Monday, 2 September 2013

Windows Server 2012 Core Keyboard Input Method Changes

Here is an issue I just had with Windows Server 2012 installed as a server core system.   For those not familiar with a core install, there is no desktop with just a command prompt for managing the system.

As it turned out on this system I was trying to manage, the default keyboard input was set to the UK keyboard.   If you are using a US keyboard with a system set to the UK keyboard, some of the keys will be mapped incorrectly.   A very good example is the pipe symbol.   I was trying to use PowerShell to configure the server and discovered I could not pipe command objects.

Easy fix I would have thought only with Windows 8 and Windows Server 2012, Microsoft has moved the keyboard input configuration into the Metro start screen.   A server core does not have the Metro interface at all.

After some searching I found the best way to fix the problem.   One registry key change.
You can run the registry editor on the server core installations.   So simply run regedit.exe and navigate to;
HKCU:\Keyboard Layout\Preload and change the key titled "1" to the desired input method.   US is 00000409.

Here is some more detail about the registry keys;


  1. Great! Thanks a lot.
    It works great on Hyper-V Server 2012 / R2 also.

  2. clt+alt+del and its down in the bottom right hand corner. Idk why but the regedit option didn't work for me maybe something to do with virtulization.