Buttons specific to laptops and netbooks stop working following operating system upgrade
Q I recently installed Windows 7 on my desktop PC. I took advantage of the £30 deal for students and picked up a second copy, which I installed on my MSI Wind U100 netbook. I performed a clean install and formatted the hard disk. It picked up most of the drivers it needed automatically, and is working fine.
However, the function key combinations that enable and disable the wireless card, adjust the screen’s brightness and mute the sound no longer work. If I press the buttons they have no effect, but they worked with Windows XP. There are no drivers missing, so I’m not sure what it could be.
A If you install Windows 7 on a reasonably up-to-date computer, it should recognise most of the hardware and automatically install the drivers.
When you plug in new hardware, Windows Update will also look on Microsoft’s website and attempt to download the correct drivers, which are all tested for compatibility.
However, with portable computers, many manufacturers have to use additional software for features specific to that device, for example additional buttons such as the ones that adjust the screen’s brightness or volume. This is true of many portable computers, not just the MSI Wind U100. On the U100, this application is called System Control Software, and comes preinstalled with the default Windows XP installation, but in order to get the buttons working in Windows 7 it will need to be reinstalled.
Using your MSI Wind, download the setup file for System Control Manager from MSI’s website. Save the file to your computer, open the zip file and run SCMsetup.exe. There’s no need to run the Extract files wizard because this is the only file in the zip. After rebooting, you should find the buttons work just as they did under the default Windows XP installation that came with the computer.
This advice is specific to the MSI Wind, but a similar program may be needed if you have a netbook or laptop from a different manufacturer, as many have additional buttons and tools in addition to the standard Qwerty keyboard.
If you are having problems such as these after installing Windows 7, try downloading the official Windows 7 drivers from the manufacturer’s website rather than the default Microsoft drivers.
Make sure you download the correct drivers for your specific version of Windows 7: either 32-bit or 64-bit. You can find out which type you have by right-clicking on Computer in the Start Menu and selecting Properties. The System Window will appear and under the System type section it will either say 32-bit operating system or 64-bit operating system.
For most netbooks, you will not find any 64-bit drivers available because the Atom processor is only available in a 32-bit version. So you will only be able to install the 32-bit version of Windows 7.
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