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Microsoft

Ensuring that your organization acquires and retains the necessary language packs (LPs) and language Features on Demand (FODs) to enable employees to use their Windows 10 devices in their preferred language is a crucial part of managing corporate machines, especially when keeping them up to date with the latest Windows 10 feature updates.

For machines connected directly to Windows Update, we provide a seamless experience to preserve language packs, language FODs, and other resources as part of the feature update process. In on-premises environments where feature updates are deployed via System Center Configuration Manager; however, the process to acquire and retain language packs can be a bit confusing. This blog outlines the various options available to you depending on the flow and the Windows 10 release.

Today, you have three options to update a managed PC to the latest Windows 10 feature update:

  • Servicing: Download the feature update from Windows Update to your local distribution point(s), then trigger PCs to retrieve and install that content.
  • Media upgrades: Download the latest ISO and use a task sequence to retrieve language packs, language FODs, remove apps, etc.
  • Wipe and reload: Create a new custom image, that includes all the language packs and language FODs, then install that image directly on the PC.

This article provides guidance for all three scenarios, and information on how to acquire language pack content once a device is up to date.

Manage Windows 10 updates via servicing (recommended)

Option

Advantages

Drawbacks

Works for

Coming soon: Utilize the Unified Update Platform (UUP), integrated with Configuration Manager and Windows Server Update Services (WSUS)

Automatically acquire and preserve LPs and FODs across feature updates.

No additional work required by the IT administrator.

Not yet available. Stay tuned for availability.

Windows 10, version 1809 and newer

Current servicing flow: During the feature update process, download Dynamic Update Content including LPs and FODs from HTTPS endpoints hosted by Microsoft (e.g. https://fe3.delivery.mp.microsoft.com:443 and https://tlu.dl.delivery.mp.microsoft.com).

Doesn't use the Windows Update client to download Dynamic Update content.

Seamlessly preserves LPs across updates as long as the client device has Internet connectivity.

Will not work for 100% offline scenarios.

(For offline scenarios, the only option is to use config file changes.)

Windows 10, version 1809 and newer

Inject the LPs and FODs directly into the PC by performing the following steps:

  1. Enumerate LPs and FODs that are not part of the base media and acquire them from the LP and FOD ISOs.
  2. Copy the files onto a specific directory.
  3. Drop the WSUS config file pointing to the directory onto the client machine (/installlangpacks).
  4. Install the feature update.

Preserves and updates the LPs and FODs that you choose to preserve.

Extra step required to push content down to the device.

Not all Dynamic Update content can be applied this way (ex. Setup DU cannot be applied using this method).

Any Windows 10 feature update

Manage Windows 10 updates via media upgrades

Option

Advantages

Drawbacks

Works with

Inject the LP content directly onto the device:

  1. Enumerate LPs and FODs that are not part of the base media and acquire them from the LP and FOD ISOs.
  2. Copy the files onto a specific directory.
  3. Kick off the media upgrade with /installlangpacks.

Preserves and updates the LPs and FODs that you choose to preserve.

Extra step required to push content down to the PC.

Not all Dynamic Update content can be applied this way (ex. Setup DU cannot be applied using this method).

Any Windows 10 feature update

During the media update, download Dynamic Update Content including LPs and FODs from a HTTPS endpoint hosted by Microsoft (e.g. https://fe3.delivery.mp.microsoft.com:443 and https://tlu.dl.delivery.mp.microsoft.com).

Doesn't require talking to Windows Update.

Seamlessly preserves LPs across updates so long as the client device has Internet connectivity.

Will not work in a completely offline scenario.

If your organization is not open to it, you will have to use the /installlangpacks option.

Windows 10, version 1809 or newer

Using Dynamic Updates with WSUS

  1. Approve Dynamic Updates - LPs and FODs.
  2. Run the media upgrade without disabling Dynamic Update.

Preserves and updates the LPs and FODs that are on the device.

Requires usage of WSUS.

Does not work with Configuration Manager.

Windows 10, version 1803 and prior

Manage Windows 10 updates via wipe and reload

This option is typically used for machine replacement. You can install the OS without losing user data.

Option

Advantages

Drawbacks

Works with

Create an image by preinstalling LPs and FODs.

You can control LPs and FODs on the device.

Time-consuming and, hence, not scalable.

Any Windows 10 version or feature update.

Acquiring language pack content once a machine is up to date

Beginning with Windows 10, version 1809, once a device has the latest feature update installed, you can still acquire language packs and FODs. Your options are outlined below.

Option

Advantages

Drawbacks

Retrieve only LPs and FOD content from Windows Update. (This does not bring down new quality or feature updates. See configuration details here.)

Disable cleanup of unused language packs by enabling Block clean-up of unused LP Group Policy.

Windows 10 will acquire LP and FOD content from Windows Update even for non-admin user.

Requires connection to Windows Update

Retrieve the needed LP content from the ISO, store the content on a share, and use Deployment Image Servicing and Management (DISM) to install the LP and FOD.

No need for internet connectivity, Admin can acquire language pack and FOD content from intranet.

Requires Admin to manually put LP content on a share and require admin access to install.

Utilize the Unified Update Platform (UUP), integrated with Configuration Manager and WSUS.

Automatically acquire LPs and FOD from the same content that is already on the distribution point.

No work required by the IT administrator.

Not yet available. Stay tuned for availability.

  


Continue the conversation. Find best practices. Bookmark the Windows 10 Tech Community.

Looking for support? Visit the Windows 10 IT pro forums.

 

4 Comments
Occasional Contributor

"Wipe and reload: Create a new custom image, that includes all the language packs and language FODs, then install that image directly on the PC."
- This will change system language to local language and we will loose System being EN-US. For example, this will change Administrators to Järjestelmänvalvojat in Finnish setup.

Occasional Contributor

Is there a method to distribute Language Packs via SCCM Software Update Point, or am I forced to use Microsoft Update or native Wsus for it?

Established Member

Does this mean that Dynamic Updates can no longer be distributed via WSUS when running setup.exe for 1809?

If so, this decision seems very shortsighted on Microsoft's part. There are enterprises with minimal Internet bandwidth that cannot handle the additional downloads from the Internet. We rely on internal WSUS to handle this payload. But now with 1809, we are forced to disable Dynamic Updates with our feature upgrade installations.

 

If the above question is not true, then we are missing something. Microsoft's support is struggling to help us find the answer as to how to re-enable Dynamic Updates via WSUS for 1809. As a result, we remain on 1803 until we can find an answer to this.

Occasional Visitor
"can be a bit confusing" - ARE you joking??? It is total MESS.