One person sent me a PC for some maintenance (physical and software cleaning etc.). I noticed one issue. It has Windows XP Pro with SP2 His name is Jānis (this Latvian name is the same as John in English). He has created a user profile and his documents and Desktop are located in C:\Documents and Settings\Jānis.
As we live close to Russia, some people know Russian better than English, and to be able to play Russian games (which usually are Unicode unaware), people usually set Language for non-Unicode programs to Russian (in Regional and Language settings, Advanced tab).
Of course, this creates some problems for other non-Unicode programs because there is no such letter ā in Russian codepage. Well, we could live with that... but I found out that even Windows itself does not recognize this symbol!
When I download a program to the Desktop and try to launch it, I have usual Windows XP security window popping up and asking me if I trust this file. This popup even shows the publisher info of the file correctly. But now the bad stuff: - the path to the file is wrong in this popup! It says C:\Documents and Settings\Janis\Desktop (notice - ā has become a) and when I click Run to launch the file, I get an error: "The system cannot find the file specified".
It seems weird that Windows has problems launching the files from folders with language-specific characters when the code page does not match, although obviously Windows can read the file fine because the publisher info is shown correctly.
It seems to me, that Windows has some parts left without Unicode support.
Is there any other fix for this except recreating user profile without Unicode symbols? Maybe Service Pack 3 has some fixes for this issue?