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  1. #1
    Star Lounger
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    Alt characters in Windows 8 on new Dell

    I am having a strange problem with my new Dell Inspiron. I can't make alt characters, like the degree symbol (alt-0176 on the numeric keypad), all I get is a bit 1 in the middle of my screen (I'm talking a 1 that's five inches tall, it's a monitor 1, as if I had 2 monitors and was switching to the other one). This started the minute I started to use the pc. For some strange reason it went away, and I could make the characters, but after the most recent round of Windows updates, the 1 is back. If anyone has a clue what I can do to return this basic functionality to my desktop I'd really appreciate it. You might think this trivial, but I know so many shortcuts by heart, it's irritating to have to go back to the old copy and paste method out of my Clipmate

  2. #2
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    Balby,

    Maybe you should ask Dell (I know, have fun w/ that).

    Works just fine on my machine (20°) but, I don't have a Dell. I wonder if I should add this to the list of reasons why I don't recommend Dells to my clients...

    Cheers,
    Drew
    Win8Logo.jpg

  3. #3
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    Is this a desktop or laptop Inspiron? What model number?

    Does it have a separate numeric keypad? Is Num Lock on or off when the big 1 appears?

    Bruce

  4. #4
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    Full keyboard with a keypad, num lock key is on, it's a Dell Inspiron 600 with 8 gigs of RAM, Gen i5 processor, trust me, I know this should work. Right now if I turn numlock off and hit alt 01 it tries to take me away from this page. With it on I get the 1.

  5. #5
    Super Moderator jwitalka's Avatar
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    Its a long shot but try a clean boot on the off chance you are loading something that steals the hot key combinations.
    http://support.microsoft.com/kb/929135
    Jerry
    Last edited by jwitalka; 2013-01-25 at 11:49.

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  7. #6
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    Inspiron 600 seems to be a laptop. Is this a 660?

    Bruce

  8. #7
    Star Lounger
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    Interesting. I've got the Inspiron 600 quickstart guide here in front of me, but it probably is the 660. It's most definitely a new desktop purchased on 11/23/2012.

    Jerry, I will work through the clean boot process and report back what happens, thank you. It's definitely something Windows related, as I said above, after discovering the problem and swapping out the (cheap) keyboard that came with the computer to a nice Logitech wireless keyboard the alt characters worked - until the latest round of Windows updates. I suppose some of you will yell at me, but I let them happen automatically, so I don't know what they contained (I know, I'm bad).

  9. #8
    Super Moderator bbearren's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Balby View Post
    It's definitely something Windows related, as I said above, after discovering the problem and swapping out the (cheap) keyboard that came with the computer to a nice Logitech wireless keyboard the alt characters worked - until the latest round of Windows updates. I suppose some of you will yell at me, but I let them happen automatically, so I don't know what they contained (I know, I'm bad).
    I would suggest that you try rolling back the driver for your keyboard. I have a wireless Microsoft Mouse and Keyboard combo, and I accepted a driver update a couple of months back, and some of my keys didn't work the same way. I went back to my old driver set, and things returned to normal. Your shortcut works fine for me - °.

    If you use automatic update, you probably had your keyboard/mouse driver updated.

    I have a Dell Inspiron 580.
    Last edited by bbearren; 2013-01-25 at 14:30. Reason: edification
    Create a fresh drive image before making system changes, in case you need to start over!

    "The problem is not the problem. The problem is your attitude about the problem. Savvy?"—Captain Jack Sparrow "When you're troubleshooting, start with the simple and proceed to the complex."—M.O. Johns "Experience is what you get when you're looking for something else."—Sir Thomas Robert Deware.
    Unleash Windows

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  11. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by bbearren View Post
    I would suggest that you try rolling back the driver for your keyboard. I have a wireless Microsoft Mouse and Keyboard combo, and I accepted a driver update a couple of months back, and some of my keys didn't work the same way. I went back to my old driver set, and things returned to normal. Your shortcut works fine for me - °.

    If you use automatic update, you probably had your keyboard/mouse driver updated.

    I have a Dell Inspiron 580.
    I'll be truthful, I'm not sure how to do that. I'll learn something new here if you can share with me what to do.

  12. #10
    Super Moderator bbearren's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Balby View Post
    I'll be truthful, I'm not sure how to do that. I'll learn something new here if you can share with me what to do.
    Open Device Manager.

    Expand Keyboards.

    Right-click on the keyboard name and select Properties.

    Click on the Driver tab.

    Click the Roll Back Driver button.

    Once it has finished, OK your way back out.

    If that doesn't help, you may be able to download drivers from Logitech.
    Create a fresh drive image before making system changes, in case you need to start over!

    "The problem is not the problem. The problem is your attitude about the problem. Savvy?"—Captain Jack Sparrow "When you're troubleshooting, start with the simple and proceed to the complex."—M.O. Johns "Experience is what you get when you're looking for something else."—Sir Thomas Robert Deware.
    Unleash Windows

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  14. #11
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    No joy

    I've tried rolling back, reinstalling, updating Logitech drivers, nothing. This is a Windows 8 thing. I've seen others on the internet with the same problem and no one seems to be able to offer a good solution. It's really a PITA to not be able to perform what should be a basic Windows function. Thank you all for your help, if anyone has any other ideas I'm all ears

  15. #12
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    I figured it out. Finally. There was software installed called Multiview, I think it came with my new Samsung monitor, it was a multiple monitor controller program of some sort. It had taken control of the alt key controls. I removed it as I don't need it and voila - alt key functionality has been restored. Thank you for all those who tried to help!

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