2006-11-03

ThinkPad keyboard and the Windows key

I was frustrated that there wasn't an easy way to lock the screen on my ThinkPad G40 running Windows XP. According to Microsoft, you press Windows Key + L to lock the screen. But the ThinkPad doesn't have a Windows key.

Then I found the ThinkPad Keyboard Customizer Utility for Windows XP. I installed it, as well as its required additional packages: ThinkPad HotKey Driver and ThinkPad Power Management Driver. To complete the installation of each utility, I ran the setup programs. For example, to install the Keyboard Customizer, I clicked Start / Run, and typed C:\DRIVERS\WIN\KEYCUSTM\SETUP in the Open box, and clicked OK. After installing all three utilities, I rebooted Windows.

After rebooting, I selected Start / All Programs / ThinkVantage / Keyboard Customizer Utility. The Keyboard Customizer screen appeared:

It showed that the Right Alt Key is mapped to the Windows Key. I selected Enable key assignments and clicked Apply, and I had a working Windows key. I pressed Right Alt + L to lock the screen, and it worked.

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