The Toshiba Satellite A200 series of laptops was released with the Windows Vista operating system in the United States. If you chose to downgrade your A200 to Windows XP, the software drivers that support functions such as the function keys (F1 through F12) may not work properly. There are several operations you can try on your computer to get the function keys working properly, but none is guaranteed to work on every A200 series model.
Hot Key Cards
Toshiba Satellite series computers have a function called "Hot key cards" that allows you to perform function key operations on the screen with your mouse, rather than through pressing the keys. If you have the hot key card function disabled, your function keys are also disabled. You can fix this by clicking the "Start" menu on your Windows XP menu bar, then click "Programs," "TOSHIBA" and "Utilities." Look for a line labeled "Hot key card settings" or "Flash card settings" and double-click to launch it. Make sure the flash or hot key cards are enabled.
Download U.S. Drivers
The Toshiba U.S. site offers several downloads you can use to upgrade your computer's drivers, depending on the operating system. Browse to the Toshiba sales site, then click "Support" and then "Product support." This page allows you to select your specific model and browse the specifications, user's guide, support notices and product downloads. Browse to the download page and filter the results to view only the downloads relevant to Windows XP. The screen for each download link will give you a few details about the download and installation instructions. Download any basic function or utility drivers that apply to the XP system. These may repair your function key issues.
Try Canadian Drivers
Canadian Toshiba Satellites share characteristics with the U.S. models, so many of the drivers work the same, yet the Canadian site, while more difficult to navigate, offers a wide variety of drivers. Browse to the mobile computing section of Toshiba Canada's support site (see Resources) and choose your model as best you can. Select any part number, as this is required, although the function keys do not have a related part number. As with the U.S. site, you will see a list of items you can download. These will download in zipped files immediately, rather than sending you to a detail page, but there is a specific hot key utility you can download for XP on this site.
Other Causes and Solutions
Function keys may stop working on older computer models due to wear on the computer. If you have spilled liquids on the upper part of your keyboard, near the function keys, this can affect their ability to function. You may need to have the computer professionally cleaned. Alternatively, you may need to upgrade your Windows XP with Windows Service Pack 2 or 3, available from the Windows website.
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