD or from the download on our Web site.
  10. Downloading and running the Dell Diagnostics

  11. If your keyboard fails the diagnostics test and your computer is under warranty, please [Reply] to this message and be sure to include the following information:

    Company name (if applicable):
    Owners Full name:
    System service tag:
    Physical address (No PO boxes, include city, state and zip code):
    Telephone number (with area code):
    A detailed description of your troubleshooting (step numbers will mean nothing to the assisting technician):

  12. If your warranty has expired, the Dell Spare Parts Department carries a full line of parts for all Dell Computers. Please call 1-800-372-3355.


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Replacing a key on the keyboard

  • If the key has fallen off and you still have the detached key, use the following instructions to reattach the key.
    NOTE: Before performing any of the steps below, unplug the AC power and remove the battery from the system.

    1. Shake the keycap to expose the plastic x-shaped scissor hinge hanging below it.
    2. Carefully note the position of the scissor hinge relative to the letter marked on the topside of the keycap. This will ensure that you are able to attach the hinge to the keyboard and then attach the key back to the hinge with the letter remaining upright.
    3. From the underside of the keycap, carefully pull to remove the scissor hinge. Observe how the scissor hinge snaps into the underside of the keycap.
    4. Slip each of the four legs of the scissor hinge underneath the appropriate loops on the key assembly on the keyboard where the keycap will go. The scissor hinge will stand straight up when its legs are slipped under the loops on the key assembly.
    5. Carefully line up the letter on the topside of the keycap with the rest of the keyboard keys and then push firmly down onto the key. The keycap will snap into place.

  • If you cannot attach the key and your computer is under warranty, please [Reply] to this email and be sure to include the following information:

    Company name (if applicable):
    Owners Full name:
    System service tag:
    Physical address (No PO boxes, include city, state and zip code):
    Telephone number (with area code):
    A description of the problem:

  • If your warranty has expired, the Dell Spare Parts Department carries a full line of parts for all Dell Computers. Please call 1-800-372-3355.


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Key functions explained

Your Tell Me How help file will show you the functions of all keys. This file is accessible from an icon on your desktop or within the Help and Support Section of your Start Menu.

If you need help finding this guide, click here.

For more information see the following Dell Knowledge Base article on the function of some of the extra keys on your Dell Portable.

Dell Fn key extra functions

The following Dell Knowledge Base article offers tips for using Microsoft keyboard shortcuts.

Keyboard Shortcuts


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Internet Hot Keys not working

Configuring

    The AccessDirect buttons may be configured in the Control Panel.

    For Windows XP:

  1. Click [Start] | Control Panel | Printers and Other Hardware.
  2. Click Keyboard and then click the AccessDirect Tab.
    For all other operating systems:

  1. Click [Start] | Settings | Control Panel.
  2. Double Click the Keyboard Icon and then click the AccessDirect Tab.

For more help configuring AccessDirect, go to:

AccessDirect User's Guide


Installing the Software

    If you don't have the AccessDirect Tab in your Keyboard Properties, you will need to install the application. Install the application from your Resource CD or, if you don't have the CD, download it from our Support Web Site:

        Dell Downloads

      • Select Input Device Drivers for the download category

      • The driver will be listed as: Dell Enhanced Quietkey (PS2) / Performance (USB) Keyboards

    Dell Reinstall Guide's can help you with installing AccessDirect. Go to the Web Site below and look under the System and Configuration Utilities or Applications category.

    Dell Reinstall Guides


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How to buy and replace keyboard

The Dell Spare Parts Department carries a full line of parts for all Dell Computers. Please call 1-800-372-3355.