I want to share a summary of what I think I learned in finally resolving my problem with tweaking my Win10 registry to keep NumLock on.
Short version: "Fast Startup", a feature in Windows 10 (which is turned on by default during installation of Win10), runs when the Power button is pressed to start the computer. Fast Startup ignores any modifications you made in the Windows Registry file. Pressing Power->Restart after changing the Registry does not run the Fast Startup program but does load your modified Registry file. You will think your Registry changes were successful, but they will disappear when you press the Start button on the case to boot the computer from a powered off state.
If you want to utilized a customized Registry, you will have to live without Fast Startup. Depending on your system, Fast Startup may or may not have a noticeable effect on boot time. To disable Fast Startup, go to: Settings -> System ->Power & sleep ->Additional power settings -> Choose what the Power Buttons Do -> (if necessary) Change settings that are currently unavailable ->Uncheck the box next to Enable Fast Startup.
- After upgrading to Windows 10, the default state of NumLock on my keyboard was set to Off. This was a pain because I use the numbers-only password to unlock the computer and find it easy to use the separate numbers area of the keyboard. I could turn on NumLock by pressing the NumLock key at every start-up, but it would always go back to NumLock->Off after every restart. There is no setting in my BIOS to change NumLock status.
- From researching on this forum and others, I learned that changing settings in the Registry should take care of this.
- After saving the modified Registry and restarting the computer, the NumLock was On at start up. I thought this meant my problem was solved.
- However, when starting the computer by pressing the "on" button on the case, NumLock was back to "off". After repeating the steps of changing the Registry, restarting to confirm the NumLock fix, then later finding NumLock mysteriously unfixed itself, I thought I was going nuts.
- As others on this Forum have reported, the goblin is a Windows' feature called "Fast Startup." Fast Startup promises a faster boot time. Note that "Fast Startup is not the same as "Fast Boot." Here is a link to a great explanation of Fast Startup: Fast Startup - Turn On or Off in Windows 10 - Windows 10 Forums
- Fast Startup was not loading my modified Registry file when I pressed the 'On" button on the computer case to boot the machine boots from a cold start. Pressing Restart does not load "Fast Startup", but does load the modified Registry file.
- In my machine, I discovered that there is no option in the BIOS to change NumLock.
- I dug deep into Windows settings until I found and disabled "Fast Startup". Settings -> System ->Power & sleep ->Additional power settings -> Choose what the Power Buttons Do -> (if necessary) Change settings that are currently unavailable ->Uncheck the box for Enable Fast Startup.
- Sure enough, when I pressed the Power button to boot up the computer, NumLock stayed on. I conclude that pressing the Power On button on the computer loaded the modified Registry file. Every time!
- Since I have the operating system loaded on a Solid State Drive, Windows boots really fast (about six seconds), even with Fast Startup disabled. Although I did not make a quantitative study, I don't believe there was any measurable difference in boot time.
I hope this can help others approaching insanity.