Backslash doesn’t work in VMware ESXi when installing Windows

Backslash doesn’t work in VMware ESXi when installing Windows

Just today I had to remotely configure a new VM on a virtual host running VMware ESXi 6.0. No problem, I thought, have that running in a jiffy. However when I fired up the Windows installation process I couldn’t use the \ key to finish the deployment of the image. Each time my sweaty digits jabbed the backslash key I was given a #.

This appears to be more than just a keyboard layout issue. I could enter the ascii code for a backslash (092) but that too gave me a hash key. Another option, using ALT and <, gave me nothing at all. The rest of the symbol keys were equally messed around.

vmware hash symbol example

The result of my furious bashing of the backslash key

Here’s my quick fix.

  1. From the Actions menu in the VMware web console window, choose the French (Swiss) option. This will return the backslash key. However it will also change the rest of the layout, so just use it to enter the backslash and then return it to normal.
    VMware keyboard layout options

    Choose the French Swiss layout

  2. Et voila! The backslash is returned. Be sure to return back to English before you type the password.
    VMware backslash key

    And the backslash key is now working


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Oliver Marshall
Oliver works as Head of Sales at a leading provider of IT services to the education sector. Out of hours he's a runner with a limp, has a board game addiction and a owns a dog that looks like a badger.
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