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I'm helping a friend with an old XP laptop. When trying to do something simple like typing "msconfig" in Safe Mode in the User account, the only thing that shows up is "0sc6nf5g". If I log in as admin in safe mode and I type I get "msconfig". Anyway of fixing that without creating a new account?

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Check if NUM LOCK is turned on. On laptops without separate number keypads, keys on the right hand side of the keyboard often do double duty as a numeric keypad.

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Check your KB layout options on the user with the issue. It sounds like it could have been set to an alternative layout.

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