How Do I Get Windows To Display Chinese Characters?
August 6, 2008 11:57 AM   Subscribe

How do I do Windows in Chinese? I don't have the original Windows XP discs, and when I try to install the Chinese characters add-on from MSFT -- the laptop says I need the original XP discs.. do I really need them?

I really just want to be able to view Chinese characters when I visit websites -- instead of boxes and question marks where those characters would normally be. Is my only option to try to find the appropriate discs on eBay? Or is there some other trick that I'm missing?
posted by mhh5 to Computers & Internet (8 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
Yes, the language files are stored on the original XP CD.
posted by wongcorgi at 12:13 PM on August 6, 2008

Best answer: An alternative would be to purchase a program like NJStar Communicator that lets you view and type in Chinese as long as the program is running.
posted by junesix at 5:54 PM on August 6, 2008

Response by poster: I guess I'll take a $50 app as an acceptable alternative to trying to install Windows files. But hopefully NJStar doesn't require Windows fonts -- which I assume are on an installation disc that I don't have.

I'm also thinking maybe I should try to put Ubuntu on a USB flash drive... and just migrate to Ubuntu slowly..
posted by mhh5 at 6:17 PM on August 6, 2008

Best answer: I borrowed my friend's XP disks, and even though that wasn't the copy of the OS installed on my machine, the language files still installed. They didn't ask for the license key number.
posted by bluefly at 7:14 PM on August 6, 2008

Best answer: If it's just the lack of a Chinese font that's preventing you from displaying Chinese, you could try this free font. You won't get the input methods that you'd get if you used your windows disk, but it could be a good quick fix if it works. I'm not sure it will, since I use linux, but they provide a windows installer, so it's worth a try.
posted by benign at 8:11 PM on August 6, 2008

Response by poster: benign,

so.. this is the answer I was sorta hoping for... that I could just install some free chinese font... but.. can I do that without cooperation from Windows?

Hopefully it won't prompt me to "insert the XP installation discs" in order to just install new fonts..

posted by mhh5 at 12:04 AM on August 7, 2008

if the copy of XP on your machine is legit, I would recommend using, erm, online resources to obtain a "backup disc" of XP, just for occasions such as this.
posted by phredgreen at 6:55 PM on August 9, 2008

Response by poster: phredgreen, thanks, but.. I have a legit copy, but I have no idea where the discs are now.. this laptop is like 5-6yrs old now? So I probably trashed the box it came in, along with any OEM discs when I moved.

And I don't want to p1r4te a backup copy.. I don't want to have to worry about whether some sketchy version I downloaded has a worm or malware on it.

But I also don't want to shell out $x00 on a legit copy of XP just to display characters that MSFT thinks shouldn't be in the default installation.. grr.
posted by mhh5 at 5:07 PM on August 14, 2008

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