For language settings, Walmart ain't all that; 7-Eleven is what gets it done!

by Michael S. Kaplan, published on 2009/09/01 10:01 -04:00, original URI:

The question from Alex Ewing was:

Hi Michael,

I've read a number of your posts regarding the automated installation of supplemental language support on Windows XP but I have a question.  I can't seem to get the same exact languages by using my unattend.txt as I get when I click the checkboxes in the Regional and Language settings GUI.  Here's what my unattend.txt file looks like:

LanguageGroup = 1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10,11,12,13,14,15,16,17

I want to get everything exactly as you get when you check the checkbox with the GUI, not just one or two or a handful of languages.  Is there a good way to get this?

Thanks for your time,
Alex Ewing

The answer to this one has its roots where I first described language groups, back in that blog from 2005 (Language groups -- the vestigial tail of NLS).

You see, the whole language group concept, those 17 groups, were eliminated in XP and Server 203 and replaced with three categories:

  1. East Asian languages (basically ideographic scripts e.g. Chinese)
  2. Complex script languages (e.g. Thai, Hebrews, Indic, Arabic script)
  3. Everyone else the system supports

Looking at which group is in each category:

  1. Japanese, Korean, Traditional Chinese, Simplified Chinese
  2. Thai, Hebrew, Vietnamese, Indic, Georgian, Armenian
  3. Western Europe, Central Europe, Baltic, Greek, Cyrillic, Turkish

Of course category 3 is always there now, installed.

And if you install any one of the language groups in one of the other categories, the whole category is installed.

This is not really mentioned in Q289125, but it is still quite true.

So while you can do that "LanguageGroup = 1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10,11,12,13,14,15,16,17" thing, it is just as effective for an XP/Server 2003 install to just use "LanguageGroup = 7,11" kind of thing instead.

And from there if you have any doubts then looking at How to REALLY handle the unattended version of Regional and Language Options for info on logging what is happening so if anything is happening incorrectly, it will tell you what.

Who'd have thought it would all come down to 7-Eleven? :-)

Eh? on 2 Sep 2009 4:12 AM:

But shouldn't listing all the language groups still work? The original question seems to be saying that even if all the language groups are listed, only some of the languages get installed.

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