My friend asked for help but I was partially able to solve the issue.
He is running Windows XP (don’t know which SP) on Sony laptop .The main OS language is English but now the entire texts including the Welcome sign is displayed in symbols. I went to the Region and language and put a check on “Install complex script and right-to-left language files “ and “files for East Asian languages “. English came back but the font was compressed and very small. Later, everything went back to symbols display.
Need some help !
I have some pictures: