Using PowerShell in a Vista MUI Environment

I came across an issue recently that took a little while for me to resolve, so I thought I would share it in case someone else encounters the same issue.

If you install Windows PowerShell 1.0 on English Vista and then later install a multi-lingual user interface (MUI) language pack for Vista, PowerShell will continue to display help information in English when you use the get-help cmdlet regardless of what language your account is configured to use.  This appears to happen because installing the Vista MUI language pack doesn’t automatically install the appropriate language files for PowerShell (although my understanding of Vista’s approach to supporting a MUI environment indicates it should).

In order to resolve this and get the appropriate language files installed on your computer, you must do the following:

  1. Uninstall PowerShell using an account that is configured to use the same language PowerShell was installed with (in my case, English).
  2. Reboot your computer (I don’t know if this is absolutely necessary but I did it just in case).
  3. Download and install PowerShell 1.0 again.  This time the extra language files will be installed automatically.

In my case I had applied the French MUI language pack for Vista to an English instalation of 64-bit Vista Enterprise when I first encountered this issue.  I also tried numerous times to uninstall PowerShell but at the time I was using an account configured to use French, and this seemed to result in an incomplete uninstallation of PowerShell (although I didn’t get any warnings or errors on uninstall).  I only knew there was a problem when I tried to install PowerShell again and was informed that PowerShell is not compatible with my version of Windows (not a very helpful error in this case).  Regardless, after rolling back to a restore point pre-uninstall of PowerShell and then following the steps above, I was able to resolve this issue and now I can use PowerShell in French in my Vista MUI environment.  Hopefully this will help someone avoid banging their head against the wall while trying to figure out this problem in the future.

Kirk out.

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