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MyQuestion
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Posts: 17
Registered: ‎10-09-2011
Location: San Francisco
Views: 1,468
Message 1 of 11

Lenovo function keys repeatedly self-activate in PC games

I added a few games to my E520 (running Win 7 Prof), but I noticed that on all of the diverse games, when the graphics screens kicked in, (it didn't matter which game), so did a spontaneous repetitive activation of the lenovo function keys.

 

Specifically, it seemed the brightness controls (f7, f8) would spontaneously value up and down, seemingly randomly, beeping with each change.   The B/W onscreen brightness bar would flash, beep, and then repeat, possibly with some new value, ad infinitum.    I was not touching the controls.    The only common factor was a game which had entered its graphics video mode.     If the game had not yet switched the video mode from the desktop setting, then there was no effect.    Exiting the game back to the desktop mode from the game's video mode also stopped the lenovo function key bug if it was active.

 

What is going on, and how can I fix the problem, and if it can't be fixed, then how can I temporarily disable lenovo function keys?     I suspect the PC games I tested also mapped function key controls and somehow during their polling triggered the lenovo function key app.    Regardless the ultimate reason, I need a work-around or fix.

Lenovo Staff
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Message 2 of 11

Re: Lenovo function keys repeatedly self-activate in PC games

Check to make sure you have the latest "hotkey" software installed from the support website:

http://download.lenovo.com/ibmdl/pub/pc/pccbbs/mobiles/8jvu10ww.exe

 

If this doesn't solve the problem, then your only other option is to disable it.  This can be done by right-clicking on the desktop, choose "screen resolution", then click on "advanced settings".  Inside there is a tab "on screen display" and a checkbox to enable or disable it.

 

Hope this helps.

MyQuestion
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Message 3 of 11

Re: Lenovo function keys repeatedly self-activate in PC games

I continued experimenting with the situation and your suggestions, and I found out the problem does not exist for every game just certain ones, (just so happened the ones I first tested the other day).     So the problem is not specific to going into another video mode, - the problem is with particular games running which must somehow interfere and activate the hotkeys, possibly when implementing their own hotkey control.     The games tested so far that cause lenovov hotkeys (always seems to be f7 and f8) to cycle crazily are Fallout 3 and Mass Effect.

 

To give you a sense of the rate of repeat, the associated beeps when a lenovo hotkey activates and repeats sounds like a fairly fast morse code stream, except with random long and short pauses.    The beeps overlay any sound track, and the flash of the associated desktop display also disrupts the video mode of the game causing a strobed flashing of the game's video mode, sychronous with the beeps.

 

The recommendations given by "someotherguy" were either unsuccessful or partially successful.    The driver update did not do anything regarding the bug as far as I could tell.     Turning off the lenovo hotkey display (as per your advice) however, *did* eliminate the video strobing from the hotkey onscreen display, but it did not stop the lenovo hotkeys from activating and beeping.     So it would seem the only complete solution would be to turn off the hotkeys completely.    Is there a convenient way of doing so without uninstalling the feature?   I generally like the hotkey functions, just not when they interfere with specific programs.

 

My other thought was perhaps some associated option in the hotkeys properties might be the key, so I will also try disabling other hotkey options in case one of the property options is what is making the hotkeys active over other programs.    Could someone tell me if the hotkeys can be temporarily be turned off, and not just the hotkey display?    The loud rapid beeping over a sound track is annoying, and the process interrupt is prohibitively disruptive to the use of the game.

Lenovo Staff
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Message 4 of 11

Re: Lenovo function keys repeatedly self-activate in PC games

There are several components of the hokeys software, please try disabling them one at a time to see if the symptom goes away.

 

1.  in task manager, end the process "tpnumlk.exe" and "tpnumlkd.exe"

2.  in task manager, end the process "tponscr.exe" and "tposdsvc.exe"

3.  in Services, stop the service "On Screen Display"

 

Let me know what you find out from these experiments.

MyQuestion
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Message 5 of 11

Re: Lenovo function keys repeatedly self-activate in PC games

1, 2, and 3 did not stop the beeping.    I didn't try them separately however, just one after the other, so I first ended tasks listed in 1, then 2, then 3.    After each step I reran an known-to-be-affected game, and the beeping still existed.    Also, I noticed the beeping occasionally occurs for a couple beeps on boot up to the desktop as well, so perhaps there is something else in conflict, and not just the game.

 

Also, in step 2, the actual file listed in the task manager was, TPONSCR.exe *32.   The second file, tposdsvc.exe did not exist in the task manager.   My Win 7 is 64-bit, not 32.    Perhaps there are incorrect driver versions active?

 

My recollection when I first loaded the ThinkPad up with these games was that there was no beeping artifact, so I am starting to wonder if there is some other resident task which is in conflict with lenovo hotkeys.     The only thing I installed since the games were installed a month ago was a Logitech cordless trackball, which I just added a couple days ago.   However, the beeping is occuring without the trackball or its transmitter attached, so I didn't think at first that was the problem, but I just was wondering if the resident controlling app (it has a resident task icon, Logitech SetPoint) might be doing something.

 

The effect whatever the cause seems to be a random triggering of the lenovo screen brightness controls and an annoying acknowlegement (or perhaps keypress buffer overflow?) beep.    Typically, if the screen display is active, the lenovo onscreen brightness display will flash showing an increase or decrease of the brightness by 1 or 2 steps.   There is not necessarily a beep with this more ordinary screen brightness adjustment, so perhaps the beeping is not just an acknowledgement beep, but some other keypress activation complaint beep.

 

I will try uninstalling the Logitech resident app next to see if that is the cause.

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Message 6 of 11

Re: Lenovo function keys repeatedly self-activate in PC games

Eureka!   It's a conflict with Logitech SetPoint.   I uninstalled SetPoint, and the auto-activation of lenovo hotkeys during games ceased.     Are there any known work-arounds for this conflict?     I just bought this trackball and don't know of any that can substitute, and I probably can't return it now that I have pawed over it for a couple days.

Lenovo Staff
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Message 7 of 11

Re: Lenovo function keys repeatedly self-activate in PC games

It's not a known problem.  Is the Logitech software really necessary to use the trackpoint?

MyQuestion
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Message 8 of 11

Re: Lenovo function keys repeatedly self-activate in PC games

I posted too soon.   For some reason, removing SetPoint, but not rebooting, temporarily solved the problem with the affected games.     I just rebooted for the first time and now lenovo hotkeys are activating continuously at desktop level,  flashing the brightness level and beeping.    It does the same thing, auto adjusting the screen brightness say from 10 to 12 and back again, beeping.     Prior to this it only auto activated during games.

 

Could this be some side-effect of malware?    This is really starting to get annoying.    I'm thinking the only way might be to just remove the hotkey functions completely.

MyQuestion
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Message 9 of 11

Re: Lenovo function keys repeatedly self-activate in PC games

Ok, the continuing auto-activation of the hotkeys seems to occur upon the opening of a browser window or refresh (auto or manual).    When a browser page is opened then the brightness hotkey display appears, beeps a couple times, and the brightness is adjusted upward a couple notches.     That may explain why it occurs in some games also.    For example, hitting the post button in this forum will cause the brightness control to flash and beep as the page refreshes.

 

Also the brightness control beeps, flashes on screen, and adjusts when a browser is opened and closed.   This occurs with both IE and Chrome (the only 2 browsers I have installed).

 

Possibly SetPoint may still have had something to do with it, and simply didn't uninstall completely, or it left something behind or altered a common file.    I really don't know at this point.   However, removing it, at least initially, seemed to solve the problem, at least until I rebooted.   Then the problem seemed to occur even at desktop level, on browser page refreshes.

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Message 10 of 11

Re: Lenovo function keys repeatedly self-activate in PC games

Ok, I shut down the laptop (complete shut down, not hibernate) for a few hours and on reboot, I experienced no problems with the hotkeys.   That was a surprise since the laptop was beeping and flashing the brightness controls on every browser refresh when I shut down last.    As an experiment I then reinstalled SetPoint first from the original driver disk, and again surprisingly, no hotkey problems.   

 

I still suspect some interaction with SetPoint for the simple reason that SetPoint advertises itself as a controller for both Logitech mice and keyboards, allowing you to overlay function key controls, or even disable those controls, so it's possible some lookup table or config file got scrambled in my earlier installation.    It also has some internal options for game recognition so it can modify hotkeys and trackball functions for specific games.   Also, the fact that immediately after uninstalling SetPoint, the hotkey bug disappeared until reboot, and then briefly seemed to occur everywhere, including every desktop functions.    That closing event was the most puzzling since the problem first disappeared, then reappeared with a vengence, then disappeared again.

 

So far, with SetPoint newly reinstalled, there's no problem.    I will post again here if there's any recurrence of the bug.

 

PS. regarding your last question:  yes the trackball has basic pointing functions without SetPoint, but in order to get a middle button function and some other features I routinuely use (like universal scroll), the Logitech control program needs to be installed so you can assign buttons.

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