5 Replies Latest reply on Apr 29, 2009 10:11 AM by pcatalanuk

    Getting the 'Right_Windows key' functionality under VMware Fusion/Boot Camp

    EMR Enthusiast

      For some odd reason, Apple's Boot Camp and Windows under VMware Fusion fail to recognise the difference between the Left_Windows key (Left_Command) and the Right_Windows key (Right_Command), both keys doing the same thing, i.e., showing the Start menu. Parallels, however, successfully duplicates the normal behaviour under Windows: whereas the Left_Windows key does indeed display the Start menu, the Right_Windows key acts much like pressing the right mouse button, displaying a contextual menu depending on the active application.

       

      I've just discovered one way to restore normal behaviour for the Right_Windows key under Boot Camp and/or VMware Fusion, and I know for certain it works at least for Windows Vista. My hunch is that it will also work for XP, 2000 and perhaps NT, but I doubt it'll work for Windows Me, Windows 98 or Windows 95.

       

      This is what must be done in the Windows installation whose Right_Windows key you want to fix:

       

      -Step 1: Go to the start menu and select Run

      -Step 2: Enter regedit

      -Step 3: If prompted whether you are sure you want to run Registry Editor, click Continue

      -Step 4: Navigate to the entry Computer\HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\Keyboard Layout (NB: It is Keyboard Layout, in singular, NOT the Keyboard Layouts entry appearing immediately below)

      -Step 5: In the right pane of the Registry Editor window, make sure there's no "Scancode Map" key. If there is, go to Step  10 below

      -Step 6: If you are here, you don't have a "Scancode Map" key. Right-click on the right pane and select New -> Binary value. Instead of the suggested "New Value #1", enter "Scancode Map".

      -Step 7: Double-click "Scancode Map".

      -Step 8: Enter the following exactly as it is (spaces have been inserted to make reading easier, but you don't have to enter any spaces; everything consists of hex numbers): 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 02 00 00 00 5D E0 5C E0 00 00 00 00 (that's eight null bytes, a byte with the value 02, a further three null bytes, then the word 5D E0 \['send the scancode for Application key to Windows or an application...'], then the word 5C E0 \['... when the Right_Windows key is pressed'], and, finally, four null bytes)

      -Step 9: Go to Step 12 below

      -Step 10: If you are here, you already have a "Scancode Map" key consisting of a binary value. Double-click it. There should be eight null bytes followed by four bytes in little-Endian format. Let's suppose you have something like 02 00 00 00. Figure out the math (in hex, of course) of adding one unit to that value. In our example, it should be 03 00 00 00, so, simply, click on the relevant byte(s), delete it (or them) and enter the correct byte(s)

      -Step 11: Now, notice that there will be as many four-byte sequences as indicated in the hex little-Endian figure you just edited, two in our example. The last sequence will always consist of four null bytes. Place your insertion point immediately to the left of the four last bytes and enter this exactly as it is (spaces have been inserted to make reading easier, but you don't have to enter any spaces; everything consists of hex numbers): 5D E0 5C E0 (that's the word 5D E0 \['send the scancode for Application key to Windows or an application..."], then the word 5C E0 \['... when the Right_Windows key is pressed']). The four null bytes following this insertion should be left as they are (don't erase them!)

      -Step 12: Click OK

      -Step 13: Close Registry Editor

      -Step 14: Reboot Windows (not Mac OS X). If the Windows installation you've just modified was running under VMware Fusion, Fusion itself may restart (it won't if you had a second VM open)

      -Step 15: When Windows returns, Right_Windows key functionality will be restored. Enjoy!

       

      I hope some of you find this useful.

        • 1. Re: Getting the 'Right_Windows key' functionality under VMware Fusion/Boot
          Andreas Masur Expert

          Well...just would like to add that a simple press of 'F9' ('Fn+F9' on MacBooks/MacBooks Pro) should have the same effect...

           

          Ciao, Andreas

          • 2. Re: Getting the 'Right_Windows key' functionality under VMware Fusion/Boot
            EMR Enthusiast

            Not quite, Andreas. The solution I offered above is valid both for Windows running on VMware Fusion AND for Boot Camp (and I DON'T mean Boot Camp as a VM on Fusion). Your 'solution' might work (I haven't checked it out yet) exclusively for Windows running on VMware Fusion, and I'd be surprised it works consistently across applications. For instance, I strongly believe that, even if Exposé is mapped to a different function key, if I were to press F9 when a WordPerfect X3 window has the focus (on Windows Vista or XP running on Fusion), a popup dialog would appear with font options, NOT the contextual menu for the relevant context of WordPerfect.

             

            Message was edited by:

                    EMR

            • 3. Re: Getting the 'Right_Windows key' functionality under VMware Fusion/Boot
              Andreas Masur Expert

              Yes...granted it does not really assemble the right windows key in all circumstances such as an application who mapped something to the same key. I usually use this in Explorer most of the time to get to the context menu for a file/directory. That seems to be my primary use for the right windows key anyway...may be I just don't know the power of that key...

               

              Edit: While thinking about the above, I am suddenly realizing that you are talking about the right Windows key. Shouldn't this by default only bring the start menu up anyway? Usually there is a third key (menu key) next to the right windows key which shows the context menu of the selected item...and this is to what I actually was referring...needs to use more Windows I guess...

               

              Ciao, Andreas

              • 4. Re: Getting the 'Right_Windows key' functionality under VMware Fusion/Boot
                EMR Enthusiast

                There might be Windows keyboards like the one you say, but I've never seen one like that. I used to have a laptop with Windows XP and, apart from two Ctrl and Alt keys, it also had two Windows keys. Pressing the left one always took you to the Start menu, whereas the right one showed a contextual menu. Before that laptop I had a desktop PC (back in the days of Windows 95 and 98) and the Windows keys acted exactly the same way I'm describing. Perhaps the top-notch computers (or special keyboards manufactured by Microsoft, Logitech, etc.) might have that extra Applications key, but the ones I'm familiar with acted as I describe.

                 

                In any case, even if someone doesn't feel like tweaking the registry as per my advice, nothing much will be lost that you won't achieve by right clicking on your mouse.

                 

                All the best.

                • 5. Re: Getting the 'Right_Windows key' functionality under VMware Fusion/Boot
                  pcatalanuk Lurker

                  Thanks a LOT for the trick, I was feeling so empty without my context-menu-key Especially while working on Visual Studio, there are loads of context menus when you're typing code and it's really useful (like refactor, find reference, etc).

                   

                  Actually, the other user has a point, all Windows keyboards I've seen in my life have BOTH the right windows key and another key with a popup menu drawn. I suppose it doesn't make much of a difference, your tip is working for me flawless.

                   

                  Thanks again! Highly appreciated.