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Can you change Chinese Win 8 PRC to English?

ecbritz

Member
Member
On the last night of Win 8 Pro being available at $40, I got a question about changing the operating system language of a computer fitted with Chinese Win 8 PRC to English. Unfortunately I had done my own last-minute purchase and download of Win 8 (in English), here in China, and had gone to bed. I'm so sorry about this because I got a lot of help at this forum, on the same night.

My computers were bought mostly outside of China. The reason was that it's quite difficult to turn Win 7 PRC or Win 8 PRC pre-installed on a locally bought PC to English. In China, most new PC's are sold with the basic version (not the Professional or Ultimate versions) of Windows pre-installed. This means you have a big problem. You can't change the O/S language to English. Windows 8 PRC can be superficially set to English. But Chinese will pop up at every corner when using the machine. The "core" O/S language remains Chinese.

"English-speaking" PC's with Windows as O/S cost about 20% less in Hong Kong than in the PRC, for the same computer model. A second-class overnight return train ticket between Shanghai and Hong Kong costs around $200. An English Windows DVD in a box might cost you around $500 in China. Through shops in the Computer "Markets" (Plaza's, Bazaars) you can buy a genuine English Win 7 OEM version for around $150-$200.

The best thing is to travel to Hong Kong to buy your new computer, or -- for much the same money -- get someone to install a Win 7 or Win 8 OEM English version of the O/S in China itself. When I last inquired, Win 8 OEM on disks was not available yet.

The question remains what happens when you buy and start to download an English version of Win 8 on a new machine fitted with Win 8 PRC, inside China or elsewhere. If this is possible, it would be one more way, apart from going to Hong Kong or going to your local Chinese "Market" for an OEM disk, to pay a premium of $200. Another mystery question is whether the Product Key of your Win 8 PRC will activate an English version of the O/S if you could somehow get hold of that. I'm curious what would happen if you applied you Win 8 PRC product key to a cracked English version of Win 8, something that will certainly be tried here in China.

Who knows the answers to these questions?
 

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    Windows 8
    System Manufacturer/Model
    Asus S200
    CPU
    Intel® Core™ i3 3217U
    Memory
    DDR3 1333 MHz SDRAM, OnBoard Memory 4 GB
    Graphics Card(s)
    Integrated Intel® HD Graphics
    Country Flag
    China

al4nw31

Member
Member
Have you looked at language registry edits?
Last I heard, they were pretty effective.
Otherwise, I can't help you much, sorry.
Hope I helped anyhow :D.
 

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    Windows 8
    System Manufacturer/Model
    Custom Built
    CPU
    i5-3570K
    Motherboard
    GA-Z77X-UD3H
    Memory
    Corsair Vengeance 4x4GB
    Graphics Card(s)
    Gigabyte nVidia GTX 660 Ti
    Monitor(s) Displays
    Samsung LED
    Screen Resolution
    1920x1080
    Hard Drives
    2TB Western Digital Caviar Green
    PSU
    XFX PRO750W 80Plus Silver
    Case
    Fractal R4
    Cooling
    Stock Fan :3
    Keyboard
    Microsoft Keyboard 5000
    Mouse
    Logitech G9x
    Internet Speed
    ~30Mbits

ecbritz

Member
Member
I don't need help at this point. I had somebody buy me a Win 8 Ultrabook in America, last month, thereby avoiding the usual headaches in China. I don't know what you mean by "language registry edits". All I can tell you, is that there is a way to set the Windows language in Win 8 that does not really help much. The ORIGINAL INSTALLATION LANGUAGE must be English, otherwise the underlying Chinese installation language pops up all over the place. I've been told Win 8 Pro has better language edit functions, but Win 8 Pro is not the version usually pre-installed on new PC's in China. It's all of a bit of a bummer. I don't know why Microsoft subjects its English-speaking customers in China (potentially millions) to such difficulties. No wonder some expats will turn in desperation to cracked copies of Windows in English here (I have not). Why could for instance Lenovo not produce a limited number of Win 8 English computers here and sell them through their many service centres?
 

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    Windows 8
    System Manufacturer/Model
    Asus S200
    CPU
    Intel® Core™ i3 3217U
    Memory
    DDR3 1333 MHz SDRAM, OnBoard Memory 4 GB
    Graphics Card(s)
    Integrated Intel® HD Graphics
    Country Flag
    China

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