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My laptop fn key died yesterday. I can't send it to the repair service now because I need it for my work.

My question is: Is there any softwares can control some functions like: turn on/off wifi and the screen, change the volume/brightness... just like the fn did?

I don't really know the keywords to google, so please help me!

PS: As far as I know, we can't re-map fn key. If now it's possible, please tell me how.

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You could just stop playing with the screen brightness and volume control while you are working... and leave the WiFi on all the time.

What work critical functions do you need that were controlled by a Fn combination? Most importantly, if your Fn key is critical to your work, why would you NOT take the time to get the laptop repaired properly?

Chances are, what is wrong with your laptop is an issue with the keyboard itself, as opposed to an issue on the motherboard. What this means is that this is how your repair job would go.

  • Your laptop keyboard is removed to be examined, as well as to allow access to what is beneath it. This is to look for any evidence of a spill, or a loose screw, or burn/scorch marks, or a damaged keyboard cable connection.

  • Barring any visible damage to the motherboard or evidence of a spill, your laptop keyboard is replaced with a new one. If everything works, you are contacted, and you pay. Depending on the shop, they may replace your keyboard with a temporary "tester"... a keyboard made for your laptop or compatible with your laptop, but just not new and one they keep on hand for just such an occasion. Having one means they can potentially avoid purchasing a new one if it turns out that your issues are not this simple.

  • If a replacement keyboard does not do the job and fix the issue, then the problem is FAR more serious, and might involve requiring a replacement motherboard, and/or replacing the entire unit. Yes, I know. Seems silly to replace a whole laptop just because the Fn key stops working. Yet, if the keyboard itself is fine, and the problem requires the replacement of the motherboard... the cost of such a job could exceed the cost of a replacement laptop.

Very rarely do laptop keys just stop functioning without there being a reason. Almost all of the time, there was a liquid spill of some kind, and the user refuses to acknowledge it because the spill was very small, or the user just flatly refuse to believe that a little Iced Tea could possibly cause the key in question to stop working. What they don't realize is that Laptop Keyboards are not made to be repaired. They are made to be replaced. They also don't realize how keyboards in general function and/or are constructed. They don't realize that more than half of the laptop keyboards out there have a grill-like construction... so that anything spilled on them will pass right through them and onto the more sensitive components below. Here are two laptop keyboards made for the SAME model laptop... enter image description here ... one with a solid back, the other with the grill-type. Why is this important and being mentioned at all? Because whatever caused the Fn key to stop working could also cause the whole laptop to stop working. Not getting it repaired as soon as possible could make the difference between replacing a keyboard, and replacing the laptop.

What's cheaper. Losing a day or two of productivity, or replacing the laptop?

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Thank for your advices. Yes, except the Fn key, a few letter keys are dead as well. I'm using an external keyboard. I did go to the service center and they put me in a queue because my warranty expired, the time is a week ! My deadline is next two days and I can't wait – Tiana987642 Mar 11 '13 at 16:30
Sorry, I can't break the line in the comment. See the guide, but it doesn't work. – Tiana987642 Mar 11 '13 at 16:31
Think about this for a moment. On reflection, do you think there might be a difference between ONLY the Fn key not working, and the Fn key AND other keys not working? If you had included these new facts (other keys don't work too AND you are currently using a USB keyboard) it would have changed the answers. Did all these keys stop working at one time, or did it happen over time, and the Fn key is just the latest to stop working? Did you know, that if your keyboard is shorting out, and you removed the one in the laptop, the onscreen one might work properly? – Bon Gart Mar 11 '13 at 18:01
Yes, the Fn was the last. I tried to unplug the the USB keyboard then used the virtual keyboard but it didn't work either. – Tiana987642 Mar 12 '13 at 7:38

You could use the On-Screen keyboard. Probably won't provide access to some of the built-in hardware but should provide a way to access some of the options.

Start -> Accessories -> Ease of Use -> On-Screen keyboard.

enter image description here

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Thank, but it ain't work. I used to love my fn key. It works everywhere without any softwares needed. – Tiana987642 Mar 11 '13 at 14:17
@Tiana987642 I'm sorry... what? "it ain't work" what does that mean exactly? You tried the On-screen keyboard, and you couldn't get the volume to go up and down while using the virtual Fn key? Is that what you meant? Or are you just saying that you just cannot make the adjustment to using the mouse to click on the key on the screen, and the whole concept doesn't work for you? I'm not following your particular usage of the English language very well. – Bon Gart Mar 11 '13 at 15:47
Yes, I tried press the Fn then clicked F11 (physical or virtual) key. But it doesn't work . Seems my Fn key is hard-coded and can be simulated by a software :( @BonGart – Tiana987642 Mar 11 '13 at 16:33

From wiki

Fn key processing happens directly in the keyboard micro-controller, offering no knowledge to the main computer of whether the Fn key was pressed. At least Lenovo, performs this mapping in BIOS running on the main CPU. Some Dell models also have this option.

First check in your manufacturer's manual what are alternatives to Fn shortcuts. Then check the BIOS settings for an alternate Fn key option (The Dell models use the scroll lock key on an external keyboard for Fn, but has to be enabled in BIOS).

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Please be careful about posting the exact same answer to different questions. Also, when quoting material from external sources (even Wikipedia) please give appropriate citation. – KronoS Mar 11 '13 at 15:04
updated the answer, added the links – user568109 Mar 11 '13 at 15:14
Thank for your suggestion but I have no luck. There are no alternatives :( – Tiana987642 Mar 11 '13 at 15:31
up vote 1 down vote accepted

I figured it out !

If you are a windows 7 user, use Start + X to open Windows Mobility Center. It has most of the features available from Fn combo keys.

mobility center

To turn off the screen I used this software

And yes, this is a workaround. After my project is done shortly after, I will send it to repair service.

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Thank for your revision, @BradPatton – Tiana987642 Mar 12 '13 at 7:50

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