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Issue: Cannot seem to log on to my own computer. Have I lost my mind (and password)?
Caps Lock isn't on. —Check. I am sitting at my own computer. —Check. I didn't sleepwalk and come in here and change the password. —Um......check (I think).
To make a long, sad story short and happy, the NUM LOCK button was interfering with my password. I'm not sure if this happens with all computers — desktops, laptops, Tablet PCs — but it sure wreaked havoc with me and my laptop. So, if you know that you're entering the correct password and it still isn't letting you in, check your NUM LOCK and give it a good talking to.
It is my experience that sometimes the system will miss a key-up and get "stuck" thinking the key is still pressed. You don't see auto repeat because that is generated by keyboard itself when you hold a key down. But it can cause a shift-lock, or ctrl-lock or alt-lock like state. This can be corrected by gently and deliberatly pressing and releasing each of the Shift, Ctrl or Alt keys. This will clear the key press state. [Remember there is a left and right Shift keys.]
Hey Brian— Thanks a lot for your tip (masquerading as a comment). It's difficult to know exactly what to do when things like this occur, and I really REALLY appreciate any tips on this topic that may help out a lot of people.
Got any more tips you'd like to share that help people out? Write to me: crabby@Microsoft.com or anniks@Microsoft.com (& thanks again!).
Hi, Crabby, long time reader, first time poster! I am a tech administrator (<- notice the importance I give myself by the lower case reference!) and have noticed that with many of my users on laptops, the num lock is actually called a "Pad Lock" and thus the icon is essentially a little different. The keystroke to use to disable the pad lock is different from model to model. As you know this little "feature" causes many of the letters on a laptop to act as a number pad. If in doubt, simply place your cursor in the username field (making sure you know your username first) and start typing to see if you get numbers or letters. Then make the appropriate change.
Just my 2 cents Crabby!
Scott - What a GREAT little tip! You should most defintely put Tech Administrator in all caps. (Maybe you should change it to "Tech Adminstrator to the Gods.")
Thanks for your kindness, Crabby. Great articles, by the way, I send them to my users quite often!