MUI: Language Packs – Windows Vista and newer
This document covers some initial steps to take when experiencing issues with Windows Vista/Windows Server 2008/Windows 7/Windows Server 2008 R2 Language Packs (LP).
1. What is a Language Pack (MUI)? Language Pack (Multilingual User Interface Pack) is a set of language specific resource files that can be added to any language version of Windows Vista (Enterprise Edition or Ultimate Edition) or Windows Server 2008 or Windows 7 (Enterprise Edition or Ultimate Edition) or Windows Server 2008 R2. When installed on the local version of Windows, LP 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 LP? Language Packs were introduced in the Windows 2000 timeframe and are available for:
- Windows Vista Enterprise Edition
- Windows Vista Ultimate Edition
- Windows Server 2008 All Editions
- Windows 7 Enterprise Edition
- Windows 7 Ultimate Edition
- Windows Server 2008 R2 All Editions
3. What is Language Interface Pack (LIP)? LIP was introduced in Windows XP, and continues for the Windows Vista and Windows 7 Enterprise Edition and Ultimate Edition clients. It is a high-quality, localized “skin” for emerging or minority language markets, such as Catalan, Lithuanian, and Thai. Based on LP (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 LP (a.k.a. MUI) Unattended install or command line: http://www.microsoft.com/globaldev/vista/vista_tools/vista_command_line_international_configuration.mspx
5. How to configure Language Packs:
In Windows Vista, Windows Server 2008, Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2:
- Open Control Panel.
- Open Regional and Language Options.
- On the Keyboards and Languages tab, Install/uninstall languages…
- Install languages
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 LP (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 LP (MUI) problem?
5. Is the problem occurring on all the Windows Vista or Windows Server 2008 or Windows 7 or Windows Server 2008 R2 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 or 2010 installed?
8. Does the behavior change if you build a new Windows Vista or Windows Server 2008 or Windows 7 or Windows Server 2008 R2 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. If some text is not localized and displayed as English, we need to check the corresponding LP (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, you may carry out the following process:
- Use Process Monitor to check the related .MUI files.
- Check the file build and replace the problematic files.
- Remove the language using the lpksetup.exe tool and reinstall the language to recover all the MUI source files.
16. Is text size or format incorrect? Sometimes you may notice the following problems in the LP (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
boxes. To resolve this issue, please set your UI locale to match your system local and then test.
17. Are question marks (?????) displayed instead of text? 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 LP (MUI) setting problem. You need to modify the Language for non-Unicode applications setting to change system local. If you are using Windows Vista or Windows Server 2008 or Windows 7 or Windows 2008 R2, AppLocale is a good tool to run the non-unicode application without changing system local:
Microsoft AppLocale Utility
18. Windows Update/QFE related issue
If you encounter a Windows Update detection problem with the LP (MUI) system, please reset the UI local to English. Microsoft Update may have difficulty in detecting the correct file version with LP (MUI) enabled. In addition, Microsoft Update cannot work if the Windows Vista, Windows Server 2008, Windows 7 or Windows Server 2008 R2 system has more than 23 MUI languages installed.
1. Please provide an MPS Report with the General, Internet and Networking, Business Networks and Server Components diagnostics or and MSDT report:
- Start, Search, MSDT.exe
- This computer or A different computer
- Enter the “Pass key:” provided by the support engineer.
Or by downloading and running the correct version for your architecture from: http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?FamilyID=CEBF3C7C-7CA5-408F-88B7-F9C79B7306C0. When running the tool, please ensure the boxes for General, Internet and Networking, and Server Components are selected.
2. Run the System Update Readiness Tool (also known as CheckSur)
947821 Description of the System Update Readiness Tool for Windows Vista, for Windows Server 2008, for Windows 7, and for Windows Server 2008 R2
Additionally, please gather the files in C:\windows\Logs\CBS and c:\users\UserProfileName\AppData\Local\Temp\lpksetup-YEARMONTHDATE-HOURMINUTE-0.log
3. 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.
Please see the following knowledge base articles for more information about LP (MUI).
Language Packs in Windows 7
972813 Windows 7 language packs are available for computers that are running Windows 7 Ultimate or Windows 7 Enterprise
What’s New for International Customers in Windows 7
Understanding Language Packs
Available Language Packs
Language Pack Default Values
Add a Language Pack Online
Add and Remove Language Packs Offline
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