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Windows Vista Multilingual User Interface Step-by-Step Guide

Windows Vista Multilingual User Interface overview

This document provides instructions for building a custom multilingual installation of the Microsoft® Windows Vista® operating system. You can use the steps provided in this guide to become familiar with new and updated Multilingual User Interface (MUI) features and technologies available in Windows Vista.

noteNote
It is recommended that you first test the steps described in this Step-by-Step Guide in a lab or test environment. This guide is not intended as a deployment guide for Windows Server® 2008 or Windows Vista features, and should be used with discretion as a stand-alone document.

Who should use this guide?

This document is designed for IT professionals and deployment specialists who are responsible for deploying Windows operating systems in an organization.

Multilingual User Interface scenario

The MUI scenario is designed to provide hands-on practice with new tools provided with Windows Vista that are being used by IT professionals building custom installations of the operating system. The customizations addressed in this scenario include adding language packs and configuring international settings.

When you have completed the steps in this scenario, you will have a working lab environment that includes a workstation computer for deployment tools, a valid answer file, and a custom Windows image that contains a language pack and the correct configuration for international settings.

In addition, you will gain a basic understanding of the MUI tools provided in the Windows Automated Installation Kit (Windows AIK) and you can experiment with various modifications of the basic MUI scenario using Windows AIK.

For more information about the new MUI technology and features in Windows Vista see the Additional references section.

In this document

Tools and technologies

A set of new and updated tools and technologies is available to support global deployment of Windows Vista in the organization. The tools required for completing this scenario are available as part of the Windows Automated Installation Kit (Windows AIK). For information about downloading the Windows AIK, see the Windows Automated Installation Kit (WAIK) User's Guide for Windows Vista (http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkID=53552).

 

Name Description

Windows System Image Manager (Windows SIM)

The tool that enables you to create answer files (Unattend.xml) and distribution shared resources or to modify the files contained in a configuration set.

Answer file

A text file that scripts the answers for a series of graphical user interface (GUI) dialog boxes. The answer file for Windows Setup is usually known as Unattend.xml. You can create and modify this answer file by using Windows SIM or the CPI APIs.

Distribution shared resource

An optional set of folders containing files used to customize Windows Vista through an unattended setup answer file. You can use Windows SIM to create distribution shared resources. The distribution share folder must contain at least one of the following folders: $OEM$ Folders, Out-of-Box Drivers, or Packages.

Catalog

A catalog (.clg) is a binary file that contains the state of the settings and packages in a Windows image.

Language pack

A package containing files, fonts, and other resources that are localized for the given language. Language packs are named Lp.cab.

Package Manager

A command-line tool used to add Windows packages, such as service packs, security updates, and language packs, to an offline Windows image file.

International Settings and Configuration tool (Intlcfg.exe)

A command-line tool that changes the language, locale, fonts, and input settings in a Windows image.

Lang.ini

A configuration file used during Windows Setup. Lang.ini contains a list of available language packs, the locations of the language packs, and the default language to use during Windows Setup. To modify Lang.ini, use the International Settings and Configuration tool (Intlcfg.exe).

Windows Preinstallation Environment (Windows PE)

A minimal 32-bit operating system with limited services, built on the Windows Vista kernel. Windows PE is used to preinstall and deploy Windows operating systems.

ImageX

A command-line tool that captures, modifies, and applies installation images for deployment in the organization.

Windows Setup

The program that installs the Windows Vista operating system.

System Preparation tool (Sysprep.exe)

A tool that facilitates image creation and prepares an image for deployment to multiple destination computers.

Windows image

A single compressed file containing a collection of files and folders that duplicate a Windows installation on a disk volume.

Windows Vista is built and distributed as a single image with the new Windows imaging (.wim) file format. The .wim file format can contain multiple images, enabling you to package several custom installations into one file. Windows Vista is released as a multiple SKU image.

Requirements and prerequisites

This guide assumes that you have a working knowledge of common desktop deployment technologies and networking components.

To complete this scenario and the procedures in the examples, you need:

  • A Windows Vista product DVD.
  • The Windows AIK, including accompanying documentation and the Windows AIK Help file, Waik.chm. For information about downloading the Windows AIK, see the Windows Automated Installation Kit (WAIK) User's Guide for Windows Vista (http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkID=53552).
  • A workstation computer, on which you will install the Windows AIK. This computer must be running Windows XP or Windows Server™ 2003, and must include a DVD writeable drive, a network adapter, and a working network environment.
  • A master computer, on which you will install a customized installation of Windows Vista. This computer must include a DVD-writeable drive, a network adapter, and a working network environment. There are no software or operating system requirements for this computer.
  • A floppy disk or Universal Flash Device (UFD), such as a USB memory key.
  • Blank, writeable DVD media.

Step 1: Building a lab environment

You will define and build a custom installation containing the language packs in a lab environment. For the scenario in this document, your lab environment should consist of two computers: a workstation computer and a reference computer.

To create a lab environment
  1. Assemble two computers: designate one as the workstation computer and the other as the master computer.

  2. Ensure that your reference computer has a DVD-ROM drive, network adapter, and a floppy disk drive or USB support.

  3. Install the tools on your workstation computer by downloading the Windows AIK from the Windows Automated Installation Kit (WAIK) User's Guide for Windows Vista (http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkID=53552) and following the setup instructions.

  4. On the workstation computer, create the directory (folder) you will need during the command-line steps of the process. You will need a folder on the workstation computer to serve as a mount point for the Windows image (for example, C:\Wim_mount).

Step 2: Copying a language pack to a distribution

To build a multilingual image of Windows Vista you must have access to each of the language versions you plan to use. The simplest way to create an installation of Windows Vista that supports multiple languages is to copy the contents of the Windows Vista DVD to a folder on your workstation computer and then install the language packs to that distribution.

To copy a language pack to a Windows Vista distribution
  1. On your local workstation computer, create a folder to contain the Windows Vista distribution, such as C:\Windows_distribution.

  2. Copy the entire contents of the Windows Vista DVD to the distribution folder.

  3. Remove the Read-only file attribute from the files that will be modified.

  4. From the Windows Vista DVD for the language you are installing, browse to the Langpacks folder. For example, if your DVD-ROM drive is D, insert the language-specific Windows Vista DVD and browse to D:\Langpacks.

  5. Copy the language pack (Lp.cab) and its parent folder to the Langpacks folder in your distribution. For example:

    Mkdir C:\windows_distribution\Langpacks\de-DE
    Copy D:\Langpacks\de-DE\lp.cab C:\windows_distribution\Langpacks\de-DE
    
  6. Copy the license files and Setup resources for the language pack to the distribution folder. For example:

    Xcopy D:\Sources\de-DE\* C:\windows_distribution\Langpacks\de-DE /cherkyi
    
  7. Use ImageX to mount the Install.wim image from your distribution folder. This is required to configure the international settings and create the answer file in later steps. Browse to your ImageX folder in the Windows AIK, typically C:\Program Files\Windows AIK\Tools\x86. Use a command similar to:

    Imagex /mountrw c:\windows_distribution\Sources\install.wim 4 c:\wim_mount
    
  8. Recreate the lang.ini file to include the settings for the new language. Whenever you add or remove a language pack to a Windows Vista installation you must run intlcfg.exe to recreate the lang.ini file. For example:

    Intlcfg -genlangini -dist:c:\windows_distribution -image:c:\wim_mount -all:de-DE
    
  9. Unmount the Install.wim image to commit the changes. For example:

    Imagex /unmount /commit c:\wim_mount
    

If you plan to add more than one language to your distribution, repeat Steps 4 through 6 for each language. You can run Intlcfg.exe once to recreate the Lang.ini file after all language packs have been added, and then unmount the Install.wim image and commit the changes.

Step 3: Configuring international settings in an answer file

Default language and locale settings can be specified for Windows Setup by declaring those values in an answer file. The answer file can provide this information for both manual setup and deployment scenarios depending on your needs. There are two components that control this information for Windows Setup:

  • The Microsoft-Windows-International-Core component contains settings that you can customize during the specialize and oobeSystem configuration passes.
  • The Microsoft-Windows-International-Core-WinPE component specifies the language and locale settings during the windowsPE configuration pass. You can also change the Setup UI for Windows Setup using this component.
noteNote
Applying language and locale settings in the Microsoft-Windows-International-Core-WinPE component can avoid an extra computer restart during Windows Setup.
To configure international settings in an answer file
  1. Locate the language packs to be installed to your distribution.

  2. Add one or more language packs to your distribution as described in Step 2: Copy a language pack to a distribution, earlier in this guide.

  3. In Microsoft Windows AIK on the Start menu, click Windows System Image Manager (Windows SIM).

  4. In the Windows Image pane, expand the Components folder.

  5. In the Components folder, right click <architecture>_Microsoft-Windows-International-Core-WinPE and then click Add Setting to Pass 1 windowsPE, where <architecture> represents the processor architecture you are creating the file for, such as x86.

  6. In the Answer File pane, select the Microsoft-Windows-International-Core-WinPE component. The available settings will be displayed in Properties to the right of the Answer File pane.

  7. In Settings, click InputLocale and enter the locale settings to use for user input. The string value for this setting can be either the language identifier if you plan to use the default locale settings for the language, or it can be the hexidecimal identifier pair for language and locale. For example, to identify English and US language and locale settings you could type either en-US for the default, or 0x0409:0x00000409.

  8. In Settings, click SystemLocale and enter the locale settings that the operating system will use as its default for ANSI (non-Unicode) applications. The value should be the language identifier, such as en-US.

  9. In Settings, click UILanguage and specify the default language to be used for all menus, Help files, and dialog boxes. The value should be the language identifier, such as en-US.

  10. In Settings, click UILanguageFallback to specify the language to use when the default language does not contain specific localized resources. For example, Arabic is an 80% localized language pack for Windows Vista. For the resources that are not included in the Arabic language pack, the fallback language could be either English or French. The value should be the language identifier, such as en-US.

  11. In Settings, click UserLocale and specify the language code that will define the user locale settings. These settings define the default format applied to information such as dates and money. The value should be the language identifier, such as en-US.

  12. In Settings, expand the Microsoft-Windows-International-Core-WinPE component.

  13. In Answer File, click SetupUILanguage.

  14. In Settings, click UILanguage to specify the language code for the language to be used during Windows Setup. The value should be a language identifier such as en-US.

  15. Save the answer file. If you will be adding the answer file to a DVD-based distribution and installing manually or running Windows Setup from a network shared resource, name the answer file Autounattend.xml and store it in the root folder of your distribution such as C:\Windows_distribution.

Answer files can be used automatically by Windows Setup if they are named Unattend.xml. If you plan to include actions such as disk partitioning to your answer file, use the name Autounattend.xml. Settings specified in Autounattend.xml will be applied during the windowsPE configuration pass before files are copied to the hard disk.

Autounattend.xml is most typically used when running Windows Setup from the Windows Vista DVD and providing the answer file on a separate USB flash device.

Step 4: Changing the language of Windows Setup

The language used during Windows Setup can be changed using the UILanguage setting described in the previous section, but you must also provide the files for the license and dialog resources. To do this, you must extract the files used by Windows Setup from the Lp.cab file for the particular language you want to use.

To change the language used by Windows Setup
  1. Locate the language pack (Lp.cab) you intend to add to Windows Setup.

  2. Extract the contents of the language pack using Expand.exe. Expand.exe is found in the Windows AIK, Windows OEM Preinstallation Kit (OPK), and in a Windows Vista installation. For example:

    Expand.exe C:\LPs\es-ES\lp.cab -f:* C:\LPs\es-ES\extracted_files
    
  3. Create a folder in your Windows distribution for the language files that will be used by Windows Setup. Language files for Windows Setup are stored in the Sources\<language> folder, where <language> is the language code, such as en-US.

  4. Locate the setup folder inside the folder structure you extracted in step 2.

  5. Copy the setup folder from the extracted files to your distribution folder, for example:

    Xcopy C:\LPs\es-ES\extracted_files\setup\sources\es-ES\* C:\windows_distribution\Sources\es-ES\ /cheryki
    
  6. Copy the language-specific license files to your distribution folder. For example:

    Xcopy C:\LPs\es-ES\extracted_files\sources\license\* c:\windows_distribution\sources\license /cheryki
    
  7. Mount the Windows Vista Install.wim from your distribution. For example:

    Imagex /mountrw C:\windows_distribution\Sources\install.wim 4 C:\wim_mount
    
  8. Use Intlcfg.exe to recreate the Lang.ini file. For example:

    Intlcfg -genlangini -dist:c:\windows_distribution -image:c:\wim_mount
    
  9. Unmount the Install.wim image and commit the changes. For example:

  10. Imagex /unmount /commit c:\wim_mount

You can use the defaultlang option with Intlcfg.exe to set the default language for Windows Setup. For more information about Intlcfg.exe, see the Windows Automated Installation Kit (WAIK) User's Guide (http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkID=53552).

Deploying custom language images

The procedures in this document describe how to install multiple languages in Windows Vista and how to customize the language options for Windows Setup. After you have a completed distribution (including all languages you plan to deploy), there are different options for deploying that distribution.

  • Provide access to the modified Windows Vista distribution through a network shared resource.
  • Create a DVD distribution customized with your selected language packs.
  • Install a single master computer and then capture an image of that computer with Imagex.exe. For more information about capturing a Windows Vista image, see the Windows Automated Installation Kit (WAIK) User's Guide for Windows Vista (http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkID=53552).

Additional references

  • If you are a beta tester and a member of the special Technology Adoption Program (TAP) beta program, you can also contact your appointed Microsoft development team member for assistance.
  • For more information about deployment, including step-by-step procedures about capturing an installation image, storing the image on a network shared resource, and deploying the image onto new hardware, see the Windows Vista Deployment Step by Step Guide (http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkId=66066).
  • For more information about the Windows AIK, see the Windows Automated Installation Kit (WAIK) User's Guide for Windows Vista (http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkID=53552).
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