Archive for February 22nd, 2008

PowerShell help broken on localized versions of Windows

ISSUE

PowerShell help system broken on a localized version of Windows.

SYMPTOMS

When you try to get help, the following error messages are displayed:

PS C:\> Get-Help Get-PSSnapin
Get-Help : Error loading help content for Get-PSSnapin from file "System.Management.Automation.dll-Help.xml". Details: System.Management.Automation.dll-Help.xml.
At line:1 char:9
+ Get-Help <<<< Get-PSSnapin

SYSTEMS AFFECTED

In my testing, this was reproduced on German Windows XP with PowerShell v2 CTP.

I suspect that the problem affects:

  • All localized Windows XP and 2003 systems with English PowerShell v2 CTP.
  • All localized Windows Vista systems with English PowerShell v1 or v2.

CAUSE

The problem seems to be that PowerShell v1 for Windows Vista and PowerShell v2 CTP for all systems are storing the language neutral (English) help system in the en-US subfolder of the PowerShell folder.

On a localized versions of Windows, PowerShell seems to be looking for a subfolder with its own locale (e.g. de-DE for Germany, ru-RU for Russia, and so on) and does not fail over to en-US if the folder is not found.

RESOLUTION

Apply the language pack for your language so your local version of help gets added to the system.

If the language pack is not available, copy or rename the en-US folder to match your Windows locale. To learn your locale run the following command in the PowerShell prompt:

[System.Globalization.CultureInfo]::CurrentUICulture

See this screenshot for details:

Error loading PowerShell help on localized Windows

REFERENCES AT MICROSOFT

Vote for this issue to be fixed at the Microsoft Connect site.

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© 2007-2014 Dmitry Sotnikov

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