Japanese fonts displaying incorrectly in Windows 7

Hi everyone,

I've been having this really frustrating problem for a very long time now and can't seem to find a way to permanently fix it. The problem is that Windows 7 doesn't display Japanese fonts and instead just displays squares.

I've tried deleting the font cache and letting Windows rebuild that. Worked for about 2 restarts and then the fonts weren't being displayed anymore.

I've tried changing the system locale (for non-unicode programs). That fixes it but I get yen symbols instead of forward slashes in file paths, as well as other symbols being replaced. It isn't ideal.

Creating a new user account seems to fix things but I'm the only one that uses my computer so having another account and having to select my own account on login is annoying. I haven't tested this extensively so I don't know if it's a permanent fix or just temporary like the other fixes.

I have the Japanese keyboard added as well as Microsoft IME.

I've found that just restarting a few times normally gets the fonts to display correctly but most times that I boot up the fonts aren't displayed correctly.

Windows 7 Pro 64bit (had the same problem in 32-bit W7 Pro)
i5-2500k @ 3.3 GHz
Programs where fonts don't display correctly: uTorrent, Foobar, windows explorer

And before someone mentions language packs and the Ultimate version of 7, no, I don't want to change my input language. I would just like to display Japanese. This can, and has been, done in the professional version.
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  1. I'm having the exact same problem and it only seems to have started fairly recently. In my case however, the file names and headings on web page tabs become squares (where their should be Japanese) but the page or document itself seems normal. Is this the same on your system?

    Restarts fix it for me as well.

    Windows 7 Home Premium 64bit
    16GB RAM
    i7-2600k @ 3.4 GHz
    Programs where fonts don't display correctly: windows explorer (file names), Google Chrome (tab name only, page displays correctly)
  2. I can't remember if the text in the tab also failed to display properly. I normally restarted my computer in anger when I saw the fonts weren't displayed. I do remember that I've never had a problem with text on web pages though.

    It doesn't seem to be occurring as often for me. I have no idea what's changed though.

    I've tried everything I could find on the internet and nothing's fixed this problem. I'm beginning to wonder if it's not a Windows bug.
  3. I've only recently noticed it to be honest. I've been trying to think of what I may have changed on my system that could be causing it and two things come to mind. A few months back I (finally) upgraded to Office 2010 from Office XP. Also, a couple months ago I switched over to Chrome as my main browser. Those are the only new programs I've installed since the trouble began (that I can think of).

    I've also replaced my keyboard (with the same 104 key US layout, but adding Japanese IME to my input languages). Though I'm pretty sure the trouble had begun before that.

    I know that doesn't help either of us but I thought the additional information might be of help if / when somebody else comes across this post.
  4. Same problem, got the same workaround re: additional user account from MS...

    I usually log out and back in, since that works most of the time and is less stressful for the hardware than rebooting...

    I reinstalled Windows, and it worked for a while, until I started installing programs. I tried uninstalling certain less essential programs, and it would only work maybe half the time, so I gave up and just installed everything I wanted.

    Windows 7 Ultimate 64bit
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