View Full Version : MS-DOS mode and M/S Natural Keyboard

13-09-2002, 02:15 AM
I want to delete eight copies of index.dat in various folders -- about 7MB -- but my Microsoft Natural Keyboard with Intellitype software doesn't give me the standard keyboard symbols in MS-DOS mode. I have Win95.

It works as follows:

To get ~ Press |
To get # Press \
To get (Top right corner symbol) Press ~
To get " Press @
To get Press #
To get @ Press "

The biggest problem is that I can't figure out how to get a backslash. Any suggestions?

13-09-2002, 03:57 AM
You have one of two things.

Either you have a UK keyboard or you have changed the keyboard settings from US to UK.

If you have a UK keyboard - tough. Buy a US one.

If you have changed the keyboard settings - change them back.
Control panel
Keyboard icon
Input Locales
Highlight each language in turn and click Properties and set then Keyboard layout to US.

13-09-2002, 07:42 AM
> If you have a UK keyboard - tough. Buy a US one.

Why? If you can set a US keyboard to act like a UK one, why can't you set a UK keyboard to act like a US one?


Graham L
13-09-2002, 03:34 PM
The quick way to get around the wrong characters is to avoid them. You haven't got the "\" ... so use the cd command to get into each directory you have a file in, then "del index.dat". (cd .. gets you up one level).

I had this problem (only worse) with a mini Linux. It automatically loaded the Portuguese keyboard map. I found the maps at the back of a DOS manual. I suppose you won't have a DOS manual.;-)

I think it's an OS setting ... have a look in My Computer/Control Panel/Keyboard.

13-09-2002, 06:05 PM
A UK keyboard has a different number of keys and also different layout in the bottom left.

cf the MS Windows 3.11 wfwg manual

Chris Wilson
13-09-2002, 07:29 PM
What happens if you hit ctrl+alt+del and select restart in DOS mode?

(I cant remember the exact wording, and cant be bothered rebooting just to find out )

This should give you TRUE dos, as opposed to windoze-dos, which is a kind of simulation that allows dos commands in a window while windoze is still running. Using real DOS will let you attack files that would otherwise still be in use by windoze. I would expect that it will also bypass any keyboard mapping that prevents certain characters from being available.

Terry Porritt
13-09-2002, 07:55 PM
IF you are not getting the US keyboard when you boot into DOS, then in Win9x there are still the keyboard functions keyb.com and keyboard.sys which allow you to set a country specific keyboard from either autoexec.bat or config.sys, these progs are in c:\windows\command.

Though it would seem unlikely for the k/b to have been remapped in DOS.

If windows\command has not been set in your path, at the dos prompt type: cd\windows\command [enter]

then: keyb us [enter] this will set the keyboard to US characters.

The command can be written into autoexec.bat if it works for you.

As Merlin has said, the characters you list are the remappings you get when a US keyboard is remapped to a UK one, and if you only get the UK k/b in Windows, then changing it from within Windows should do the trick.

13-09-2002, 09:53 PM
Problem solved! Thanks guys.

The keyboard layout was set to "US" in Control Panel, and restarting in DOS mode made no difference. However, everyone's advice (before I saw your post, Terry), inspired me to look at Autoexec.bat, and sure enough, it had the command "keyb uk", so I changed it to "us".

Got all the characters back, and was able to reduce three index.dat files from 6,471,680 bytes to 114,688.

Interestingly, while in C:\windows\tempor~1, "dir" didn't show \content.ie5, which is where the biggest index.dat resides, yet the command "del c:\windows\tempor~1\content.ie5\index.dat" deleted the file. That particular directory must be invisible to DOS's "dir", and that's why I needed the backslash. Dir doesn't show up the various directories in C:\windows\history either.

Anyway, thanks again. Maybe I'll get faster browsing now.

13-09-2002, 11:39 PM
With almost all DOS commands you can find out parameters by typing "/?" after the command eg "DIR /?"

eg Using "DIR /A /P" will show ALL directories/files (including hidden system files) and pause after each screen fill.

Terry Porritt
14-09-2002, 08:44 AM
Thats interesting DeeBee, so it had been changed in DOS after all. The final steps would be now to 'remark' out keyb us in autoexec.bat, as the k/b by default should be US characters. Just type rem in front of keyb us with a space in between. If the keyboard remains US then you could delete the entry all together.

Probably your k/b had been sabotaged by a Pom :)