Having problems with Regional and Language Options

10/25/2012 3:51:17 PM

“I've recently purchased a second hand netbook from a friend, who gave me a very good deal much better than I could ever manage from a shop, or even online. The laptop is an Acer model, and it's fairly powerful, certainly for what I need it for. It's running Windows XP SP3, and I've updated it fully, with all of the latest Windows updates and patches.

On the whole, I'm very happy with it, and it's small, and portable enough for me to carry around with me, which was one of the most important factors in the purchase. However, I do have a problem. The keyboard doesn't seem to want to play ball, and is stuck in what I suspect is a United States setup, as quotes and the '©' symbol are in the wrong place.

Description:  Regional and Language Options
Regional and Language Options

I've already been into Control Panel and have played around with the keyboard settings. But, no matter what I do, I can't get the keyboard to change to UK settings, so I'm stuck with a problematic key setup.

I'd reinstall Windows if I could, but the netbook didn't come with an XP disc, and even if it did, it has no CD drive, so I'm not sure what I'd do anyway. Any help would be appreciated.”

Answer: You're already thinking along the right lines there, Ian, and it will be the regional settings where your problem lies. You were also in the right place, to a point. All you need to do is go to Control Panel and then go to the Regional and Language Options section.

Within here, click the Languages tab and then click Details, found under 'Text services and input languages'. If you've ever installed XP you'll recognize this next screen, as it's where you control the languages that are installed with Windows.

For you, I'm willing to bet that the current setting is United States, and it will be selected and in bold. What you need to do is ensure United Kingdom is both installed and available, and then you need to set it as default. Once this is done, delete the United States option, and any others that may be present which you don't need.

When you click Apply, Windows will inform you that it needs to restart in order to complete the operation, but that United Kingdom will be set as the default upon restarting. So, reboot the system as it requests. Once you do this your keyboard will have all the keys in the right places, and you'll have no problems.

Description:  If your keyboard doesn't have characters where they should be, then you may need to ensure the right language option is set up
If your keyboard doesn't have characters where they should be, then you may need to ensure the right language option is set up

As for your issues reinstalling Windows, this is a common issue faced by people when they buy second hand system, and/or netbooks. As you've purchased a second hand system, you have no Windows disc, and so will need to purchase one. In order to use the disc, you can simply use an external USB optical disc drive, which can be found very cheaply these days.

Alternatively, you can also boot from a USB drive, and install Windows XP from there, but it can be a long and complex process. There are plenty of in-depth guides online however, with links to small programs that you'll need, so, depending on your skill level, this may be a good option.

You may also want to check and see if the netbook has a recovery partition. Not all systems do, but some come with a recovery tool installed that will let you revert the system back to factory defaults, which will, in turn, give you a clean, and clear system, ready for action, and not bogged down by other programs.


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