Internationally usable keys for SGE passwords

  • Article ID: 103875
  • Updated: 27 Jun 2009

SafeGuard Easy multi-platform 4.5x

Client OS

Windows 2000 Professional, Windows XP

Server OS

Windows 2000 SGE stores "passwords" as scan codes sequences (coordinates of the keys) since at pre-boot time, there are typically no keyboard drivers available.
This means that the well known password 'system' is in fact stored as the scan code sequence (in hex)

1f-2d-1f-14-12-32 at least on a German keyboard

But - if anybody presses the keys with the value s-y-s-t-e-m on an US English keyboard, this creates the scan code sequence:

1f-15-1f-14-12-32 remember: the letters y and z are flipped

If anybody enters the string s-y-s-t-e-m on a French keyboard, then the resulting scan code sequence is again different and will look like this:

1f-15-1f-14-12-27 remember: in France (and in many french-speaking countries) they have the so-called 'azerty' keyboard.

This results in the requirement that internationally usable SGE "passwords" (=scan code sequences) need to be chosen.

What are internationally usable SGE "passwords"?

First of all the company using SGE must be an international company - one that installs SGE in different countries that have different keyboards.

Critical "passwords" would e.g. be administrative passwords that are used for Challenge / Response - when the calling user and the helpdesk person using the response code wizard do not use a keyboard with the same layout. Another situation could be the initial passwords in a general (=international) SGE install config file. The user himself does not have to care for that for his own local password in that respect, since this password is never used on a different machine (with a potential different keyboard layout) than the one where he typed it in.

To avoid problems of this kind please read the information below. It gives an overview of characters that are indeed on the same position on the most common keyboard layouts - and therefore avoid the problem described above if you choose an admin password that consists of a combination of those characters.

Different keyboard layout schemes

On the following pages several different keyboard layout schemes are displayed. This is to find out which characters are on the same physical keys on most of the normally used keyboards.

We identified the following 21 different keys.

Hexadecimal scan code on an ordinary PC keyboardValues printed on the keys

We have even taken a French ‘azerty’-keyboard into consideration. This is why all numbers had to be excluded.

As soon as SGE is used in an international environment, where e.g. certain SGE accounts must be use on a worldwide basis, you must check, that the chosen SGE user IDs and passwords can be entered correctly on all available physical keyboards.

This is imperative, whenever central (=international) SGE accounts are used as Challenge/Response officers working with the response code wizard.

AGAIN: Please remember that in SGE passwords are stored as scan codes.

If you use the abovementioned 21 keys, then the chance that your “password” (better: “key sequence”) is really 'international', is quite high.

How many different “passwords” exist then?

Even if you don’t use the shift key, but only above listed lower case characters, you can create approximately

21 exp. 16 = 1’430’568’690’241’985’328’321

different scan code sequences (=”passwords”). This is app. 2 exp. 70 (= a 70 bit binary value).

Keypad numbers cannot be used when entering passwords in the PBA.

Keywords: Keyboard tastatur sge easy language settings sprache pba winlogon

If you need more information or guidance, then please contact technical support.

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