10 Most Frequently Asked SMART Board Troubleshooting Questions, Part 1

To hopefully eliminate some stress as you begin the new school year, here are the answers to 5 of the 10 most frequently asked SMART Board troubleshooting questions fielded by our instructional technology and support staff (6 – 10 will be posted tomorrow!).

1. How do I setup my SMART Board once it’s been installed?

First, you will need to connect two cords to your computer. The USB cord (normally a black cord with a thin, rectangular head — like a flash drive) and either a VGA cord (a 15-pin, trapezoid-shaped head with 2 screws on the side) or an HDMI cord (a thin, trapezoid-shaped head). Confirm you have the SMART Notebook software installed (if not, see the next question, “How do I download SMART Notebook?”).

The SMART Board status indicator light (located at the bottom right for a 600 series board, and on the pen tray for the 800 series board) should be solid green. Your projector image should mirror your desktop (if not see “My SMART Board doesn’t mirror my computer screen!”).

Press the keyboard and right-mouse-click buttons located on the pen tray at the same time to begin the SMART Board orientation. Press the center of each target as it lights up. Your board is now configured and ready for use!

2. How do I download SMART Notebook?

You can download the latest version of SMART Notebook from SMART’s website. SMART Notebook Collaborative Learning Software is the first choice on the Downloads page. Click “Choose a Version” and select your operating system (Windows, Mac, or Linux). On the following page, please verify your computer meets the minimum requirements for SMART Notebook, then press the download button. Save the file to an easily accessible location (such as the desktop). When the download is complete, open the installer and follow the installation instructions.

3. How do I register my SMART Board?

You can register your SMART Board to extend the warranty, on SMART’s website. In the white box at the bottom of the registration page, enter the serial numbers for your SMART Boards (found on the side of your SMART Boards), including hyphens, then hit the “Validate” button. Once the numbers are validated, press next. You will then be asked for your school information and an email address. A confirmation email with your product key for SMART Notebook will be emailed to you.

4. How do I get a SMART Notebook product key?

If you have not already registered your SMART Board, please see the previous section. If your SMART Board is already registered, you can active SMART Notebook with a product key by “activating” the software on SMART’s website. You may need to use the “Retrieve your SMART software product key” option. On the next page, enter any one of your school’s SMART Board serial numbers and enter your email address and the product key will be sent to you.

5. My SMART Board doesn’t mirror the computer screen.

On a Windows desktop computer: From the Start menu on windows, select the control panel. In the windows control panel, choose the display settings option. In the new box that opens, there will be a tab that says “screen resolution” (this screen will vary depending on your windows version). You will either have a choice that says Multiple Displays (in which case you will select “Duplicate” then hit apply), or a line that says “Mirror Display” with a check box next to it. Check the box and hit apply.

On a Windows laptop computer: Located at the bottom left of the keyboard, locate the FN key. Hold this key and press either F8 (Dell computers) or F4 (HP computers). Repeat this process until the laptop and the computer show the same image. If this does not work, follow the instructions for a Windows Desktop computer.

On a Mac: Many Mac computers will mirror the display by pressing F7 while on the desktop screen. If that does not work, click on the Apple icon in the top left of the screen and the select “System Preferences”. Select Displays, then choose the “Arrangement” tab. On the bottom of the screen, check the “Mirror Displays” box.

We’ll be back tomorrow with numbers 6-10! If you have any questions, email us at training@teq.com, comment on this post, or ask a question on our Facebook page!

This entry was posted in Tech Support, Technology, Tips and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

21 Responses to 10 Most Frequently Asked SMART Board Troubleshooting Questions, Part 1

  1. caroline greville says:

    I have just done a Smart update as requested by the computer and lost my smart notebook. I cannot find it on the desk top as before or in the files. The only icon I now have is in the right hand bottom corner but the notebook is not highlighted. HELP. We have classes every day and it is vital. Not a happy customer.

    • Blake says:

      Hi Caroline,

      We believe we know what the issue is. Please send us an email at training@teq.com and we will put you in contact with one of our talented tech specialists.

      Thank you.


  2. Linda Meisch says:

    Is there a way to display my Smartboard activity on the Smartboard and at the same time have a different display on my laptop? I often put things like spelling words, directions, etc. on the Smartboard for my 1st graders, and I’d really like to be able to work on something else on my laptop while they are doing the activity. My laptop is running Windows 7. I’ve looked in Display settings, but I can’t figure it out.

    • Linda,

      Great question, and yes you can.

      1. Right click Desktop
      2. Screen Resolution – And a window will appear
      3. Use the drop down menu and select “Extended Desktop” while connected to a SMART Board
      4. You will now have two monitors and be able to slide windows from one to the other.

      If you have any questions let me know at training@teq.com

      • Linda Meisch says:

        THANK YOU!!!! I did not understand about “extended displays.” I can’t wait to share this with all the teachers in my school!

  3. David Reneau says:

    I have a Sharp Aquos board with Notebook 10 and Windows 7. Notebook 10 will work on Extended Desktop Screen but Notebook 11.3 will not. Any ideas?

    • David,

      Thanks for reaching out with your question. SMART has changed how their program works on other forms of interactive white boards. After version 11 you must use a SMART product unless you have purchased an activation code separate of purchasing a SMART Board, which comes with an activation code. Check to see if the SMART Tools icon has a red X on top of it, this means you are not connected to an SMART Interactive product and thus have no interactivity.

      Hope this is helpful,


      • David Reneau says:

        We have a site license for NB 11 and I have the activation code in the district, but it is not interactive with the extended desktop screen. Guess I’ll stay with 10 but was hoping to work the upgrade :)

        • Not going to give up that easily, I have had a similar issue in the past. Does the interaction work when you have the displays mirrored? I would try to set the Sharp Board as the “Main Display” when extending, this may make it work.

          • David Reneau says:

            Ok, I’ll try that. I know it works in duplicate but I have yet to try changing the primary to see if it works. I’ll let you know :)

  4. cort.as says:

    It’s nearly impossible to find experienced people in this particular subject,
    however, you sound like you know what you’re talking about!

    • Blake says:

      It is always a collaborative effort here at Teq. We’re just happy to help : ) Thank you and please spread the word!

  5. John Hainley says:

    When writing on the Smart Board (with the electronic pens), it writes for a few seconds and the defaults to the Select Tool. I have to then touch on the pen tool to continue wrtiting…and then it jumps to the Select Tool again…I have re-oriented (20 points), re-installed the softwared….still no joy.

    Any suggestions?

    • I would switch the Pen Tray from another SMART Board that you know works to see if something is wrong with the physical pen tray on your SMART Board. Are the lights of the pen tray flickering on and off as you are trying to use a pen?


      Feel free to email training@teq.com so we can help you further.

      • John Hainley says:

        I do have extra pen trays and will try one of those in the morning when I am back on that campus. Thanks for the suggestion!

  6. Sue Hall says:

    Is it okay to write on the surface of the SMARTboard 800 with an expo marker when it is shut off? AND is it ok to put magnets on it?

    • Sue,

      The SMART Board is NOT a white board, so you should not be using Dry-Erase, Expo or Sharpie Markers.
      Also, Magnet may interfere with the touch on the SMART Board when it is being used, the 800 series has cameras in the corners that recognize when you are touching the board, the magnets may disrupt the cameras if they are close.

      Hope that is helpful,


      • Sue Hall says:

        Thanks Joe! I’m assuming that as long as the board is shut off it is okay to place magnets on it. It takes up so much of my white board space, that I don’t have any other place to put up magnetic displays I use with my class at other times of the day. The magnets won’t damage the board will they?

  7. maureen baranov says:

    I am having problems with my files from one computer to another. While my NB pages are fine on one computer, they become SUPERSIZED on another! Why is this happening and what can I do about it?
    thanks, maureen

    • Maureen,

      I can think of two things, most likely the two computers have completely different screen resolution settings. The other is to change the “view” options inside of SMART Notebook and choose “Zoom” then “entire Page”

      Hope this was helpful.