Remapping Your Windows Key

Warning: There have been reports that applying this hack can cause certain keys to stop functioning. I recommend using other techniques for remapping your keys which are mentioned in the comments.

I’ve been using Windows for a couple of weeks now, and although I still keep my Powerbook close by, I’ve actually adapted to the Windows world better than I expected to. I’m using a ThinkPad T41 which I like a lot, but for some reason, ThinkPads don’t have "Windows" keys (perhaps to make them more Linux friendly?).

Anyway, I’m the kind of person who makes frequent use of keyboard shortcuts, so I decided to figure out how to remap my right alt key as a Windows key. Fortunately, someone already figured it out, and wrote a tutorial. It involves modifying the registry, but it’s actually very simple to do. The tutorial shows you how to map your left alt key, and doesn’t actually provide a copy-and-pastable version of the patch, so here’s mine (which maps the right alt key, not the left):

Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00

[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\Keyboard Layout]
"00000409"="KBDUS.DLL"
"Scancode Map"=hex:00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,02,00,00,00,5B,E0,38,E0,38,E0,5B,E0

Naturally, I take no responsibility for completely hosing your machine, and I highly recommend testing it on a co-workers computer first while he’s in the copy room or at lunch.

Also, let me know if you have any other cool Windows tips (post them here for everyone to enjoy).