Microsoft KB Archive/170903

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Knowledge Base

NUMLOCK Causes Logon Problems with Portable Computers

Article ID: 170903

Article Last Modified on 2/23/2007


  • Microsoft Windows 2000 Server
  • Microsoft Windows 2000 Advanced Server
  • Microsoft Windows 2000 Professional Edition
  • Microsoft Windows NT Workstation 4.0 Developer Edition
  • Microsoft Windows NT Server 4.0 Standard Edition

This article was previously published under Q170903


Portable computers have the NUMLOCK key set to on when users try to log on to the system. This can cause users to type passwords incorrectly, because users often don't check the keyboard indicators before typing their passwords.


By default NUMLOCK is set to on.


You can modify this setting by editing the registry on the portable computer.

WARNING: Using Registry Editor incorrectly can cause serious, system-wide problems that may require you to reinstall Windows NT to correct them. Microsoft cannot guarantee that any problems resulting from the use of Registry Editor can be solved. Use this tool at your own risk.

Normally, the computer applies the user settings when the user logs on, but it uses the default user profile when it is first turned on, before the user has logged on. To turn this functionality off, the default user settings must be modified. The Keyboard entry contains user preferences as defined by choosing the Keyboard icon in Control Panel. Entries are found under this registry path:

   HKEY_USERS\.DEFAULT\Control Panel\Keyboard

   InitialKeyboardIndicators REG_SZ Number
       Default: 0

Specifies initial values for keys. 0 means that NUMLOCK is turned off after the user logs on; 2 means NUMLOCK is turned on after the user logs on. This value is set when logging off or during shutdown to preserve the state of the NUMLOCK key at that time.

This value can also be changed on a user basis by modifying HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Control Panel\Keyboard and the same registry key.

For more information, see the following Microsoft Knowledge Base article:

102978 REG: User Preferences Entries, PART 3.

Additional query words: Profile NUMLOCK

Keywords: kbprb kbsetup KB170903