MUI: Windows 2000 / Windows Server 2003 / Windows XP

MUI: Windows 2000, 2003 and XP


This document covers some initial steps to take when experiencing issues with the Windows 2000/Windows Server 2003/Windows XP Multilanguage User Interface (MUI).

1. What is MUI? The Multilingual User Interface Pack is a set of language specific resource files that
can be added to the English version of Windows 2000, 2003 or XP. When installed on the
English version of Windows, MUI allows the user interface language of the operating
system to be changed according to the preferences of individual users.

2. What versions of Windows are supported by MUI? MUI was introduced in the Windows 2000 timeframe and is available for:

  • Windows XP Professional

  • Windows XP for Tablet PC

  • Windows XP Embedded

  • Windows Server 2003 Family

3. What is the Language Interface Pack (LIP)? LIP was introduced in Windows XP. It is a high-quality, localized “skin” for emerging or minority language markets, such as Catalan, Lithuanian, and Thai. Based on MUI technology, LIP provides the desktop user with an approximately 80% localized user experience by translating a reduced set of user interface elements. LIP is installed on a licensed copy of Windows and a fixed base language.

4. How to install or update MUI:


a. Unattended install or command line

246010 Unattended or quiet mode setup for Windows 2000 Multilingual version;EN-US;246010

325856 How to specify regional and language settings for an unattended

installation of Windows MultiLanguage Version in Windows Server 2003;EN-US;325856

885481 List of Setup command-line parameters for Tablet PC Edition 2005 MUI Pack;EN-US;885481


b. How to install service pack for MUI systems

Service Pack Release Notes for Windows Multilingual User Interface (MUI) Version


c. Important update for Windows XP Service Pack 2 Multilingual User Interface


841625 An update is available for the Windows XP Service Pack 2 Multilingual User

Interface Pack;EN-US;841625

883921 An update is available for Language Interface Packs and Multilingual User

Interfaces to improve support for Windows XP Service Pack 2;EN-US;883921


5. How to configure MUI: Open Control Panel. Open Regional and Language Options. On the Languages tab, set Language used in menus and dialogs.

Scoping the Issue:

There are a few important questions that will help determine the exact nature of the problem.

1. If the problem is not related to display, set Menus and dialogs back to
English, verify if the problem can be resolved. If no, the issue is probably not
related to MUI and we need to troubleshoot it as a normal system problem,

2. When did the issue start, and were any changes made that seemed to trigger it? i.e. did the problem start after another software installation or update?

3. How often does it occur?

4. Are there any events in Event viewer related to the MUI problem?

5. Is the problem occurring on all the Windows XP or Windows Server 2003 based systems?

6. Does the behavior change if you create a new OU and block policy inheritance?

7. Does the behavior change if you don’t have Office XP or 2003 or 2007 installed?

8. Does the behavior change if you build a new Windows XP and do not join to the domain?

9. Which languages are having the issue?

10. What are the specific steps taken to reproduce the problem? For absolute clarity, these steps can be recorded with Community Clips , or the taking of screen shots.

11. Does the error affect a brand new user account on the system, or the local Administrator account? Some problems are specific to a single user profile, or restricted users only.

12. How many systems are experiencing the issue?

13. Is this isolated to a small number of machines, or a single machine?

14. Does the issue occur if the system is booted in Safe Mode, or if you follow the Clean Boot procedure?

15. Some text is not localized and displayed as English

16. If some text is not localized and displayed as English, we need to check the corresponding MUI source files. When the .mui files are missing or damaged, text is displayed in English. When a version mismatch occurs, the .mui file is not used, and text is also displayed in English. To resolve this kind of issue, we may follow the process

17. Incorrect text size or format
Sometimes you may notice the following problems in the MUI systems
Buttons on dialog boxes are partially or completely obstructed from view
Garbled characters in the error message
Dialog boxes are incorrectly formatted
This issue can occur because shared control libraries such as Comctl32.dll take the
UI locale into account when they read the properties of common control dialog
To resolve this issue, please set your UI locale to match your system local and
then test.

18. Question Marks (?????) are displayed

When you see question marks instead of readable text, be it in a document or in an application or dialog box, chances are good that your system locale differs from the one matching the document or application. Actually, it is not a MUI setting problem. You need to modify the Language for non-Unicode applications setting to change system locale. If you are using Windows XP or Windows 2003, you can use the AppLocale tool to run the non-unicode application without changing the system local.

19. Windows Update/QFE related issue

If you encounter Windows Update detection problems with the MUI system, please reset the UI local to English. Windows Update may have difficulty in detecting the correct file version with MUI. In addition, Windows Update cannot work if the Windows XP system has more than 23 MUI languages installed.

Data Gathering:

1. Please collect an MPS Report by downloading and running the correct version for your architecture from: When running the tool, please ensure the boxes for General, Internet and Networking, and Server Components are selected.

2. Use Process Monitor Log to check the related .mui files

3. Check the file build and replace the problematic files
. Remove the language using Muisetup.exe and reinstall the language to recover all
the MUI source files

4. Clean Boot / Safe Mode / Autoruns: Some application problems only happen with certain combinations of software running on the system. If you find that disabling Startup items or services allows the application to function properly, then you can utilize a divide and conquer approach, re-enabling half of the items during each test, to determine the piece or pieces of software that are causing the issue.

Additional Resources:

Please see the following knowledge base articles for more information about MUI.