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View Full Version : I can haz Numlock?



CSchmidt
12-11-2011, 11:25 AM
Just bought a stock G74SX-XR1 a couple days ago.

Love this machine, none of the problems with keyboard or trackpad that others have reported (most likely electrical shorts from packing material not removed at the factory). The only fly in the ointment is the replacement of the numlock with a "launch calculator". I'm a Blender 3D user, and it uses the numkeys for changing views. It wouldn't be a big deal, but numlock is "off". Is there any way to turn it on? I only need to do it once.

After some seaching, I've discovered there is work being done on it. But no updates in awhile. Is there any news?

I don't have a USB keyboard (still PS/2 attached to my tower) and would rather not have to shell out more money.
I have tried the [L-shift]+[fn]+[CapsLock] and [fn]+[Shift]+[Calc] but it doesn't do it. I don't want to change BIOS or software yet and mess up a perfectly good a machine.

I find it hard to believe that it would be that difficult for the calculator key to do the numlock too. The [delete] and [insert] functions are on the same key.

BrodyBoy
12-11-2011, 11:54 AM
No fix that I know of. They seem to have made a conscious decision, when designing this laptop, to use a non-standard approach to the numpad. It's not even a num-lock key without the ATK package installed....even though that's the default in every other computer on the planet!

Frankly, I think they should just chuck the whole calculator button idea in the next BIOS update. Anybody who uses the calculator a lot can put a link to it on their desktop or taskbar.

I doubt that packing materials account for the keyboard and touchpad issues, BTW.

JRd1st
12-11-2011, 12:11 PM
The next bios should fix a.lot of things... ;)

Doan
12-11-2011, 12:11 PM
If numlock was off, you wouldn't be able to use the number keys on the keypad; so it is on. Also, if you plug a keyboard in, you'll see the numlock light on. When I press the numlock key, it disables numlock for about one second, then auto-reenables it, so even with an external keyboard, I don't think you could use the numlock key for anything. Unless you do some tinkering, of course.

What was the thinking behind the calculator key on a gaming laptop? The only thing I can think of, is for people who crunch numbers to get that perfect build on competitive games. Chances are, if you have this laptop, you have a smartphone with a much more accessible touchscreen calculator, that won't require minimizing full-screen games.

JRd1st
12-11-2011, 02:21 PM
What was the thinking behind the calculator key on a gaming laptop? The only thing I can think of, is for people who crunch numbers to get that perfect build on competitive games. Chances are, if you have this laptop, you have a smartphone with a much more accessible touchscreen calculator, that won't require minimizing full-screen games.

I bet they were able to get a huge batch of keyboards with calc keys in place of the numlock, reeaalll cheap in huge numbers.

BrodyBoy
12-11-2011, 08:48 PM
I'm not a gamer, but isn't the whole problem (for gamers) that the G74 num-pad doesn't have any of the alternate directional functions (up, pg up, etc)? If so, it's utterly inexplicable. Every keyboard I've ever seen has that, I think....it's been standard forever. Yet they change it on a gaming machine?

I think you must be right, JR. They got a good price on keyboards where Sunrex printed the wrong key graphics!

fostert
12-12-2011, 05:00 AM
I flashed BIOS 203 (from 201) when I got my G74, and I believe the numlock LED went from off to being turned on all the time with 203??? Would that help you?

BrodyBoy
12-12-2011, 05:54 AM
I flashed BIOS 203 (from 201) when I got my G74, and I believe the numlock LED went from off to being turned on all the time with 203??? Would that help you?It's not an LED problem. It's that there's no standard numerical keypad. It really is just a calculator, I guess.

CSchmidt
12-12-2011, 11:07 AM
I was talking about the packing around the components before they were installed. These components, especially the contacts are a bit fragile when they aren't installed. I recall reading about that somewhere, that someone forgot to remove some tape at the factory when they were installing the parts. Mind you I don't know how much humans are involved with the final assembly of these machines.

Does anyone know if plugging in a keyboard with a normal numpad will work? Will this machine even recognize [numpad1], [numpad3], etc.??

Doan
12-12-2011, 11:32 AM
Yea, the numpad works on a USB keyboard. Is the built-in numpad on your laptop not working at all?

BrodyBoy
12-12-2011, 11:45 AM
I was talking about the packing around the components before they were installed. These components, especially the contacts are a bit fragile when they aren't installed. I recall reading about that somewhere, that someone forgot to remove some tape at the factory when they were installing the parts. Mind you I don't know how much humans are involved with the final assembly of these machines.

Does anyone know if plugging in a keyboard with a normal numpad will work? Will this machine even recognize [numpad1], [numpad3], etc.??

Having disassembled a few of these, it's not leftover packing items, but the actual materials used in assembly....by design...that are either not applied properly or were a bad idea to begin with. Both G73 and G74 touchpads use a tape-based grounding system (as opposed to a rigid metal contact with the chassis) that is inherently vulnerable to failure. Sloppy assembly accentuates the bad design, and the result is that some units ship with touchpads doomed to fail.

There isn't an analogous weakness in the keyboard assembly protocol, as far as I can see. I just think that Asus uses really cheap keyboards. They often look and feel cheap. They can get spongy, they can get clicky...they can start making funny noises for no reason. It doesn't surprise me that the "quality outliers" end up in a few notebooks, so some owners end up with a few keys that just don't work right.

CSchmidt
12-13-2011, 12:08 AM
If I tap the [numpad1] I get [num1]
Blender uses the [numpad1] for front/rear view, [numpad3] for side view and [numpad7] for top/bottom
Right now if I hit [numpad1] it toggles layer1, just like if I hit [1] on the numberline

dstrakele
12-13-2011, 01:26 AM
You need BIOS 202 or later to get the Numpad keys. Use the EasyFlash utility in the BIOS and copy the BIOS file to a FAT32 formatted flash drive to perform this update. See http://forum.notebookreview.com/asus/174395-bios-update-guide-asus-notebooks.html for more details.

AQUASTEVAE
12-13-2011, 01:42 AM
i don't understand the problem. my number pad works perfectly. and i have a wireless logictech k35 keyboard that works perfectly as well. the number lock works on it, and the number lock is on, on my g74's keyboard.

dstrakele
12-13-2011, 02:23 AM
Prior to BIOS 202, the NumLock key state is locked OFF and the G74SX Numpad keys are the same as the top row number keys. This causes problems in games that rely on the Numpad keys. In BIOS 202 and later, the NumLock key state is locked ON and the Numpad keys are restored.

380mcn
12-13-2011, 11:35 AM
Prior to BIOS 202, the NumLock key state is locked OFF and the G74SX Numpad keys are the same as the top row number keys. This causes problems in games that rely on the Numpad keys. In BIOS 202 and later, the NumLock key state is locked ON and the Numpad keys are restored.

+1 True Story!

JRd1st
12-13-2011, 12:27 PM
The only way you'll all get what you want in a new bios is to keep asking for it. PM Gary Key and nicely but firmly ask for a new bios that fixes the numlock key and restores the bios settings we expect in a gaming system.

I already got a reply from Mr Key that he would consult with engineering and get back to me. Still waiting on that.... but he too may be unable to message users, I don't know.

In any case if you all keep asking respectfully but persistantly maybe we can get results.

Devastator04
12-13-2011, 12:39 PM
I also needed the Num Lock, so I have made an app that presses Num Lock and kills the calc process when i press the calc button. One problem is that the driver or the bios of the laptop turns the num lock on automatically every 500ms (approx). So this app is in the systray and it capture system key press. When it see a Num Lock press - it checks if u wanted it. If no - it block it and you Num Lock is off till you turn it on by the app. Works fine. If you want, I can upload it, show the source code (so you can compile by yourself and judge that the program is safe), but I need a day to tune it up to more user friendly and a little feedback to this post (like yes, post it!) will be appreciated.

JRd1st
12-13-2011, 01:04 PM
Sure post it. If it works and has no ill effects it will be greatly appreciated. :D

380mcn
12-13-2011, 01:24 PM
if need a 'design' member count me in.

Devastator04
12-13-2011, 06:05 PM
OK, bought 3 beers and started coding.:p

tirezege
12-13-2011, 07:53 PM
I already got a reply from Mr Key that he would consult with engineering and get back to me. Still waiting on that.... but he too may be unable to message users, I don't know.

That's really great JR! I purely hope that there will be improvements on the BIOS then! I'm still expecting an update for throttle issue... I feel lucky that you bought this laptop, would be hard to deal with all these issues otherwise :)

Just keep us informed if any news come out from the ASUS black hole :p

JRd1st
12-13-2011, 09:08 PM
That's really great JR! I purely hope that there will be improvements on the B
IOS then! I'm still expecting an update for throttle issue... I feel lucky that you bought this laptop, would be hard to deal with all these issues otherwise :)

Just keep us informed if any news come out from the ASUS black hole :p

You should send a pm also. Include the throttle issue in your inquiry. :)

CSchmidt
12-14-2011, 06:30 AM
@BrodyBoy: OIC; I haven't done any surgeries on these things. Good to know. I guess I really lucked out on this machine. Mind you it was the display model at the store that I bought it from, so if there was any problems, it would have been detected I guess.


So with Bios 202 or later, [numpad1] will actually be [numpad1] instead of [num1]?
Great! Where do I get it, is there an ETA for a new version, and how do I do it. I've done a little bit of looking around on rog.asus but haven't found it yet.

I don't have any issues outside of the numpad, so I'm not in a huge rush.

BrodyBoy
12-14-2011, 08:43 AM
Great! Where do I get it, is there an ETA for a new version, and how do I do it. I've done a little bit of looking around on rog.asus but haven't found it yet.In the first post (http://rog.asus.com/forum/showthread.php?5224-Drivers-Apps-and-How-to-s&p=38072&viewfull=1#post38072) of JR's Drivers thread, there's a download link for BIOS v.203, as well as instructions for installing it (down at the bottom of the post). Follow the directions explicitly.

CSchmidt
12-14-2011, 01:27 PM
Thanks. I'll go check it out.

Devastator04
12-17-2011, 12:06 AM
I didn't complete my app, because there is already an app with this functions.

Link in this thread:
http://rog.asus.com/forum/showthread.php?4162-G74SX-NUMLOCK-for-KEY-PAD