Non Unicode characters may appear incorrectly on Windows that the selected Locale is different from the Non-Unicode name on file or folder.


The issue happens when copying file or folder (or connecting hard drive) from another computer with different locale (e.g. Japanese).  Programs like Offline Registry Editor that try to read folder names will fail because Windows will not recognize these characters. The folder names that Offline Registry Editor may fail to read, are username folder names (C:\Users\) if usernames are in local language (Non Unicode).

Offline Registry Editor will not load user hives that username folders are unreadable because of non unicode characters.

Example of non-unicode folder name:



To fix this issue, the locale must be set the same as the language of the folders name (same as the computer that these files created).

This example is for Windows 7 and Windows 8.1, on other Windows versions, the steps are almost the same.


Windows 8.1:

Launch Control Panel on Windows 8.1 and Select Clock, Language and Region option.



Click Change location under link under Region section



In the Region dialog, click the Change system locale button under Language for non-Unicode programs.



Now you can change the system locale using Current system locale dropdown list.







Windows 7:

Navigate to Control Panel -> Region and Language



Clicking on the Region and Language link, would display the Region and Language dialog as shown below.



Change System locale option will be available under the Administrative tab and on clicking the button, the following locale selection dialog box would be displayed using which the required locale can be selected.





After selecting correct locale and restarting computer, file and folder names will be displayed correctly and will be readable from all programs like Offline Registry Editor.