Laptop Fn Keys stopped working after installing Win 7
April 4, 2010 10:46 AM   Subscribe

My boyfriend just installed Win 7 on his Samsung laptop which came with Vista originally. It had been buggy since day one with Vista, and many of those problems disappeared with W7. However, one result was that the Fn+ keys all stopped working, so he can't adjust volume, brightness etc with the keyboard. I've searched for solutions but haven't found anything except a passing mention on Yahoo!Answer that sounds grim. He didn't wipe Vista before he installed, just ran the 7 disc setup from Vista, so is it possible to retrieve these batch files? Is there another way to recover Fn key functionality? Thanks--
posted by Seomanthe to Computers & Internet (7 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Ive got a very very similar problem with my NC20. The volume keys work....kinda, but nothing else.
posted by lemonfridge at 10:47 AM on April 4, 2010

The function keys are probably interpreted by some program running in the background which manages persistence of settings, OSD for function key events, etc.. On my ASUS laptop, for instance, there's HControl.exe and a bunch of other similar things.

You should visit the OEM site (Samsung, I guess), locate the model of laptop, and download and install anything that looks like such a utility. Restart and verify that everything works.

You can turn autostart of such programs on and off via CCleaner, allowing you to choose which functions you want and disable any that are undesired. Of course, laptop assemblers rarely think such things through, and therefore the dependency of the functions you want on some you don't is almost a certainty.
posted by Inspector.Gadget at 10:54 AM on April 4, 2010

I'm not an expert here but this is likely to be a driver issue -- i.e. the hardware for the keyboard might not be 100% compatible with the out-of-the-box W7 install. My approach would be to check the Samsung support site to see if there are any W7 keyboard/bios/chipset drivers for this laptop. Laptops are a particularly problematic area for Windows upgrades due to all the proprietary junk in there.
posted by crapmatic at 10:58 AM on April 4, 2010

Which Samsung model is it? Because function keys like brightness and volume are tied to physical elements of the laptop and are not standard across all laptops, they are often controlled by specialised programs released by the manufacturer. Your best bet is to go to the samsung's support section, and check out the available downloads for your model of laptop . They can sometimes be named something unobvious, so searching through support forums particular to your make and model can also help identify the right programs.

(you don't mention what that model is or I'd have a look for you)
posted by Sparx at 11:02 AM on April 4, 2010

Inspector.Gadget is correct. The utility may not explicitly state compatibility with Windows 7, but it will most likely work - YMMV if he upgraded from 32 bit Vista to the 64 bit version of 7.
posted by biggity at 11:03 AM on April 4, 2010

If you google "[model number of laptop] hotkey driver" you'll likely find the program you need. I had this exact same problem and installed the equivalent Windows Vista drivers after upgrading from XP - they work fine now.

The model of your laptop can be found on a sticker on the bottom of your laptop.
posted by Phire at 11:18 AM on April 4, 2010

Coincidentally, I'm nearing the end of a multi-hour install-and-upgrade session for my wife's new Samsung netbook (N148). WPS, Firefox, WinRAR, puTTY, Taekwindow, TTPlayer, Foxit, 影音风暴, 光影魔术手 are all installed. Also, I went to the Samsung site and downloaded/installed all the drivers and utility programs for this particular model of laptop, even ones that were pre-installed on the copy that the store ghosted onto the machine, so that we would have all the latest versions. Something that may explain the OP's experience with Vista, Samsung seems to have versions of their drivers for XP and Win7, but no Vista versions.
posted by msittig at 12:51 PM on April 4, 2010

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