Virtual PC in Europe - Fix for the Dreaded Sticky Ctrl Key Bug!

Virtual PC in Europe - Fix for the Dreaded Sticky Ctrl Key Bug!

  • Comments 43

I know many developers who rely on Virtual PC 2004 these days, both for application compatibility testing purposes and also for beta testing releases of Visual Studio 2005 ("Whidbey") and SQL Server 2005 ("Yukon"). A few colleagues and I have been trying to track down a little issue for some time, and I wanted to share it more broadly outside of Microsoft to see if anyone else has had the same problem.

The problem is this: when you toggle a Virtual PC guest into full screen mode with [Alt Gr]+[Enter], the [Ctrl] key often gets "stuck" down. If you start typing in the guest, you often see funny things happen: the taskbar goes into multi-select mode; some characters don't appear etc. Hitting the [Ctrl] key once resets it and brings you back to normal.

A few of us raised this as a bug with the Virtual PC team, and it turns out to be a problem specific to UK keyboards (and possibly others in Europe). The [Alt Gr] key is effectively the same as pressing [Ctrl] + [Alt] together; when you release it, VPC only toggles off the [Alt] portion of the keystroke, leaving [Ctrl] held down as far as the guest is concerned.

The solution: change the host key to something else on a UK Virtual PC machine. I can recommend [Right Ctrl], since it's not used for anything else. Once you make this change, you'll never again have this problem - toggling to and from full screen works just fine. The bug has been fixed moving forwards too, which is good news.

  • The fix supplied with KB 889677 made my sticky key problem dissapear: http://support.microsoft.com/?kbid=889677
  • I didn't have this problem when I was running English Windows XP on both my machines (client and server) but when we changed to Swedish Windows XP on both machines the [AltGr] problem started (as described above).
  • I tried to set right CTRL as host key. ALT GR didn't work. But then I set HOME as the host key. ALT GR worked...
  • Many thank's. This solved the problem.
  • Thank you so much for this solution,  I had to reinstall one of our machines just because the admin password set during the install all of a sudden did not work when connecting with remote desktop client. This made my day
  • My name is David Bucher. I am using Virtural PC and here is the problem I am having.

    When ever I start this program and begin typing it repeats characters almost uncontrollably. Example: if I try to type in a password i.e. password it does this passsssssssssss when I only depressed three keys. I have looked to make sure my keyboard  is not configured to do this. I would be forever in debt to you if you could help with this solution.

    Please email a response to me at: Davidb17@verizon.net

    thanks for any assistance, it would be greatly appreciated.
  • To get rid of the Sticky Keys.

    If you press the Shift key 5 times consecutively in Windows(R) 2000 or
    Windows(R) XP the following message should appear:

    "Pressing the SHIFT key 5 times turns on StickyKeys.  StickyKeys lets you use
    the SHIFT, CTL, ALT, or Windows Logo keys by pressing one key at a time.

    To Keep StickyKeys on, click OK.
    To cancel StickyKeys, click Cancel.
    To deactivate the key combination for StickyKeys, click Settings."

    To avoid this happening in the future, click the settings button on the window
    referenced above. When the accessibility options screen appears, click the
    "Settings" button in the "Sticky Keys" portion of the window. On the next
    window (should be labeled "Settings For Sticky Keys"), uncheck the box that
    says "Use shortcut", then click on "ok".  Then, click on apply and close the
    window. The problem should not occur once the shortcut has been disabled.

    Give creidt to http://www.gamespot.com/pc/action/callofduty2/download.html?sid=6134353
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  • I had problems with Alt Gr using Remote Desktop Connection.

    Thanks to Alex my problem is now solved:

    In the RDC client before connecting, you expand "Options>>".

    Then switch to "Local Resources" and set "Apply Windows key combinations" to "On the local computer".

  • PingBack from http://paulelso.wordpress.com/2007/08/23/virtual-pc-fix-for-the-dreaded-sticky-ctrl-key-bug/

  • I&#39;ve been using Microsoft Virtual PC product for many years, posting separate VPCs for each client&#39;s

  • I've been using Microsoft Virtual PC product for many years, posting separate VPCs for each client's

  • I&#39;ve been using Microsoft Virtual PC product for many years, posting separate VPCs for each client&#39;s

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