Keyboard Layout under Command Prompt



The pc localisation for the machine is Belgian, language is dutch. Keyboard
layout is Belgian azerty.

When we start an older dos application under the command prompt, we only get
the us qwerty layout.
We tried adding keyb be (like it used to be pre-vista), kb16 (read in topic
but to no solution. It doesn't recognise either 'keyb' nor 'kb16' as a valid

Anyone knows how to solve this, or where the kb16 command can be found?


Andrew McLaren

bkortleven said:
but to no solution. It doesn't recognise either 'keyb' nor 'kb16' as a

Bonjour ... pardon, Goede Dag :)

On 32 bit Vista, KB16.COM should be in the %SystemRoot%\System32 directory,
usually C:\Windows\System32. First, verify that the files exist on your
machine (they are installed by default):


Next, test that KB16 runs okay, by entering the command:

C:\Windows\System32\KB16 BE,850,C:\Windows\System32\KEYBOARD.SYS

It should return to a command prompt, with no messages (error, or

To activate KB16 for a DOS application, you need to run it in the same
instance of the NTVDM ("NT Virtual DOS Machine") as your application. On
Windows NT (including 2000, XP and Vista) a DOS application takes its
startup environment from the files C:\Windows\System32\Config.NT and
C:\Windows\System32\Autoexec.NT. So, to activate a code page for a DIOS app,
add the code page commands to C:\Windows\System32\CONFIG.NT and
C:\Windows\System32\AUTOEXEC.NT, the same as you would to C:\CONFIG.SYS and
C:\AUTOEXEC.BAT on a DOS machine.

In CONFIG.NT add to the end of the file:


In AUTOEXEC.NT add to the end of the file:

C:\Windows\System32\KB16 BE,850,C:\Windows\System32\KEYBOARD.SYS

Now to test, open a Command Prompt.
Then run the command "". This will start an instance of the
MS-DOS Command processor.
Run the command "edit", to start the DOS editor.
Try typing in a few words in Edit, to see if the new Belgian keyboard is in

If it doesn't work in Edit, then review the above steps carefully.

If it works in Edit, but doesn't work in your old DOS application, then the
app is not getting its Code Page info from DOS. It may be storing it in a
config file, or the like.

If it works in your application - hey, problem solved! :)

Hope it helps; let us know how you get on.

Met vriendelijke groet!


Bedankt, Dit werkt perfect.

Thanks, it is a great relief. Those old fashioned DOS programs are still
very helpfull. Wouldn't like to miss them.

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