Disabling the Windows Key on Microsoft Natural Keyboard

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Article ID: 181348 - View products that this article applies to.
This article was previously published under Q181348
This article applies to Windows 2000. Support for Windows 2000 ends on July 13, 2010. The Windows 2000 End-of-Support Solution Center is a starting point for planning your migration strategy from Windows 2000. For more information see the Microsoft Support Lifecycle Policy.
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Administrators who want to lock computers in secure environments (for example, demonstration workstations and kiosks) may need to disable the Windows keyboard commands found on the Microsoft Natural Keyboard and compatible keyboards.


System policies can be defined to limit access to items on the desktop and Start menu, including the Run and Find commands on the Start menu.

Default and existing user profiles can be customized to add or remove application shortcuts visible to the user. Administrators wanting to deny access to local and network files may remove the Windows Explorer application, Explorer.exe, from the Start menu in addition to the My Computer icon.

Even when the icon for Explorer has been removed from the Start menu and desktop, users with a Microsoft Natural Keyboard or other compatible keyboard press Windows logo key+E shortcut to start Explorer.

The following script used in conjunction with the Regini.exe utility from the resource kit disables the left and right Windows logo keys on the Microsoft Natural Keyboard and other compatible keyboards.

To disable all Windows keyboard shortcut keys, save the following text in a REGINI script called Disable_wins.ini. Run the script from the Windows NT command prompt. For example, from the C:\users\default> prompt, type regini disable_wins.ini. Restart the computer to make the changes take effect.

   ; This mapping is used to turn both Windows keys off
   \Registry\Machine\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\Keyboard Layout
       Scancode Map = REG_BINARY 24    \ 
           0x00000000 0x00000000 3     \ 
           0xE05B0000 0xE05C0000       \ 

   ; Here is an explanation of all the values:
   ; 24         Size of the scancode map including header, in bytes
   ; 0x00000000 Header : Version
   ; 0x00000000        : Flags
   ; 3                 : Number of entries (includes null terminator)
   ; 0xE05B0000 left Windows -> nul (0xE0 0x5b -> 0x00)
   ; 0xE05C0000 right Windows -> nul (0xE0 0x5c -> 0x00)
   ; 0x00000000 null terminator


For additional information on Microsoft Natural Keyboard shortcuts, click the article number below to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
126449 Keyboard Shortcuts for Windows 95

Important This section, method, or task contains steps that tell you how to modify the registry. However, serious problems might occur if you modify the registry incorrectly. Therefore, make sure that you follow these steps carefully. For added protection, back up the registry before you modify it. Then, you can restore the registry if a problem occurs. For more information about how to back up and restore the registry, click the following article number to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
322756 How to back up and restore the registry in Windows

NOTE: You should back up the registry before editing it.

To remove this mapping, delete the following key in Regedt32.exe:
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\Keyboard Layout\Scancode Map
Restart the computer to make the changes take effect. If modifications to the registry prevent the use of the keyboard during interactive logon attempts and you have two computers on a network, use Regedt32.exe over the network to delete the scancode mapping.


Article ID: 181348 - Last Review: February 22, 2007 - Revision: 2.5
  • Microsoft Windows 2000 Server
  • Microsoft Windows 2000 Advanced Server
  • Microsoft Windows 2000 Professional Edition
  • Microsoft Windows 2000 Datacenter Server
  • Microsoft Windows NT Server 4.0 Standard Edition
  • Microsoft Windows NT Workstation 4.0 Developer Edition
kbhowto KB181348

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