PowerShell help broken on localized versions of Windows


PowerShell help system broken on a localized version of Windows.


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


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.


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.


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:


See this screenshot for details:

Error loading PowerShell help on localized Windows


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

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13 Responses to “PowerShell help broken on localized versions of Windows”

  1. 1 fangelico February 27, 2008 at 2:44 pm

    Nice find , i got that problem when i installed PowerShell V2 CTP.
    Thanks for the solution

  2. 2 ElTendo September 26, 2008 at 8:02 am

    Same problem.
    good work.
    thank you very much.

  3. 3 Matti November 24, 2008 at 3:07 pm

    I have this problem with instalation, but my get-help works properly. What can I do?

  4. 4 Dmitry Sotnikov November 24, 2008 at 3:25 pm


    If you are sure that this is a false alarm you can make the setup skip the check by running it from this command-line:

    msiexec /i PowerGUI.msi SKIP_BROKEN_HELP_DETECTION=1


  5. 5 Matti November 25, 2008 at 9:27 am

    Thanks, it works!

  6. 6 Wolfgang March 1, 2009 at 4:14 pm

    Thank you very much for the fine help. Really most valuable!

  7. 7 Carter Shanklin May 15, 2009 at 10:55 pm

    Hi Dmitry, I got a false alarm on the help detection. This is the first time out of many systems I’ve installed PowerGUI on.

    Nothing fancy, just a fairly fresh XP Pro SP3 system.

  8. 8 Dmitry Sotnikov May 15, 2009 at 11:37 pm


    Could you post this to the PowerGUI.org forum along with your: $host | fl *


  9. 9 V-ctor May 29, 2009 at 6:27 am

    It’s great!!!
    for russian localized version of Windows just copy
    from C:\WINDOWS\system32\windowspowershell\v1.0\en-US\
    to C:\WINDOWS\system32\windowspowershell\v1.0\ru\

  10. 10 unyx March 9, 2010 at 10:25 am

    Thanks for this usefull tip !!!

    great work on this blog too,
    thanks again.

  11. 11 dannyd April 16, 2010 at 10:30 am

    For me was the same warning during the instalation PowerGUI 2.0, after that was the error another.


    Just simply helped to install Windows6.0-KB968930-x86

  1. 1 PowerGUI mit PowerShell 2.0 CTP « Peter’s PowerShell Blog (German only) Trackback on March 12, 2008 at 5:52 pm
  2. 2 Windows PowerShell V2 Community Technology Preview 3 (CTP3) « adrift Trackback on February 9, 2009 at 4:43 am

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The posts on this blog are provided “as is” with no warranties and confer no rights. The opinions expressed on this site are mine and mine alone, and do not necessarily represent those of my employer - WSO2 or anyone else for that matter. All trademarks acknowledged.

© 2007-2014 Dmitry Sotnikov

February 2008

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