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  1. #1
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    Keyboard Navigation (Windows XP)

    We have a Windows server for our network. The mouse has decided to go on strike and cease communication with from the server, which will require the network to come down later. Unfortunately, I need to do some work NOW using the actual server terminal. Using keyboard navigation, how do you access the icons in the notification area, or system tray as it used to be called?

    Thank you,

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    Re: Keyboard Navigation (Windows XP)

    Have you tried plugging in a new mouse? Most modern machine do OK with that.

    Joe
    Joe

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    Re: Keyboard Navigation (Windows XP)

    Well, yes, my supervisor tried that. He's the one that says the server has to come down. Unfortunately, production is going full-bore right now, and there would be much screeching if we brought them to a halt.

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    Re: Keyboard Navigation (Windows XP)

    Functionality of the links representing by icons in System Tray is unavailable without a mouse.

    Try to launch corresponding application from Run box or Command Prompt.

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    Re: Keyboard Navigation (Windows XP)

    Thank you. That is what I'm discovering for myself. The next question is finding the correct program/file. The icon I click in the notification area is labeled "safely remove hardware." I use it to disable the hard drive we use for backups, so I can remove the hard drive and swap it out. I cannot find this anywhere else.

    Thanks,

  6. #6
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    Re: Keyboard Navigation (Windows XP)

    There is a list of all MS keyboard navigation combos available HERE but I don't see a specific one for the System Tray. It's quite a long list so you may want to look more carefully at it than I did.
    There does seem to be some 3rd party progs that claim to do that but I don't think it will help you out right at this moment?
    BOB
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    Re: Keyboard Navigation (Windows XP)

    Be careful about plugging in a new mouse while your system is running. I tried that because my mouse was getting sticky and bumpy, and it didn't improve with a hasty cleaning. I plugged in a replacement mouse while the system was up, and the mouse pointer immediately jumped to the upper right hand corner of the screen, then out of sight up there in mouse heaven. Efforts to drag the pointer to the desktop failed.

    Ctrl+Alt+Del did nothing useful. I was forced to resort to keyboard navigation to shut down the system. And of course the list of keyboard shortcuts was on the system's hard drive, which I couldn't access! After some fumbling around with various half-remembered keyboard navigation methods, I finally was able to shut the system down. The system had to be powered off completely to fix the problem, not just restarted. After rebooting, the replacement mouse worked just fine.

    So now I print out keyboard shortcuts for Windows and several of my most popular software aps, and keep the lists handy next to the system.

  8. #8
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    Re: Keyboard Navigation (Windows XP)

    To call "Safely remove hardware" dialog, run the following command:

    rundll32.exe hotplug.dll

  9. #9
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    Re: Keyboard Navigation (Windows XP)

    Thank you for sharing this run command! <img src=/S/yep.gif border=0 alt=yep width=15 height=15> There have been times when I fiddled around trying to find the "remove hardware" dialog with no success! This will be a big help to me! <img src=/S/thumbup.gif border=0 alt=thumbup width=15 height=15>


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  10. #10
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    Re: Keyboard Navigation (Windows XP)

    Thank you everyone. The mouse is still not working, nor does a new mouse work. My supervisor brought the network down, and I swapped out the backup drive while it was down, so my task is accomplished. I will print out your solutions should the mouse stay broken for a while.

    Thanks again,

  11. #11
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    Keyboard Navigation (W2K, XP, Vista)

    It's not completely unavailable.
    It is possible to use the keyboard to navigate to the Systray (Notification area, whatever <img src=/S/smile.gif border=0 alt=smile width=15 height=15> ), though one has to navigate in some steps. The method described below is also useful to reach other items on the Taskbar. It works in Windows 2000, XP and Vista. I think it has been around since the Taskbar was introduced in Windows 95.

    When one reach the Notification area it is possible to run whatever tool or control panel that is present there.

    The steps that follow may be a little different depending on what is present in the Taskbar; i.e. if the Quick Launch Bar (QLB) is there or not, if the Desktop Toolbar is there or not etc.

    It is important, but not so difficult, to see which part of the Taskbar and Notification area that is in focus at the different steps. For example the icons in the QLB will be highlighted and show a shadow effect; the icons in the Notification area will show a dotted outline, just as ordinary buttons do when in focus.

    Start at Start <img src=/S/smile.gif border=0 alt=smile width=15 height=15>
    Select the Start button by pressing:
    <UL><LI> Ctrl+Esc and then Esc. Now you have focus selected on the Start button.
    <LI> Press Tab once. On most machines you are now in the Quick Launch Bar, just to the right of the Start button. (If you need you can navigate the icons in the QLB by using the arrow keys. If not every icon is shown you may have a pop-up menu, a double arrow ">>". I you happen to navigate to that menu it will open automatically, and you can't use the arrow keys anymore. Just press Esc to close the menu).
    <LI> Press Tab again. Now you are at the Taskbar and minimised programs. Again, it is possible to cycle through the items via the arrow keys.
    <LI> Press Tab again. Now you have reached the Notification area. The focus is on the leftmost icon. If you have enabled the Desktop Toolbar or Links Toolbar, they will open automatically as you shift focus to them in this step. To close them press Esc. then press Tab once more to reach the Notification area. If you have enabled the Address toolbar you also need to press Tab once more to go to the Notification area.[/list]Alternative method; a quicker, but maybe not so intuitive method.
    It is also possible to reach the Notification area by stepping "backwards", cycling the items the other way, from the Start button, thus no need to close any Desktop Toolbars etc. Start by selecting the Start button as above. Then press Shift+Tab two times. The first time will get the Desktop in focus, the next press will get the leftmost icon in the Notification area in focus as described above.

    You can use the arrow keys to navigate inside the Notification area. If you press Enter, when any given icon is in focus, it will invoke the default action for that icon, i.e. same as double-click. If your keyboard has the special "context menu key" (on mine it's next to Win-key right), you can "right-click" on any icon.

    Once you have selected an icon and used its context menu, via "right-click" key, or default action via Enter, you will find the mouse cursor in the Notification area on that icon.

    Now one can start again at the Start button (i.e. Ctrl+Esc Esc etc.) but when one comes to the Systray again, the cursor is stealing focus. So even if one cycle through the icons, shifting focus, when pressing Enter or context menu-key, it will however invoke the icon/program in focus, i.e. the one used before, where the cursor is. The solution is to quickly press Enter or "context menu key", when you have changed focus this second time. Look carefully what's in focus, maybe not the right Balloon Tip is showing, look for the dotted outline.

  12. #12
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    Re: Keyboard Navigation (Windows XP)

    On a Windows keyboard, Win + B will activate the system tray. The arrow keys will go from item to next item, or back, hitting Enter will open it, or Shift + F10 or the app key will simulate right clicking.

    Cheryl

  13. #13
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    Re: Keyboard Navigation (Windows XP)

    I'm just going to jump in here at the end to suggest using 'Mouse Keys' from the Accessibility Options icon in Control Panel. With a bit of patience and tweaking-up of the settings, it's a useable emergency alternative.

    HTH

  14. #14
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    Re: Keyboard Navigation (Windows XP)

    OK, but that is a pain to set up if the mouse has already decided to take a vacation!

  15. #15
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    Re: Keyboard Navigation (Windows XP)

    Have you tried plugging either mouse into a different USB port (not on the same hub, and assuming it is a USB mouse)?

    The navigation instructions are celestial, but if you have a Windows key, that is the quickest keyboard route to 'Start'.

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