Wednesday, February 18, 2009

XP - Install A Language Pack

Here is one of my more requested tutorials:

How to Install A Language Pack (Win XP)

First go to the start bar, then click on ‘Control Panel’.
This should bring up a new window that gives you access to settings on your system.
This window can actually look like a couple of different things.

If your window looks like this proceed as follows, otherwise proceed further below.
Select “Switch to Classic View”. This makes it a lot easier for more advanced users to find what they are looking for.

Now double click on “Regional and Language Options”.

After that a new window should open. This window displays Regional Options Tab first. This has different currency settings and number systems you can change to. But we don’t care about those. Click on the Languages tab. You should now see a window similar to that below.

This is where we install the language packs. Check the boxes that apply and select ok. The Arabic and right-to-left is 10MB and the others are 230MB, that’s 240MB total. With technology today, most computers have that much space readily available.

The installation will either proceed automatically, or prompt you for the Windows XP CD. DON’T PANIC, If you don’t have a Windows disk, just navigate to the “I386” folder on C: drive, or type in: ‘C:\I386’ most mass manufactured PC’s will have this folder there.

After the installation is complete you may have to restart your computer. You’ll now notice a ‘bar’ at the top of the screen. This is called the “Language Bar”. You can change the options and settings for it later. First lets touch on a couple of things.

The little bar button minimizes the language bar to the task bar.

I often have it down there because I find it annoying to look at. You can change languages by simply clicking on the “EN” part, and selecting the language you would like your keyboard to type.

Let us set up your keyboards now. Go back into “Regional and Language Options”, that’s ‘start’→ Control Panel → “Regional and Language Options” icon → Languages tab.
You should now have the same window as before, but this time lets click on “Details…” button.

This window pops open. Click on the “Add…” button. You will now see this prompt asking you for the language and the kind of keyboard you are using.

Select the appropriate language you would like to add from the first drop down box, and the second box automatically detects your keyboard. If you have a different keyboard select it from the second box and click “OK”.

Some languages, like Arabic, you must know what keys produce what characters. Other languages, like Japanese, automatically detect when you spell the word in English. For example, the word for cat ‘neko’( ねこ ) when typed with hiragana input mode turned on produces the characters ‘ne’( ね ) and ‘ko’( こ ) automatically. One last note, sometimes it is more useful to have the language bar on top as opposed to the task bar. Also note that, If you change programs the system language for that program doesn’t change until you tell it to via the language bar. i.e. If you are typing in Arabic in word, and wanted to do a Google search on an Arabic word, when you open Internet Explorer or Firefox, the language is defaulted to English.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Computer Freezes or Restarts at mup.sys

I just recently fixed a computer with this issue. What had happened was, the computer was restarted while Windows XP was in the middle of loading a system restore point.

After some research I determined that after mup.sys is loaded in safe-mode the computer begins to look at registry entries. And since system restore reverts you registry, the computer would not boot due to registry corruption.

The solution:
Manually do / finish the system restore.
This is easy if you know where the files are that you are looking for. But be very careful, because you can do some serious damage if you don't know what you are doing or don't do it correctly.

There are five different registry files. They are System, SAM, Software, Security, and Default.

The registry files that are loaded are in:

The default registry files from the initial install are in:

And finally System Restore Points are saved in:
[Windows Drive]\System Volume Information\_restore{[GUID]}\RP###\snapshot\

There are a few ways you can restore the system, the easiest one is probably this way:
  • Stick the harddisk into a working computer (NOT recommended if cause was a virus.)
  • Load up windows and go into the new harddisk.
  • Make sure you can see/access system folders.
    (Tools -> Options... View and uncheck "Hide Protected Operating System Files.")
    (For folder access either modify permissions or share the folder.)
  • Go into the system32\config folder and backup the five files in there.
  • Navigate to the desired system restore point folder, and choose the desired restore point folder. These will be by date created. (Usually you want the most recent one.)
  • Copy the files into the config folder and rename them to replace the existing ones. (i.e. SAM, SECUTIRY, SOFTWARE, SYSTEM, and DEFAULT.) Make sure you delete the '.' on default. Naming must be exact.
  • Once you have copied the desired restore point registry files, you can put the harddisk back in the original computer and try booting it again. Everything should be OK.

A more complex method:
  • Boot from the Windows XP CD, and choose 'R' for Recovery Console.
  • Log onto the broken copy of Windows.
  • Use the copy command to back up the files in the config folder.
    cd system32\config
    copy software software.bak
  • Use the copy command to restore the original registry.
    cd ..
    cd ..
    cd repair
    copy software C:\windows\system32\config
  • Once all five registry files have been copied. Restart the system and adjust the clock in the bios to last month.
  • Boot the OS from the harddisk. (Recommended boot in Safe-Mode.)
  • Now navigate to the "System Volume Information" Folder. (see above...)
  • Pick the proper restore point and copy the files into a temporary directory. Remember where this directory is. A good one would be C:\regtemp.
  • Once all the files are copied, reboot and go back into recovery console.
  • Copy the restore point files from the temp directory into system32\config.
  • Reboot and your system should be restored to that restore point.

Note: You may get some errors and some requests to re-activate Windows. You can ignore the errors and just follow the re-activation prompt to do it over the internet. It should re-activate with no issues.