Accidental keyswaps, and other quick questions

Keys swapped
I wonder if you can explain an oddity on my keyboard. On occasions I try to type the pound sign (£) but instead it prints the hash/number sign (#). Also, when I use the hash/number sign, it prints a backslash which is non-existent on my keyboard. The only way out is to leave it until the next day and then things are normal.
Jack Griffiths

You have accidentally switched from the UK to the US keyboard in Microsoft Windows. In fact, you can toggle between the two layouts by pressing Alt-Shift. It's easy to do this by accident so the problem comes up often. If you turn your PC off at night, it will restart with the correct settings, so the problem may appear self-correcting.

Caps Unlock
Is there an easy way to disable the caps lock, which is more trouble than it is worth?
Brian Nicol

You can disable caps lock by changing settings in the Windows registry, but it's a complex one. However, Kelly's Korner provides a tiny Basic program, caplock.vbs, that will do the job. Look for the right-hand entry on row 163: Disable/Enable Caps Lock or the Insert Key.

Mailing lnks
My PC has suddenly started to add a .lnk extension to any attachments that I send by email. Can I reverse this, as the recipients can't open the attachments.
Tom Corby

When you use the menu to insert a file attachment in Outlook Express, you must navigate to select the actual file on your hard drive. As it is, you're send people links to files, but the links only work on your PC, not on theirs. A simpler solution is to use Windows Explorer to find the file then drag-and-drop it into the message. However, Outlook Express is obsolescent: Microsoft replaced it with Windows Live Mail when Vista appeared. The desktop versions synchronises with Live Hotmail and other services, has a photo emailing feature, an RSS reader and many other features. It's part of the much-improved Windows Live Essentials 2011 suite. Think about upgrading.

Registry cleaners
Are registry cleaners/fixers any good at what they do? I've just tried three, including Comodo and CCleaner, and the results are all very different!
Seymour Popeck

I replied to a similar query about registry cleaning last year and I've not had reason to change my views. In fact, they're reinforced by Microsoft's Mark Russinovic, a leading expert on Windows internals (read the comment by Bill Castner). I use CCleaner (free) and I would expect a Comodo product to be OK. The Wise cleaner is also worth a look. However, registry cleaners generally don't make much difference nowadays.

I have a four-year-old Dell D510 laptop. Can you please recommend any good reliable spyware removal software? My preference will be for a freeware if possible.

Most if not all anti-virus programs now try to remove spyware and other types of malware, so there's less need for separate anti-spyware programs. However, if you think your current anti-malware software might have missed something, run the free versions of Malwarebytes Anti-Malware (quick scan) and SuperAntiSpyware. Both programs come in free and paid-for versions.

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