Windows 8 and 8.1 Forums


Strange characters in file Properties instead of numbers

  1. #1


    Posts : 5
    Windows 8 Home

    Strange characters in file Properties instead of numbers


    Hello.

    I am using a Dell laptop with Windows 8 Home. The file Properties show strange symbol-type characters where there should be numbers etc. See Screenshot...

    Click image for larger version

    It's been like this for a while and I have probably installed half a dozen programs etc. so I don't know what did it. I don't want to upgrade to v.8.1 as it took me ages to get a 3rd party Start button set up and 8.1 over-writes it I rolled back to a previous image of v.8.0 (True Image not System Restore).

    Can somebody please enlighten? Many thanks.

      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  2. #2


    Posts : 2,130
    Windows 8.0 x64


    Did you make any changes already that did not work? Reset default system fonts? Restore Point? It saves time if the guessing game can be avoided.

    It does seem strange that only the time portion of the time/date stamp is weird though.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  3. #3


    Posts : 5
    Windows 8 Home


    Hi MilesAhead,

    Thanks for answering. Yes, strange the time stamp and not Size etc. is affected.
    I have reset fonts to default with a reboot to no avail.
    The earliest restore that is without these weird characters is March 2013 and that's no good as I might as well reinstall at that point.
    This character problem has existed for a while, more than 6 months I guess.
    Antivirus scans are clean.
    All Region and Language settings are correct, however the time is weird in Date and Time (the minutes count correctly i.e. 47 here). See picture...
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails clock-time.gif  
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  4. #4


    Posts : 2,130
    Windows 8.0 x64


    What is the default font by the way? In the US I have been able to skate by without really tackling Unicode issues. Have you tried looking at the font that is the current font? Not all fonts implement Unicode.

    In any case I would look at some of the fonts you have available to see if they might be good for replacement. As I say I'm not up to snuff on Unicode. Perhaps someone else may chime in. Or perhaps this FAQ may give some guidance:
    FAQ - Fonts and Keyboards

    It could be that the system font file got corrupted. You might search for a download to replace it or use another font altogether.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  5. #5


    Posts : 5
    Windows 8 Home


    Thanks for the link and advice. I have successfully changed the default font a number of times using regedit...

    HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\FontSubstitutes\MS Shell Dlg (2)

    But the characters are still there... 埒曼 in file properties, etc.

    However, the 'Restore default font settings' does not work in...

    Control Panel\Appearance and Personalisation\Fonts\Font settings

    The 'OK' button is always greyed out after I click 'Restore default font settings'.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  6. #6


    This happened to me recently, though I'm not able to be of much help as I can't remember where on the system I observed it or how it was resolved. If something jogs my feeble brain into remembering, I'll repost.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  7. #7


    Posts : 2,130
    Windows 8.0 x64


    I don't know what to suggest other than to try some of the free True Type Fonts downloadable from Softpedia - Free Downloads Encyclopedia.

    Whenever I saw Chinese looking characters when working with subtitles it was because the specified font wasn't on my machine or was corrupted. But most subtitle programs only work with Ascii. With Unicode I'm a bit out to sea.

    Edit: Just searching TTF should bring up a bunch. Then you can set the search filter to only display the free ones.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  8. #8


    Posts : 5
    Windows 8 Home


    Someone suggested looking in Date and Time settings. Problem solved.

    Control Panel\Clock ->
    Language and Region ->
    Date and Time ->
    Change Date and Time ->
    Change Calender Settings ->
    Customise Format ->
    Reset button (Restore system default).

    Click image for larger version
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  9. #9


    Posts : 2,130
    Windows 8.0 x64


    Glad you got it fixed.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

Strange characters in file Properties instead of numbers
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