Windows Server - Windows key seems to be stuck in but isnt?

Asked By RichardThompso on 29-Jan-07 09:53 AM
Hi All,

Interesting problem I am battling with at the moment. I have a couple
hundred users on my servers and all but 1 work ok! We make use of a single
mandatory profile.

This single user has the following problem, during the course of the day
some key combination will be pressed and from then on each time she presses L
it locks her workstation and each time she pushes U utilman.exe is run. The
same with happen if you hold down the Windows Key and L or U.

We initially thought it was her pushing the windows key whilst trying to
type to fast so last week on thursday we sent an IT tech to her desk and
whilst he was sitting there it happened to him. The interesting thing is that
when I remote controller her locked session today and pressed Right Alt + Del
(equivalent of CTRL + ALT + DEL) and cancel the window it comes right.

Has anyone had this problem before? I have replaced the keyboard and the
thin client device already. I have double checked the keyboard layout is

I am lost for ideas?

Kind regards

dragos_ replied on 29-Jan-07 10:06 AM

With StickyKeys, when you press any modifier key (Control, Alt) it remains
active until a nonmodifier key is pressed. This is useful for people who have
difficulty pressing two or more keys at once.
STEP 1: Open the Control Panel folder and double-click Accessibility Options.
STEP 2: Select Use StickyKeys on the Keyboard tab.
STEP 3: Click the Settings button and be sure all the options in the dialog
box are selected. Click OK twice. In the taskbar, you'll see three black
boxes. This shows that StickyKeys is turned on.
STEP 4: Turn StickyKeys off by pressing Shift five times
MCSA Windows 2003 server
RichardThompso replied on 29-Jan-07 10:46 AM
Correct me if I am wrong,

Sticky keys would be controlled via a key within HKCU registry hive. Now the
use of a single mandatory profile would mean that everyones HKCU would be the

Now my question is surely this would be a problem for everyone? The
particular lady battling with the problem works in a team of 10. They all use
the same software all day every day.

Another question, the only way to disable sticky keys permanently would be
if I disabled use shortcut? Is that correct?

Thanks for your quick response.

dragos_ replied on 30-Jan-07 01:00 AM
mandatory profile is on TS, on workstation or both? because the effect of
sticky keys could come from workstation :).
i dont know how to disable permanently.
MCSA Windows 2003 server
Josh Rosenberg [MSFT] replied on 30-Jan-07 01:09 PM
Is it only the Windows key doing this?  And are you using RDP 6.0?  There is
a known issue that will be patched relating to the Win key getting stuck
when Win-L is used to lock the local desktop while the Remote Desktop window
has focus.

A simple, if kludgy workaround is to do one of the following:
1. Don't use Win-L for locking
2. If you use Win-L for locking, make sure a window other than the Remote
Desktop window has focus
3. If you use Win-L while Remote Desktop has focus and this bug arises,
remove focus from the Remote Desktop window and strike the Ctrl key (or Win
key) 6-12 times in quick succession.  When you return to the Remote Desktop
window, that should unstick the Win key.

This bug doesn't happen on every machine; the code is layered so it should
be difficult for keys to get out of sync, but for some machines this occurs
every time Win-L is used, possibly due to a driver issue or interference
from another application hooking the keyboard.

The Sticky Keys thing is another possibility (and the only one I know of if
you aren't using RDP 6.0), but I thought I'd offer this possibility.

Josh Rosenberg [MSFT]
SDE - Terminal Services
Keith Clegg replied on 02-Feb-09 05:23 PM
As per 2 comments on experts-exchange:

We asked MS, they know about the problem but they won't fix it. period.

Sometimes it helps to bash the Windows key or Alt or Ctrl multiple times.

It’s a Remote Desktop 6 bug which Microsoft don’t intend fixing it seems."

However the following did the trick for me:

2. Open new RD but make sure the "Apply Windows key Combinations" is set to "On the remote computer"

3. Now press the Ctrl+Alt+End and lock the computer

4. Log in again and it should work."