WinPE 2.0 with localized keyboard layout

6 02 2007

Sometimes things do not work out as they should (no, do not tell me that is always the case).  Recently I tried to switch WinPE from Emglish to Swiss-French keyboard layout. For a customer not for me. I am not able to use rather Swiss nor Fench keyboards.
But neververtheless, this should be easy. There is a switch existing to do this during theWinPE session but although reporting success we did not get it working.
This may be my fault, but until someone shows me it is, I believe this is a bug. 🙂
Nevertheless together with my customer we found a workaround. 

It works like this: 

  • Mount Your WinPE 2.0 boot.wim  file to a folder (read/write)
  • Do an offline edit of the PE registry by loading the Default hive into the registry editor
  • Change the key HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Keyboard Layout\Preload\1 to  e.g. 0000100c for Swiss -French
  • Unload the hive from the registry editor – This is important otherwise PE does not start, because the hive cannot be loaded. It still will be marked to be open by regedit.
  • Unmount the boot.wim file using the /commit command line option.
  • Then burn Your WinPE 2.0 image to a CD put it on a USB stick or on the hard disk 

It should be no problem now, to work under Your keyboard layout.





3 responses

26 04 2007

Hi Herman,
thanks for the tip. I have not had the opportunity to try it, yet.
But I\’ll do asap!

13 04 2007

Dear Alexander,
Just like you, I faced some trouble with ournative keyboard. We don\’t use the US qwerty keyboard in Belgium.
First I changed the  system32\\STARTNET.CMD to include2 extra lines :
      wpeutil SetKeyboardLayout 0813:00000813      wpeutil SetUserLocale nl-BE      wpeinit
Unfortunately the keyboard was still Qwerty and not Belgian Azerty.Then I found out I had to start a new command prompt from the existing WINPE command window by executing the command :
start CMD.EXE
in this new Window the keyboard is now Belgian Azerty.
Of course I didn\’t like this workaround,
and then I found out there was another approach to make itwork natively in the first command window after WINPE has booted.
Proceed as follows :
While building WINPE,and when the WINPE image is mounted, perform the following 3 commands tochange inputlocale, system locale and user locale.Example for the "Belgian Dutch" azerty keyboard which is nl-be and mounted directory C:\\winpe_x86\\mount  :
  intlcfg.exe   -inputlocale:nl-be    -image:c:\\winpe_x86\\mount
  intlcfg.exe   -syslocale:nl-be      -image:c:\\winpe_x86\\mount
  intlcfg.exe   -userlocale:nl-be     -image:c:\\winpe_x86\\mount
I hope this will help you. Maybe you\’ll can send me a mail at  iseries400@hotmail.comwhen it solved your problem.
Best Regards,
Herman Van der Staeyfrom Flanders, Belgium

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