Desktop | Mobile
Wednesday, January 30, 2008, 04:03 PM JST
Posted by Yanto Suryono
In previous article I listed several problems I found when I changed my Vista Home Premium language from Japanese to English by manually installing english mui files. After some time experimenting, I managed to solve almost all the problems. Yes, almost all.

Let's go through my list once again:


  1. Help system does not work. The help window just crashed and refused to start.

  2. Windows defender can not be started.

  3. Windows update window is blank with one or two icons and it is disabled.

  4. Windows sidebar does not open gadget browser when "add gadget" is selected (clicking the plus button or starting from context menu)

  5. When log on, Vista reported that it failed to connect to the Event Notification Service and that this prevents normal users (non-administrators) from logging on.



After several failed attempts, I ended up writing a perl script which I ran in Linux (with write access to my Vista NTFS partition) to parse all .manifest files came with the language pack and copy resource files to their destination folders. This way, I ensured that (hopefully) all files are transferred to their prescribed location correctly, bypassing windows protection. I ran the script, rebooted back to Vista and viola... problems no. 2 and 5 solved.

Then I looked into the manifest files again. Whoa, they also contains instructions for manipulating the registry ! This time I would rather not to create script to manipulate the registry. It is just too dangerous. Instead, I did grep on all registry manipulation instructions and analyze them.

I found out that most of registry keys to be added are meant for the help system. However, there are just too many of them to add manually, so I ran regedit and saved

HLKM\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Assistance\Client\1.0\Namespaces\Windows\ja-JP

key (and its values and sub-keys) to a .reg file. Then I edited the file, replacing ja-JP with en-US and merged it back to my registry. The help system now works and problem no. 1 solved !

About problem no. 4, I suspected that this is due to Vista update that replaced both sidebar.exe and sidebar.exe.mui and/or sbdrop.dll.mui, and since the language pack contains resources prior to the update, some functionalities just won't work. My search led me to the windows update KB943411, which patches the sidebar vulnerability. I then downloaded the english Windows6.0-KB943411-x86.msu file and extracted it with:

expand -F:* Windows6.0-KB943411-x86.msu .
expand -F:* Windows6.0-KB943411-x86.cab .


A lot of files and folders are created and one of them are the updated english resources folder.

Finally, copying sidebar.exe.mui and sbdrop.dll.mui to Vista sidebar en-US mui directory solved problem no. 4

The problem related to Windows Update (no. 3) persists and I have not found solution for it yet. But as I wrote previously, may be this is a good thing indeed, since it will prevent you from updating the Vista in the wrong language settings, which may lead to an unstable system. If anyone has experience solving this problem safely, please share.

So far, I am quite happy with my current Vista state but I suspect I will have a lot of trouble when it is time to update the Vista to SP1.

Good luck.


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