|You probably have have something set wrong here....|
. Control Panel - Classic view - Regional and Language Options
(determines which key does what)
Advanced tab - the language (country) in the top box must be set right
Regional Options tab - the language (country) in the top box must be set right.
It doesn't matter what the bottom box has in it for a country, other than it sometimes helps Windows or Internet Explorer determine what to show you that is country specific .
(I'm in Canada, and have set that to Canada)
Languages tab - Details button
....shows you one or more language (country) keyboard layout(s) Windows can presently use. The Default one is shown in bold lettering and is the same as the one in the top box.
In my case I have both English (United States) US, the default, and English (Canada) US, in the list.
In my taskbar, bottom right of the desktop screen, are the letters EN to the left of the < arrowhead on the left of the icons. If I RIGHT click on that and choose Settings, I can make the other keyboard layout the default by selecting it in the top box of the same window. .
....or, possibly, it's set wrong here....
Go to System Information
E.g. Start - Run - type: msinfo32 (click on OK or press Enter.
On the right side of the window, find the line Locale - the country shown there must be correct
E.g. if you use an English keyboard layout, United States or Canada or some other English speaking country.
(I'm in Canada but I have that set to United States since I don't use any keyboard with a Canadian keyboard layout.)
Normally the Locale is determined by settings you leave as their default or change while running XP's Setup, and so are the Regional and Language settings.
If you need to change the Locale ....
"Change the System Locale for Windows XP Note: You must be logged in with an account that has Administrative Privileges.
Click Start > Control Panel.
Double-click the Regional and Language Options icon.
The Regional and Language Options dialog box appears.
Click the Advanced tab.
(If there is no Advanced tab, then you are not logged in with administrative privileges.)
Under the Language for non-Unicode programs section, select the desired language from the drop down menu.
The system displays a dialog box asking whether to use existing files or to install from the operating system CD. Ensure that you have the CD ready.
Follow the guided instructions to install the files.
Restart the computer after the installation is complete. "
You can try choosing to use existing files if the option is offered to you, then you don't need the Windows CD.
If you have a brand name computer that still has it's brand name supplied software installation on it, the \i386 folder and it's contents from the CD may be already on your hard drive and you may not need to insert the Windows CD if that's the only choce offered.
I DO know that some software installation programs that can display in more than one language automatically determine which language to show you while installing the software by what the Locale is set to.
E.g. for Creative or SoundBlaster software for sound cards.
Keyboard type shown and changable here -
(does not change what key does what)
Control Panel - Classic view - Keyboard - Hardware tab
To change keyboard type - Key Settings tab - Change button