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The Windows Logo+BREAK keyboard shortcut may not display the System Properties dialog box

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SYMPTOMS
When you press the Windows Logo+BREAK keyboard shortcut to open the System Properties dialog box, the dialog box may not appear.
CAUSE
This problem occurs because some newer keyboards may have separate keys for the pause function and the break function. Instead of both functions being on the same key, the keyboard has a PAUSE key separate from the BREAK key.
RESOLUTION
To resolve this issue on keyboards that have separate PAUSE and BREAK keys, use the Windows Logo+PAUSE keyboard shortcut to open the System Properties dialog box.
STATUS
Microsoft has confirmed that this is a problem in the Microsoft products that are listed in the "Applies to" section of this article.
MORE INFORMATION
On many keyboards, the key that commands the pause and break functions is typically labeled as the BREAK key. Therefore, many keyboard shortcuts instruct you to "press a key plus the BREAK key." However, when you press only the BREAK key, the default behavior is to pause.

This behavior that many people are familiar with can cause some confusion on newer keyboards that have separate PAUSE and BREAK keys. For example, newer portable computers may have separate PAUSE and BREAK keys.

Steps to reproduce the behavior

Follow these steps on a keyboard that has a single PAUSE/BREAK key:
  1. Open a command prompt window. To do so, click Start, click Run, type cmd.exe, and then click OK.
  2. At the command prompt, type dir, press the ENTER key, and then immediately press the PAUSE/BREAK key.

    Notice that the listing of files in the directory pauses. This behavior shows that the default behavior of the key is to pause. To notice this behavior for a directory that has a short list of files, you must press the PAUSE/BREAK key very quickly after you press the ENTER key.
  3. Press CTRL+PAUSE/BREAK.

    Notice that the listing of files in the directory stops and returns you to the command prompt. This shows that the secondary behavior of the key is to break.
Additionally, if you follow these same steps, and if you press the CTRL+Windows Logo+PAUSE/BREAK keyboard shortcut to open the System Properties dialog box, the dialog box does not appear. This behavior is additional proof that the default behavior of the PAUSE/BREAK key is to pause.
break/pause pause-break control keycombo
Properties

Article ID: 839573 - Last Review: 02/12/2007 18:16:54 - Revision: 1.1

  • Microsoft Windows XP Professional
  • Microsoft Windows XP Home Edition
  • Microsoft Windows XP Media Center Edition 2004
  • Microsoft Windows 2000 Professional Edition
  • Microsoft Windows 2000 Server
  • kbprb KB839573
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