Troubleshooting – Advantage2 Keyboard

If your Advantage2 is not working as expected, we suggest first running a Status Report to confirm the active settings on the keyboard. Open any text editing program and use the onboard shortcut Program+F1 to print the keyboard settings to the screen.

Solutions to many of the problems below can be found by simply installing the latest version of Advantage2 firmware. See Section 8.0 of the User’s Manual or contact tech@kinesis.com for instructions.

The discussion below is intended to provide quick tips only. For detailed instructions on executing any keyboard actions refer to the User’s Manual which can be downloaded from the Advantage2 Resource Pagehere: www.kinesis.com/advantage2-resources/

Modifier keys (Ctrl/Alt/Windows/Command/Alt Option) not working as expected
The Advantage2 has three different onboard Thumb Key Modes: 1) Windows (US default), 2) Mac, and 3) PC (non-windows, Non-US default). See Section 5.3 of the users manual to see key assignments and shortcuts.

Note: Mac users using the Advantage2 in the default Windows mode should note that the Windows Key will perform the Command function, just like on any PC-based 3rd party keyboard.

I accidentally recorded a macro
To erase a macro, simply enter Program Macro Mode (Program + F11), tap the key that is triggering the undesired macro, and then tap Program to record an “empty” macro and exit Program Macro Mode. For more information, see Section 6.11 of the User’s Manual.

If you would like to disable macro playback altogether, use the convenient onboard shortcut Program+F10 (see Section 6.10 of the User’s Manual).

I accidentally remapped a key
ITo undue an accidental key remap, simply enter Program Remap Mode (Program + F12), tap the key that you wish to restore to it’s original functionality twice, then tap Program to exit Program Remap Mode. For more information, see Section 6.12 of the User’s Manual.

Multimedia keys not working
Check to see if the Keypad LED is on. If it is, toggle it off with the Keypad key. Have you remapped any of the shortcut keys? If so, you may need to use the new key location to trigger the onboard shortcut.

Note: Firmware version 1.0.58 allows you to access all of the legended onboard shortcuts even when the keypad layer is on or if you’ve remapped over these keys.

Some onboard programming shortcuts don’t work
Check to see if the Keypad LED is on. If it is, toggle it off with the Keypad key. Have you remapped any of the shortcut keys? If so, you may need to use the new key location to trigger the onboard shortcut.

Note: Firmware version 1.0.58 allows you to access all of the legended onboard shortcuts even when the keypad layer is on or if you’ve remapped over these keys.

My Status Report is garbled
On certain machines and operating systems the default Status Report playback speed is too fast for the computer to process. Early versions of firmware versions did not support the ability to set a custom Status Report playback speed. See Section 7.11 of the User’s Manual to learn how to slow the playback speed to enhance compatibility.

Note: You must replug the keyboard for this change to take effect.

I want to use a single modifier key to trigger a macro
On the original Advantage it is possible to have a single modifier key trigger a macro if you first remapped a non-modifier key to that location. You can mimic this on the Advantage2 but the macro will cease to work once you unplug the keyboard. We are currently working on a fix to this problem.
Weird behavior after performing a hard reset
If you perform a hard reset but hold the Ctrl key down for too long, the key can become “electronically”stuck. To fix this simply tap the Ctrl key you used to trigger the Hard Reset.

International keyboard users an older version of firmware may need to toggle back to PC Thumb Key Mode (Program + F5) after a hard reset.

My layout file is corrupt
In some instances it is possible for a layout .txt file to become corrupted. If that happens you’ll need to delete the file and allow the keyboard to generate a replacement file automatically.
Can’t get the numeric 10-key to work
First, ensure the embedded keypad layer is active by tapping the Keypad key and checking the Keypad LED light. PC users will also need to enable Num Lock on their computer using 7& key in the embedded layer (see Section 6.13 of the User’s Manual).
Can’t open the v-drive
There are two primary ways to open the v-drive (see Section 7.4 of the User’s Manual). If you are unable to open the v-drive using the onboard shortcut (Program + F1), make sure you have Power User Mode enabled and the keypad layer deactivated. If you have remapped over the F1 key you can download the latest version of firmware or use the new F1 key location in conjunction with the program key to open the v-drive.

On some computers, it can take up to 10-12 seconds for the v-drive to present itself to the computer. Be patient. For tips on locating the v-drive on your computer, see Section 7.4

Keyboard is dead/non-responsive
Plug the keyboard in and test the Keypad key. If the LED illuminates that means the keyboard is getting power. Is the Scroll Lock LED flashing? If so, then you likely entered Program Remap Mode using the onboard shortcut. Tap the Program key to exit programming mode and use the shortcut Program+Shift+F9 to perform a Soft Reset which will erase any remaps you inadvertently saved to the active layout.

If the Keypad LED will not illuminate that means the keyboard is not getting power. First try plugging the keyboard in to a different USB port on the computer. If that doesn’t solve the problem, try a different computer if you have one available. If the keyboard still doesn’t power up, perform a Hard Reset by holding Right Ctrl and F9 while plugging the keyboard in. If a Hard Reset doesn’t solve the problem there may be a problem with an internal component so contact tech@kinesis.com.

Right side of keyboard is typing numbers
Determine if the key is producing the wrong character or if it is electrically dead. If it’s the wrong character, try remapping the key to itself:
1) Press and hold the Program key and tap F12 (lights on keyboard will begin to flash rapidly).
2) Press and release the non-working key (flashing lights SHOULD slow down in speed. If they do not, this indicates that the key is not being registered and is likely damaged. If this is the case, repeat step 1 to exit remap mode & contact tech support. If the lights do slow down, continue to step 3).
3) Press and release the non-working key a second time (flashing lights will speed up).
4) Tap the Program Key to exit.

If the key seems electronically dead, you can try removing the individual keycap (if you have a USB keyboard it should have came with a “keycap removal tool.” Use this to remove the keycap. If your keyboard did not come with the tool, use two paper clips- bend them in the shape of a hook or “J” and pull the keycap straight up) and spray canned air inside the key switch to remove any dirt/debris. If there appears to be any sticky residues on the keycap or on the key switch, try to clean the area as best as you can (usually a damp paper towel is good enough).
If the problem continues, it is likely that the individual key switch is damaged and may require a repair.

My keyboard is typing gibberish
If all of the keys are producing unexpected outputs, its possible that you accidentally loaded the onboard Dvorak layout. To switch back to the standard QWERTY layout, simply hold Program and tap F3.
I disabled the key clicks and/or tones but they won’t stay off
Early firmware versions forget key clicks and tones settings when the keyboard was unplugged. Download and install the latest firmware to remedy this problem.
My global macro playback speed setting is being lost
On certain versions of firmware, a custom macro playback speed can be lost if the keyboard is unplugged. If you are having this problem please contact tech@kinesis.com and we will notify you when a new version of firmware becomes available.
Press and release advanced macros
This feature is still in development. Please contact tech@kinesis.com and we will notify you when a new version of firmware becomes available.
There are “extra” files on my-drive
Section 7.5 of the User’s Manual explains the basic files that you should expect to find on the v-drive.

International keyboard users an older version of firmware may need to toggle back to PC Thumb Key Mode (Program + F5) after a hard reset.

Weird behavior after performing a hard reset
If you perform a hard reset but hold the Ctrl key down for too long, the key can become “electronically”stuck. To fix this simply tap the Ctrl key you used to trigger the Hard Reset.

If you have previously used the keyboard on a Mac computer, certain hidden files will appear on the v-drive when you subsequently access the v-drive from a PC. Ignore these files.

It is also possible that you inadvertently created one or more hotkey layout files (see Section 7.6 of the User’s Manual) using the onboard shortcut. If that happened, it’s likely that you are unknowingly using a hotkey layout as your active layout. You can disregard these files or copy any custom remaps/macros back to the base Qwerty or Dvorak layouts and then delete any extraneous hotkey layout files fromthe v-drive

Trouble when paired with a KVM switch
Because the Advantage2 is a multimedia keyboard that can present itself to the computer as a virtual flash drive, it may not be compatible with all KVM switches. See the Advantage2 Resource page for information on compatibility.
Direct editing changes won’t take effect
For best results with direct editing (as covered in Section 7.8) do not use Program Macro Mode or Program Remap Mode with the v-drive open. Before any direct editing changes go into effect, you must first close the v-drive.