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Question What options do I have with this Windows registry entry?

Feb 20, 2020
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I have a Thinkpad T430 running Windows 7. The laptop has a button on the top of the keyboard literally called "Black Button". It's supposed to launch some lenovo crap, but it never really worked. So I looked online and repurposed it. Somebody said that if I add a string value into this registry path: HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\IBM\TPHOTKEY\8001 called "File" and set it's data to the path of a .exe I can make the key launch that program. I set it to launch my music app, and sure enough, it worked, but now I wonder, why it worked? How does this work? What else can I do with this? Why is it detecting a "File" string as something it should open? What cool ideas do you guys have for this button?
 

Ralston18

Titan
Moderator
Consider yourself lucky.

Registry edits are just as likely to end up badly as they are to end up well.

Especially if the instructional source is not a recognized and trusted entity.

For the most part, Registry edits should be avoided and only used as a last resource. And then only attempted after a full system backup and Registry edit.

Why is the Registry detecting a "File" string as something it should open...."

Start here (sample links):

https://www.howtogeek.com/school/using-windows-admin-tools-like-a-pro/lesson5/

https://www.makeuseof.com/tag/what-is-the-windows-registry-editor-and-how-do-i-use-it-makeuseof-explains/
 
Feb 20, 2020
27
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Consider yourself lucky.

Registry edits are just as likely to end up badly as they are to end up well.

Especially if the instructional source is not a recognized and trusted entity.

For the most part, Registry edits should be avoided and only used as a last resource. And then only attempted after a full system backup and Registry edit.

Why is the Registry detecting a "File" string as something it should open...."

Start here (sample links):

https://www.howtogeek.com/school/using-windows-admin-tools-like-a-pro/lesson5/

https://www.makeuseof.com/tag/what-is-the-windows-registry-editor-and-how-do-i-use-it-makeuseof-explains/
Wow, I get that screwing up the registry will break the Windows installation, but this is not the correct approach that a power user should have towards their devices. If I go to this forum it's to get answers about what I could do, not "don't touch anything it's going to break". That kind of mentality is bad, it disencourages experimentation. I know the risks, I just want to know the extent of my power.
 

USAFRet

Titan
Moderator
Mar 16, 2013
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Wow, I get that screwing up the registry will break the Windows installation, but this is not the correct approach that a power user should have towards their devices. If I go to this forum it's to get answers about what I could do, not "don't touch anything it's going to break". That kind of mentality is bad, it disencourages experimentation. I know the risks, I just want to know the extent of my power.
An Admin account has the "power" to edit the Registry.
Of course, this can completely bork up the Registry, to the point of the whole system not working.

You need to know what a particular Reg change will do, before you do it.
And then, only after a full export of the Reg and know how to recover that.
And only with a known full drive backup, and know how to recover that as well.
 
Feb 20, 2020
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An Admin account has the "power" to edit the Registry.
Of course, this can completely bork up the Registry, to the point of the whole system not working.

You need to know what a particular Reg change will do, before you do it.
And then, only after a full export of the Reg and know how to recover that.
And only with a known full drive backup, and know how to recover that as well.
Well that's precisely what I'm here for, to know what it does to not break things. I want to know why it's behaving like it is. Can I add a value to make it count when I press the button? I just want to know what purposes I can give it, and rather than having a list with options I find it more useful to ask how it works, as that I can come up with my own ideas and build them. I don't need people fearmongering me to not touch the registry.
 

USAFRet

Titan
Moderator
Mar 16, 2013
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"Somebody said that if I add a string value into this registry path: "
And then you just did it....
"Somebody said..."

Luckily, it didn't break anything.

The time for investigation is before you make that change.

What that Reg key did was set the functionality of that key on this particular keyboard, to invoke an exe. Said exe is something that you wanted it to do.
Luckily, it worked.

Numerous are the stories where "Somebody said..." resulted in...'You need to do a full wipe and reinstall, because you can't fix it"
Yes, we see that here all the time.

And numerous are the trolls on utube and elsewhere, that post malicious stuff, just to be asshats.
"I heard if you delete the System32 folder, you can get more frames in games."
And someone deletes it.

Tread carefully, and only with a full fallback position.
 
Feb 20, 2020
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"Somebody said that if I add a string value into this registry path: "
And then you just did it....
"Somebody said..."

Luckily, it didn't break anything.

The time for investigation is before you make that change.

What that Reg key did was set the functionality of that key on this particular keyboard, to invoke an exe. Said exe is something that you wanted it to do.
Luckily, it worked.

Numerous are the stories where "Somebody said..." resulted in...'You need to do a full wipe and reinstall, because you can't fix it"
Yes, we see that here all the time.

And numerous are the trolls on utube and elsewhere, that post malicious stuff, just to be asshats.
"I heard if you delete the System32 folder, you can get more frames in games."
And someone deletes it.

Tread carefully, and only with a full fallback position.
Okay, I appreciate the warning. However while "somebody said" is true, I did not stay with a single answer before actually doing it, I researched for a bit and found multiple forums with the same solution and people saying it worked. I didn't feel the need to specify all of that in the OP, I thought it was irrelevant to my point (and it is). So, what you're saying is that this modification works in this specific case only and there's no actual way to know why its recognizing this value? If that's it, then I guess that the best way to do something else would be to link it to a batch file.
 

USAFRet

Titan
Moderator
Mar 16, 2013
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It "works" because HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\IBM\TPHOTKEY\8001 that particular section speaks to the specific motherboard you have, and that 8001 apparently speaks to that particular keystroke.

With some investigation, you can probably discover what the other keys are bound to.


And for "Somebody said..."...all we out here have to go on is your text.
We don't know all the other investigation you did, if any at all.
That is right up there with "My friend said..."
 

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