Add keyboard layouts in Win XP

2008/09/02 § Leave a comment

I just want to start adding the stories of my personal ordeals with computers. I usually avoid too many problems by simply using a macintosh 😉

However, I recently needed to use a Windows XP computer with (US version) which was stripped so there were no other keyboard layouts available than US. The keyboard I was going to use was spanish though. Being without the original installation disc I was quite clueless how to add keyboard layouts.

Turns out, it is a rather simple task:


Find a computer with Win XP that uses the keyboard layout you want to use in your freshly installed “Stripped to the Bones Edition”. In my case it was a spanish Windows XP SP1.

Run “regedit” and navigate yourself to the branch “HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\Keyboard Layouts”
Once there, browse through the sub-branches looking for the keyboard you want (“Spanish” is in branch “0000040a”). Export that branch to a file in a USB drive. Also, remember the filename from the value “Layout File” (in my case “KBDSP.DLL”).

Open the Start Menu and choose the “Run” command, type “%SystemRoot%\system32\” and then press Enter.
In that folder look for the .dll file that was in the regedit branch value “Layout File” (in my case “KBDSP.DLL”). Copy that file to the USB drive.

Unplug the USB drive from the regular WinXP and plug it to the machine with the WinXP Stripped to the Bone Edition. Copy the .dll to “%SystemRoot%\system32\”, and import the .reg file you created on the 3rd step.


By now you have done all the ‘hacking’, this last step is to activate the installed language: Go to “Regional and Language Options” in the control panel, move to the tab “Language”, click the “Details” button, on that window click “Add” to add the keyboard you want, click ok, select the keyboard in the drop down menu, click ok and reboot.


Credit goes to:

good luck with xp 😉


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