Windows Server 2008 Language problems

A few weeks back, we started trialling Windows 10 and were hitting problems with Cortana- certain language settings were fixed on US and Cortana refused to play ball.

I created a Group Policy Preference to force user settings to be in UK and obviously rolled it out to the whole domain- how wrong could it go?

Very. For some weird reason, Windows Server 2008 (just Windows Server 2008- not 2008 R2 or any flavour of 2012) interpreted “UK” as “Arabic (Saudi Arabia)”. We hardly have any vanilla 2008 servers left- I think 3, 2 of which are Citrix servers. So, everyone logging on to Citrix was getting really weird issues; a couple of apps just crashed outright, but one other refused to print but otherwise worked normally. Basic apps work fine- notepad etc- and all other Server 2008 R2 / Server 2012 worked fine, so we just couldn’t work out what was going on. A DOS box would crash doing a ‘dir’ on drives “C:” and “E:”, but worked fine against “D:”

Eventually, Microsoft support- somehow, like magicians- realised the user language was completely wrong. They set the language back to UK across the board and everything started working. Delete the GPP, assign a registry key to affected users to import UK settings into the registry for affected users and gradually everything settled back to normal as the registry key got applied. So, if you’ve got any vanilla 2008 servers left don’t try messing around with language settings as Group Policy Preferences…