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I have an old Averatec PC that runs XP. It hasn't been used for ages, but we just dug it out, and I figured I'd get it running for my granddaughter.

The keyboard no longer works, but I did hook it up to a USB keyboard. My problem is that the laptop screen is way too dark. But the non-functioning keyboard has a blue labeled Fn key in the lower left hand corner, which should tie to the brightness, volume and screen position mapped in blue to the F3 thru F10 keys.

Of course, there is no Fn key on the USB keyboard I'm using. I'd like to be able to determine if it's a setting problem, or the backlight before I go to the trouble of ordering, and installing a new keyboard.

Is there any way to duplicate the Fn and brightness keys with a non-laptop keyboard?

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Laptop Fn keys are handled differently than other keys and can't be accessed from an external keyboard. Check to see if there are any manufacturer-supplied software utilities for controlling those settings. – Dennis Williamson Feb 5 '11 at 3:19
It might be possible if the laptop's BIOS was designed with this feature. (For example, on a Compaq Evo N600c you can press Scroll Lock, Scroll Lock, X on an external keyboard to activate the same function as Fn+X does on the built-in keyboard.) What is the exact model number of your laptop? Such a feature may be mentioned in the manual for your exact model. – Bavi_H Feb 5 '11 at 5:53

For brightening the screen you can try "Miniature screen-brightness controller" which is a little freeware that adds a brightness controller to the system-tray.
Supposed to work on Windows XP (with at least SP1), though I can only confirm it works for Windows 7.

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