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  1. #1
    Star Lounger
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    Cannot use external numeric keypad

    I bought a Dell Inspiron 1501 a few weeks ago & have a problem using an external numeric keypad.

    On all other laptops I have used (including Dells), when he external keypad is connected and its Num Lock key pressed, I can still se the full QWERTY keyboard on the laptop.

    On the Dell, however, whenever I want to use the external keypad, it also turns on the embedded numeric keypad on the Dell, so I can't use all of the letter keys.

    I have spent days with Dell support & they have even changed the motherboard & keyboard, but the behaviour is the same.

    They now say they have to pass it to Engineering & it could be weeks or even months before they have a solution, if at all.

    Does anyone know a way of disabling the onboard Num Lock key - there is not a setting in the BIOS?

    Thanks,

    Kevin <img src=/S/brickwall.gif border=0 alt=brickwall width=25 height=15>

  2. #2
    Uranium Lounger
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    Re: Cannot use external numeric keypad

    You could try this third party utility I Hate This Key to lock that key. I have no personal experience with the utility.
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  3. #3
    Uranium Lounger
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    Re: Cannot use external numeric keypad

    Or, you can edit the registry.
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  4. #4
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    Re: Cannot use external numeric keypad

    Thanks Doc.

    I tried both the software & regedit, but they both disable the Num Lock key on the laptop AND the external keypad, so I can't use it!

    I need to break the connection between the Num Lock on the Dell & the one on the keypad.

    On my other laptops, this was not an issue, because they weren't linked anyway.

    Thanks for your help.

    Kevin

  5. #5
    Silver Lounger
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    Re: Cannot use external numeric keypad

    I had a similar problem with an IBM external number pad, on an IBM Thinkpad. In order for the functionality to work, a driver for the number pad was required. Without the driver, it was exactly effect as if you were typing on the standard notebook keyboard.
    Christopher Baldrey

  6. #6
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    Re: Cannot use external numeric keypad

    Thanks for the reply Chris.

    I got onto Cherry & downloaded the latest driver, but it made no difference. They said it was a Dell issue.

  7. #7
    Super Moderator jscher2000's Avatar
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    Re: Cannot use external numeric keypad

    I have two different models of Dell laptops and both require holding the Fn key in addition to toggling Num Lock in order to use the embedded numeric keypad. How is it that you don't have to press the Fn key? Maybe we can change that back to the default behavior.

  8. #8
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    Re: Cannot use external numeric keypad

    Dear Jefferson,

    Thank you for the reply.

    I don't want to use the embedded keypad at all.

    I use the external USB kepyad for number entry & the laptop's own keyboard for text.

    Usually, the num lock button on the external keypad has no effect on the laptop. The unusual effect with this Dell is that, when I turn on the num lock button on the external keypad to use it, it also turns on the Dell's own num lock at the same time, so I can't use the regular keyboard.

    Dell have now change the motherboard (twice) and the keyboard, plus I have flashed the BIOS, but it still doesn't work properly!

    I guess it is a new "feature" in the Dell!

    Kevin

  9. #9
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    Re: Cannot use external numeric keypad

    Can you provide a model number for the external unit? Also, can you point me in the right direction to the website for the external unit?

    Thanks
    Christopher Baldrey

  10. #10
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    Re: Cannot use external numeric keypad

    (Edited by HansV to make URL clickable - see <!help=19>Help 19<!/help>)

    Dear Chris,

    It is the Cherry G84-4700 USB.

    Website is here: http://www.cherrycorp.com/english/compact/...ne_g84-4700.htm.

    Dell have now told me to format the hard disk & reinstall Windows and all my applications!

    Thanks,

    Kevin

  11. #11
    Silver Lounger
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    Re: Cannot use external numeric keypad

    Hi Kevin,

    Looking at the website you provided, the only suggestion I have at this time is to ensure you've downloaded, and have installed the drivers found at http://support.cherry.de/download/Cherry_T...43_Rev03_US.zip and / or http://support.cherry.de/download/Cherry_T...43_Rev03_US.zip (Direct link). These were both listed on the download page - but there isn't any documentation provided with them.

    I would hope that one of these will do what you need. Formatting and re-installing should never be a solution, especially for setting up additional hardware.

    On the off chance that this doesn't work, has it been considered to use a standard keyboard with the laptop? Not the most elegant of solutions, but it would fix the problem of not having the right-hand keys available while num-lock is active.
    Christopher Baldrey

  12. #12
    Super Moderator jscher2000's Avatar
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    Re: Cannot use external numeric keypad

    I don't think it would help to reinstall Windows.

    In my Inspiron 640m, the question of whether you use NumLock only or NumLock+Fn is controlled by a BIOS setting. Did Support already have you check for this?

    On my most recent Inspiron, you:
    1. <LI>Restart, and once the screen goes black hold the F2 button until the System Setup interface appears;
      <LI>Press Down Arrow to POST Behavior and then Right Arrow (or Enter) to open the list and Down Arrow to Keypad (Embedded);
      <LI>Make sure the field is set to Fn Key Only to require the use of Fn with NumLock (press Enter to edit if needed and Enter to finish editing) {the text here implies that if you enable NumLock alone, the external keypad is recognized as an external keyboard then the embedded keypad should not come to life, so perhaps there might be a plug-and-play problem with the Cherry keypad};
      <LI>Exit setup.
    There are some other interesting sounding settings in this group (e.g., allowing external keyboards to use Scroll Lock for Fn), but I haven't studied them in detail.

  13. #13
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    Re: Cannot use external numeric keypad

    The new Inspiron has VERY limited BIOS options & there is nothing to change keyboard settings.

  14. #14
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    Re: Cannot use external numeric keypad

    Thanks Chris.

    I've tried the above.

    Cherry support said it is a Dell issue.

    I plugged in a full sized keyboard which had a numeric keypad as well, but as soon as I turned on Num Lock on the full size keypad, the embedded keypad came on also.

  15. #15
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    Re: Cannot use external numeric keypad

    My suggestion for the full keyboard, was to use it's main keyboard also, rather than the laptop's. Not ideal, I know, but at least an option for when the number pad is required along side the standard text keys.
    Christopher Baldrey

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