Thursday, May 25, 2006
Posted by Darius Wey in "ARTICLE" @ 12:30 PM
Some of you may be aware of this, and then some of you may not - but dialing an emergency phone number in the keypad of the Windows Mobile Password screen will allow you to make the all-important call without ever unlocking the device. Annoyingly, not all devices ship with global emergency phone numbers pre-programmed, so it doesn't always work. However, there is a way to change that.
In this article, I discuss the act of adding a new emergency phone number with the example of 000 in Australia.
My Pocket PC Phone Edition does not have 000 pre-programmed, so all attempts at dialing 000 in the Password keypad yields a set of masked digits as shown below.
To get around this, all that is required is a registry editor such as Resco Explorer 2005, which is used to make a slight registry modification.
With the registry editor open, navigate to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Security\ECall, and note the presence of a multi-line value called List. Opening this value brings up a list of pre-programmed emergency phone numbers. To add an unlisted number, simply type it in and save the changes (the example of adding 000 is shown below).
Unlike a lot of registry modifications, this one comes into effect immediately, so you don't have to worry about soft-resetting your device.
The next time you type in the newly-added emergency phone number in the keypad of the Password screen, it will no longer be masked, and you will have the option of calling the number simply by hitting the hardware Call button.
A couple of points that I feel are worth mentioning:
• Firstly, while it's possible and tempting to remove numbers that aren't commonly used, I recommend leaving these in for the times when you travel to another country. There's no telling when and where you might need to dial a seemingly trivial emergency phone number, so having them pre-programmed can effectively be a life-saver.
• Secondly, please remember that any registry modifications are done at your own risk.