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Translating localized special folders in Vista/W7 back and forth

Jörgen Sigvardsson asked:

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To translate a special folder (C:\Users, C:\Program Files, etc) into its localized equivalent (Swedish: C:\Användare, C:\Program, etc), you can use the Shell32 function SHGetFileInfo().

How do you go about translating a localized path to a "normalized" path?

Normally, you don't have to do this, but there are certain situations where you must do this. In Windows Vista and later, the localized paths are just junction points. These junction points then point to the "normalized" paths, much like symbolic links in Unix. From what I can understand, the junction points are dynamic, and under MUI control. Meaning that one user with a Swedish MUI setting will have a totally different set of paths than a user with a Spanish MUI setting.

I have noticed that if you register a service with a localized path, the service won't start, because the SYSTEM account doesn't share my MUI-settings. When I reregistered the service using the normalized path, it just worked.

I have an algorithm that can do backward translations of localized paths into normalized paths. Unfortunately I feel it's a clumbsy and ineffective algorithm, which is why I'm seeking a better way to do this. There ought to be a system function that can do this for you, but I've yet to find one.

Tags: Windows (Vista, Win2008, Win7, Win2008-R2)

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