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Change keyboard layout on Windows XP Login Screen

by Alex Peck on December 16th, 2009

Having changed my password to include £ (I tend to use a UK keyboard layout) I found I was no longer able to login to several XP VMs with US layout on the login screen. Since my laptop doesn’t have a numeric keypad I couldn’t even use right ALT+156. I even tried to cheat using the onscreen keyboard’s numeric keypad, but this didn’t work either.

Some newer versions of Windows display the input region widget on the login screen if you install multiple input locales. On XP, I couldn’t get this to appear.

To get around this, I found it is possible to change the default keyboard settings in the registry. Obviously I had to log in using the local Admin account in order to make this change, which fortunately had a password I was able to type.

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