Solved

Windows Key on Windows 8.1 Tablet Stopped Working

Posted on 2014-02-15
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Last Modified: 2014-02-26
Hi All,

I have an Asus Tablet and the windows key underneath the touch screen all of a sudden stopped working.  Sometimes when I press it I can hear a feint beep but mostly nothing happens.

This is the button under the touchscreen - at a minimum it should toggle between desktop and start screen...

Any ideas on how to fix?

Thanks in advance

Notes:
Windows did a lot of updating over the last few days so naturally I think the problem is caused by a MS Update.

Touch screen works perfectly - no issue that I am aware of.

Updated to 8.1 more than a month ago, no issues until now.

I installed all available updates in a hope of a fix...
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Question by:DrTribos
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16 Comments
 
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Assisted Solution

by:Bing CISM / CISSP
Bing CISM / CISSP earned 500 total points
ID: 39862149
Better double check Asus user manual to know the exact purpose of that button. If by design it equals Windows key for toggling Desktop and Metro start screen, you may verify if the Windows key on the keyboard behave the same way.

If yes, it should be a software issue of OS, otherwise it should be hardware or firmware/BIOS issue.
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Author Comment

by:DrTribos
ID: 39862205
Hi bbao  -

Thank you for your comments.  I don't need to check the user manual, up until today the windows key did exactly that, toggle between the Metro screen and the Desktop.  

i.e. it performs the same function as the windows key on my Win8 Laptop.

I re-installed the drivers from the ASUS support website after discovering the ASUS support website does not recognise the model number (ME400C) but instead requires the Family (ASUS Vivo Tab) to be searched.

Now I definitely here a 'click' from the speaker each time I press the windows key, but other than that nothing happens.

It must be a software issue / setting somewhere!

This is so frustrating, any more thoughts OR specific things to try?
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LVL 14

Author Comment

by:DrTribos
ID: 39862308
I tried to assign tablet buttons in control panel but get the message: tablet buttons are not installed on this computer

Also, now the "insert" button on the handwriting recognition panel has stooped working :-(

I usually write with the handwriting recognition tool but am now forced to use the soft keyboard :-(
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LVL 14

Author Comment

by:DrTribos
ID: 39862548
Update of sorts... found out how to get into the BIOS... press vol down while holding power button down... the thing about that is the windows key under the touch screen worked perfectly in the BIOS settings.  I'm guessing it is a OS setting that is causing me this problem.

I also found out about Live Update and so am attempting to update the computer using that.  not sure how far that will get me though because I already updated all the drivers manually.  Will be interesting.
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LVL 37

Expert Comment

by:Bing CISM / CISSP
ID: 39862577
from Control Panel's tablet settings, check if there are a few key assignment settings. If available, keys can be customised to different actions.
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Author Comment

by:DrTribos
ID: 39862597
Thank you.  Control Panel > All Control Panel Items > Tablet PC Settings...

The dialogue has 2x Tabs [Display] & [Other]

I am unable to find the settings for reassigning tablet keys.

The windows key below the touch screen is still not working.

On the plus side the soft keyboard insert button appears to be working again.  The BIOS update appears to have been successful.
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LVL 37

Expert Comment

by:Bing CISM / CISSP
ID: 39864241
> The windows key below the touch screen is still not working.

i would speculate it is a hardware problem and you need to talk to Asus services centre for repairing or part replacement if still under warranty.
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Accepted Solution

by:
DrTribos earned 0 total points
ID: 39864275
Thank you for your comments.  I arrived at the opposite conclusion (software issue) so I am interested to hear your reasoning.

My reasoning is as follows:
* Windows key works as expected in the Bios area
* Windows key results in an audible click from speaker in Win8, so it recognizes touch
* I'm yet to confirm but think tablet buttons are buttons over and above the buttons required to meet the Win8 standard

Kind regards,
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LVL 37

Expert Comment

by:Bing CISM / CISSP
ID: 39866260
My thought is simple. If the Windows key and Windows button are for the same purpose, they should send the same keyboard code once pressed, and Windows should have the same actions. If one key is working and the other not, the latter should have a hardware problem.

Be aware that Windows cannot 'see' the buttins on your computer, it just recognises the keyboard code in the message queue. The same code, the same action. That's it.

It's hardware vendor's job to put different keys or buttons around the computer body based on ergonomics considerations.
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LVL 14

Author Comment

by:DrTribos
ID: 39866670
Ok. Well looks like it is time to back up and refresh to factory. If the key still doesn't work I'll send it back to Asus. Either way I'll let you know.
Thanks for your help
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LVL 14

Author Comment

by:DrTribos
ID: 39869140
Ok - I did a full erase and re-install of Win 8 using the recover feature.  

Win Key under the screen is working again so I can only conclude that this was a software issue.  I'm in the process of installing all the updates so hopefully it does not break again.

Interesting to note that the win key still makes the click sound... I'd never noticed that before.

Would be great if someone can identify how this issue could be resolved without doing a complete erase & re-install of Windows!
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LVL 37

Assisted Solution

by:Bing CISM / CISSP
Bing CISM / CISSP earned 500 total points
ID: 39869189
Glad to know the Windows button is working again. It seems to me like an issue of key / button assignment in your tablet settings.
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LVL 14

Author Comment

by:DrTribos
ID: 39869216
Yes - I agree.  

Do you know how to change these settings for the Win Key... ?  It can not be done via the Tablet Button Options in the control panel.

Perhaps something in the registry got messed up...
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LVL 37

Expert Comment

by:Bing CISM / CISSP
ID: 39869358
Have you installed the manufacturer's driver dedicated for the tablet PC? It might give you the option to explicitly assign or differentiate the keys / buttons.
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LVL 14

Author Comment

by:DrTribos
ID: 39869369
The manufacturers drivers come installed and I use the ASUS Live Update tool to keep the tablet up to date... Anyway I was not able to find a way to change the settings.  

And, FWIW, too late to test that now.  

I am installing updates... currently on 26 of 41 and only taken a few hours now.  I really don't want to have to go through this again.  Either way - what stopped the key from working - worked 1 minute then stopped.
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LVL 14

Author Closing Comment

by:DrTribos
ID: 39888280
Hi bbao - well the tablet is working perfectly again.  I'm still no closer to knowing where the setting is for this button but closing the question.
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