I’ve been really, really annoyed by Windows 8 recently (I get a BSOD 80% of the time when I boot, but I don’t have the time to reinstall yet), and one of the issues is the really weird Chinese font support. In Windows 7, a quick and reliable fix to displaying Chinese characters in Explorer and applications is to change the system locale for non-Unicode programmes to Chinese (Simplified/Traditional), through the Regional and Language Options in the Control Panel. While this worked on the first reboot in Windows 8, it stopped working after subsequent reboots – all my Chinese-named files are showing up as blocks.
Been searching on the internet and I finally found a solution – though it seemed kind of hacky.
From what I understand, somehow the font files don’t get loaded correctly on startup in Windows 8 and that caused the corrupted square blocks characters instead of the normal Chinese characters to show up. We want to cache the font, and it seems that placing a file with a Chinese name on the Desktop will make the characters show correctly on reboot. It can be a text file e.g. 华语.txt or even a rename of the Recycle Bin (to contain Chinese characters).
I’ve read that it works with Japanese characters too, so give it a try!