Windows Server: Install basic language IME

To install Windows Servers, we usually prepare our images with nLite, add all our required storage drivers, updates and scripts. Using nLite, we can also use our Volume License Key and automate most parts of our installations.

This way, we can provision new virtual machines within minutes from scratch and provide a minimalistic basic Windows Server installation. Unfortunately, I somehow managed only to include the “US International” keyboard layout and had to manually add the standard “Swiss German” keyboard layout (and all other basic keyboard layouts).

Normally, one would change these settings in the “Regional and Language Options” dialogue. Well, that list looked something like this:

As you can see, only the “US International” keyboard layout is available, even when “German (Switzerland)” is selected. Luckily, a quick search turned up this thread in the MSFN Forums, which described pretty much what I needed to do.

So to install the “Swiss German” keyboard layout, I had to reinstall the “Basic Language Collection” of Windows. To do this, execute the following command (rundll32 documentation) as an Administrator:

rundll32.exe setupapi,InstallHinfSection LANGUAGE_COLLECTION.BASIC.INSTALL 00000870 %WINDIR%/inf/intl.inf

Type this in your command line and hit enter:

When executing this command, the installer will prompt for the Windows Server installation media and install the missing keyboard layouts. After the installation, the “Swiss German” keyboard layout is available again:

Well, it has not been the first time I had to fiddle with the keyboard layouts… ;).

Hello world

My name is Simon Krenger, I am a Technical Account Manager (TAM) at Red Hat. I advise our customers in using Kubernetes, Containers, Linux and Open Source.


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