02-27-2012 04:17 PM
I have full function keys and functions back again!
First, my Edge 14 uses BIOS from this page:
I <think> that this laptop came with 1.30 BIOS from the factory. I'm pretty sure I upgraded to 1.31 when it became available. I'd been running those for a bit less than a year with no function issues.
Then I installed 2.01 (80ET61WW) 1.23 (80HT39WW), specifically, 80uj30us.exe. I ran 2.01 for several weeks before the loss of function keys started. The function loss was intermittent for about two weeks, sometimes working sometimes not. I dual boot Fedora 16 and the preinstalled Win7, but when I noticed it was affecting both os'es I started thinking "hardware". Being an intermittant problem, caused alot of elation and dissappointment during my debugging as a fix was thought to be found, then later proved to be impermanent. Finally it got to the point of having no special function keys at all and the lid switch wouldn't provoke sleep. I won't list the things I thought were the problem before it failed solid.
I'm in elation phase just now because, I got the function keys working again . Here's precisely how I did it... then I'll expound a theory of what might be going on here.
Several weeks ago I upgraded BIOs using 80uj30us.exe (2.01 (80ET61WW)/1.23 (80HT39WW)).
A few weeks later the problem began. Just yesterday, I downleveled my BIOS to 1.31 (80uj26us.exe). The function keys and lid switch were restored. Then, I went back to Lenovo's site(http://support.lenovo.com/en_US/downloads/detail.page?DocID=DS014025) and discovered a 80uj32us.exe. I updated to that one. Function keys/lid remain perfect in both Win7 and Fedora16.
So here's my theory. The ECP firmware runs the keyboard somehow. The flasher program which updates the ECP NVRAM isn't writing "strong bits" into the NVRAM. As time goes by, the bits become weaker and start sending wrong data. Rewriting the ECP NVRAM restores the firmware in the ECP and the keys and functions are restored. NVRAM can suffer from weak bits if the program timing is not correct, or if the NVRAM itself is defective or out of tolerance.
I am hoping that this latest firmware I've flashed on here (80uj32us.exe) has incorporated a permanent fix for this very disturbing issue. So far, so good. Sure nice to have a fully functional machine again. Remember, I'm in the elation phase.
My machine is an Edge 14, MT 0578A99
03-07-2012 09:33 AM
So here's an update on my experiences since February 27, when I restored my function keys by reflashing my machine's BIOS. (see post above.)
On March 4th, when I booted Fedora 16, it complained of a broken battery... something this lappy did on Fedora intermittently while I had my hot key issues. So I checked the brightness up/down, and volume up/down functions (fn-F7/F8 and fn-F2/F3) -- yup sure enough those didn't work AGAIN! Both Win7 and Fedora 16.
This time I thought to try the battery removal trick. I pulled the battery out for a minute or so with power off.
When I rebooted, it worked just fine. So now, I think it may be simply a matter removing the battery now and then to restore the function keyss again for awhile.
I can't help but observe that this is not the way I expect my computer to behave. Obviously something is wrong, and it is not just MY machine, it seems to affect several others. Lenovo could figure this out, if it wanted to, and wanted to do the right thing.
03-27-2013 01:39 PM
12-11-2013 07:56 AM
I am sorry to bump on such an old post but you seemed to have a very good understanding of what was going on.
I first encountered this problem several months ago and have been experiencing it on and off, the battery pull advice which I found here has always worked.
However several months and BIOS updates later I still have the exact same problem as described here.
As everyone has already stated this is definetely OS independent and is by no means a configuration/drivers issue but something physical.
Anyway, I was just curious if you have found a definite fix or if you like me still suffer this problem (assuming you still have the laptop)
12-22-2013 08:03 AM
For linux users it appears that setting this in the kernel plus the bios updates solved the issue for me.
CONFIG_ACPI_EC_DEBUGFS=y. This was found after a lot of trial and error.
From the kernel documentation:
Say N to disable Embedded Controller /sys/kernel/debug interface
Be aware that using this interface can confuse your Embedded Controller in a way that a normal reboot is not enough. You then have to power off your system, and remove the laptop battery for some seconds.
An Embedded Controller typically is available on laptops and reads sensor values like battery state and temperature.
The kernel accesses the EC through ACPI parsed code provided by BIOS tables. This option allows to access the EC directly without ACPI code being involved.
Thus this option is a debug option that helps to write ACPI drivers and can be used to identify ACPI code or EC firmware bugs.
Symbol: ACPI_EC_DEBUGFS [=y]
Type : tristate
Prompt: EC read/write access through /sys/kernel/debug/ec
-> Power management and ACPI options
-> ACPI (Advanced Configuration and Power Interface) Support (ACPI [=y])
Defined at drivers/acpi/Kconfig:76
Depends on: ACPI [=y]
04-03-2015 01:07 AM
Sorry for warming up such an old thread. BUT: I encounter the very same problem now with my X230. Fn keys perfectly worked 1 year or so, and suddenly are broken now. No Fn key combination is working, and it is independet of OS (Windows 7 and Debian Linux). In both OS, it worked perfectly a week ago, without major software changes now the situation as described.
Is there any newer "solution" to this issue. I must admit, it is VERY annoing to not have the fn keys...