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I was given by my company a laptop with Windows XP Professional in Spanish. I would like to translate it to English, since I really DISLIKE to use localized versions of programs. I have read about Windows MUI packs, however you MUST have Windows XP Pro in English in order to translate it to other language, you can't translate it TO English from other language.

Since reinstalling the OS using a Win XP CD in english is not an option (don't have the license nor the CD, and don't have domain privileges to rejoin my computer to the domain), I was wondering what are the essential files that contain localized strings of text. I was doing some research, and apparently explorer.exe has many of the Windows Error Messages and other strings. Will replacing my original explorer.exe with one from Windows XP in English be enough (and work) for having a "basic" english version of windows? Im mainly interested in having error messages, start menu, and the control panel in english. Also, does it HAVE to be the same version as the Service Pack im running?

Besides explorer.exe are there any other essential files that i should try to get and replace?

Do you see any "dangers" in replacing this files with english version ones?

Thanks in advance for your help.

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up vote 3 down vote accepted

Also, does it HAVE to be the same version as the Service Pack im running?

Yeah, pretty much. Post-SP patch level too. And the number of English messages in explorer.exe itself isn't that high; many of the strings you see in the Explorer shell may come from DLLs and other components. Trying to replace those would be a recipe for plenty crashing, and your company being cross with you.

I wouldn't attempt this at all.

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How can translating strings make my system more unstable? – nmuntz Apr 20 '10 at 12:11
There can be other changes in different language versions too, back before MS migrated to MUI as standard in Win Vista. MS used to have to laboriously test every new patch with every different language release (but they wouldn't test mixed languages). – bobince Apr 20 '10 at 13:14

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