Microsoft KB Archive/254975

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Cannot Logon After Changing Keyboard Settings


The information in this article applies to:

  • Microsoft Windows NT Workstation versions 3.5, 3.51, 4.0
  • Microsoft Windows NT Server versions 3.51, 4.0
  • Microsoft Windows 2000 Professional
  • Microsoft Windows 2000 Server
  • Microsoft Windows 2000 Advanced Server


You have configured your U.S. version of Windows NT with a foreign language keyboard layout and you have extended characters in your password. After changing your password, you cannot log on. You can only log on using ALT key combinations to create the extended characters in your password.


You installed the U.S. version of Windows NT and the U.S. keyboard is the default keyboard.

NOTE: Keyboard settings are user specific. Although you may select a foreign language keyboard, at logon time (no user is logged on yet) the default keyboard settings are used. So at logon time no country-specific extended characters are available.


If you want to continue to use a password with extended characters, you must change the default keyboard settings in the registry as follows:

  1. Run Registry Editor (REGEDT32.EXE).
  2. From the HKEY_USERS subtree, go to the following key:

    Windows NT 3.51

    \.DEFAULT\Keyboard Layout

    Windows NT 4.0/Windows 2000

    \.DEFAULT\Keyboard Layout\Preload

  3. Change the value "Active" to the appropriate string. For example, the string 00000407 defines German keyboard layout, 00000409 defines US keyboard layout. See below for a list of Language IDs.

An alternative solution would be to modify the complete system default profile by saving the current user profile information as the system default profile using the User Profile Editor.


  • The default settings in HKEY_USERS\.DEFAULT are also used when you define a new user.

  • Below are the Language IDs supported by Windows NT:

Additional query words: prodnt keyboard change workstation logon default password

Keywords : kbenv KBW2KHOME
Issue type : kbprb
Technology : kbWinNTsearch kbWinNTWsearch kbWinNTW400 kbWinNTW400search kbWinNT351xsearch kbWinNT350xsearch kbWinNT400xsearch kbWinNTW350 kbWinNTW350xsearch kbWinNTW351xsearch kbWinNTW351 kbwin2000AdvServ kbwin2000AdvServSearch kbwin2000Serv kbWinNTSsearch kbWinNTS400xsearch kbWinNTS400 kbWinNTS351 kbwin2000ServSearch kbwin2000Search kbwin2000ProSearch kbwin2000Pro kbWinNTS351xsearch kbWinAdvServSearch

Last Reviewed: October 24, 2000
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