Bad BSOD after adding keyboard layouts

The reason for this posting was this comment (in Bulgarian) by Mladen, where he shares his bad time and also some of his desperation with Windows XP after installing the Bulgarian Phonetic keyboard layout, provided by Injinera.

The problem: Windows starts BSOD-ding after installation of one of the keyboard layouts, downloaded by Injinera’s site. The BSOD happens either immediately after logging on, or if you successfully logon, but try to switch the keyboard layout afterwards.

I had almost the same experience after I installed the same set of files (from the same place), which Mladen installed too. My notebook started to throw BSOD’s in about 50% of the system logons: very, very nasty problem, without any sign of hope there. And because I already trust Injinera as a very correct and stable source, I was sure that the problem should be somewhere else and not in the installed files. The provided files contain anyway only some convertion tables, and nothing more…

During my hard time few months ago, I noticed that if I’m not connected to the corporate network, the BSOD does not appear, or appears much rarely than if I was connected to the corpnet. Initially I suspected that somehow the system does not like the newly installed stuff and while trying to restore itself via the automated System Restore, if ends-up with this bad BSOD. Actually, I managed to have a working machine exactly by logging on without being connected to the corpnet (the notebook was undocked), and after logging on I was docking the notebook back.

Luckuly, during the time being this problem started to appear rarely and rarely (healing, magic – call it as you wish :)), and I almost forgot about it (although I was reminded from time to time by a BSOD in similar conditions at least once a month). However, Mladen’s comment raised this issue back.

I decided to try looking for solution, or at least a clue. After some search through Google, I’m almost confident that I have found the initial source of this problem. I will leave Mladen to experiment and report here :), because I am somehow not ready to risk my current stable situation. Fighting with few angry help-desk guys is not the best way 2005 to begin, isn’t it ;)?

Mladen, take a look here (originally I found this quote from this link, which in general has nothing to do with our problem). However, read carefully:

Based on the info you give … it would seem geoShell is choking on one of your startup items, or vise versa. I reckon it’s probably internat.exe that’s causing the trouble. This does nothing more than display that blue icon (with white text) in the system tray, providing you with a mouse interface to change your keyboard layout. internat.exe uses a “non- standard” method for displaying that icon in the systray (the method is actually undocumented), and it won’t display properly or perhaps even at all under geoShell. Luckily you can still switch layouts via the hotkey (left alt-shift I think.) Try disabling internat.exe and see what happens.

As it seems, this is similar behavior to what we do experience. Maybe it could help?

After some more digging out, I have found this (unfortunately, the only source I have about this is that “it was somewhere in MSDN”, and this is not a good way something to be referred to):

Internat.exe – You can end this process from Task Manager.

* Internat.exe runs at startup; it loads the different input locales
specified by the user. The locales to be loaded are taken from the following
registry key:

HKEY_USERS.DEFAULTKeyboard LayoutPreload Internat.exe loads the “EN”
icon into the system tray, allowing the user to easily switch between
locales. This icon disappears when the process is stopped, but the locales
can still be changed through Control Panel.

I am leaving the experiment to you. Remove internat.exe (rename it in safe or rescue mode) and see what happens. Please, if you find a way to kill the problem – report it here as it could be of some else’s use. I will add more to this article, if there is some progress on that issue.

10 thoughts on “Bad BSOD after adding keyboard layouts

  1. I will see what I can do to test this, but I have a limiter user account on the office XP system and already uninstalled the phonetic layout to assure lack of problems. I have not tried to logon on the machine without network while still having the profile. I am not sure if the user is actually cached and such login can be accomplished. I know that my whole user directory is read and stored on the network.

    What is sure is that if I request administrative permissions (which is not a problem to obtain) and damage the Windows I will have to relay on the HelpDesk to pick it up again in working condition and the reason for going down will be revelaed. Afterwords follows a slow and painful conversation with few guys, and if I am lucky death. If not my PC will be put for permanent monitoring, if not already.

    As I mentioned I do use a “solution” which to some extend works for me. The solution is a locally based webpage (which could be placed on the net also) with text field and while typing a JavaScript “remaps” the keyboard layout. Nothing fancy, just usefull especially on PCs without permission to install software freely.

    My personal knowledge on Windows programing is quite limited, but last wednesday of 2004, as a rebelion act I run a program called “ghost it” in the office. This small application makes/marks/sets one or more Windows/aplications transperant. And now, while writing this post I got this idea that there could be some application for “keyboard remapper” (instead of ghosting windows) which to remap the keyboard layout for all windows “set/chosen” to work with the keyboard remapper. Maybe such application alredy exists.

    And something more, I got the problem with the hanging Windows when I tried to use the hotkey combination to switch profiles, and NOT when using the mouse. So the small blue box does not seem to cause the problem. But what was mostly strange, and Doncho is reffering to, was that although Bulgarian Phonetic was not default layout the System hang while trying to log into my profile. With the Bulgarian – BDS layout, which comes with Windows the system works OK.

    I guess there is an official way to submit to Microsoft the phonetic layout or at least to make them implement one of their own. I guess it is already time for such measure. Probably 75% of the people, and more than 95% of those under 35 years of age use only Phonetic. And a marketing idea here – there are no keyboards with Bulgarian – Phonetic layout 😉 I always wоnder where is Ю on some keyboards 😉

    I noticed (long time ago) that there is some Bulgarian – Latin, which to me seems just like EN. Probably it is my fault buy I did not know that there is Latin Bulgarian Alphabet. No one thought me about that at school.

  2. OK, I understand… Too bad that you cannot try this, but that’s life :).
    I cannot say anything about this “ghosting”. If you find something – drop a line, it sounds interesting.
    What I can say is about inclusion of the Phonetic layout into Windows. AFAIK, Microsoft will not do this unless there is an official Bulgarian standartization for this layout. And also AFAIK – there are no current serious intentions for doing this. Too sad :(…

  3. I came accross the same problem. The company is using a cetralized administration tool called NetInstall (similar to Geoshell probably). If you add the needed dll file for the phonetic keyboard layout from an administrator account and login to the network through another administrator accout – everything is OK. But if you try to log in through non-admnistrator account, XP restarts. Probably the problem is that the owner of the dll file is the administrator accout and non-administrator accounts do not have the needed permissions to use it. If you try setting the proper permissions for the file, the problem might be solved. Unfortunately the company decided to buy a commercial product (they wanted to be sure they are not using unlicensed software), so I don’t really know will this work.

  4. Unfortunately, the problem still persists. From time to time, after I login, when I try to switch the layout I get an immediate BSOD :(.

    The probability to get it is higher if the computer is loaded at the moment (but I can get it also some times if there is no load).

    However, if the first “layout switch” goes well, the BSOD will never appear. It may appear only on the first try to switch.

  5. Hi, I have been having exactly the same problems as you describe when switching between English and Nepali keyboards when logged onto our corporate network. The work around of logging on while disconnected and then connecting after logon seems to work but is a bit of a cludge. I only use the keyboard short cut to switch between keyboards so inactivating the internat.exe will not be useful. Over the last 12 months since the last post has anyone come up with any real solutions??
    Thanks
    Mark

  6. @Mark: Actually, I found another Bulgarian layout, which does not cause any trouble whatsoever, so I’m using it since then.

    It seems the bug appears only with _some_ layouts. Unfortunately, I cannot say when and why it does appear. What I could advise you is to try finding another Nepal layout or design your own one using [Microsoft Keyboard Layout Creator](http://www.microsoft.com/globaldev/tools/msklc.mspx).

    P.S. By the way, while searching for the Keyboard Creator link, I found this [interesting page regarding keyboard layouts](http://scripts.sil.org/cms/scripts/page.php?site_id=nrsi&item_id=inputtoollinks). Could be useful for later reference…

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