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Windows 7: Master Tutorial for creating own "third party" theme


16 Aug 2010   #1

Windows 7 Ultimate 64 bit, Mac OS X 10.6
 
 
Master Tutorial for creating own "third party" theme

We are not talking about changing the wallpapers, changing the taskbar color , saving it and calling it “custom theme”; its about how to create excellent looking third party theme also known as “Visual Style”.

You must need some tools, in order to create a custom theme.

1. Resource Hacker. Go to the Resource Hacker Page to download.
2. System File Replacer by xuliikoo in Deviant Art. Download it here.
4. Adobe Photoshop CS5 or higher or any other powerful image editing software.
5. Imagination and creativity.
6. Good source of free high quality photographs to set as wallpaper , or you can create some in Photoshop.

For 64 bit: you have to edit two dll files or exe files for one mod (in System32 and syswow64 folder). Never try to edit only the files in System32 alone. for 64 bit.
For 32 bit: you have to edit only one set in System 32.

Now, come to the main topic, how can a theme, that totally looks different than default themes can be made?

1. You must know, which files are associated with which function, mainly we will alter icons, so, its a bit easier.

2. In some cases, you must start your work over a Aero style (default) theme. This is summary:

C:\Windows\Resources\Themes\theme1
—- theme1.msstyles
—- Shell
—- MUI folder
- C:\Windows\Resources\Themes\theme1.theme

3. Copy

c:\windows\resources\themes\aero\aero.msstyles

to desktop. Create another copy and keep it in secure place in case of any mess up.

4. Copy the dll files and keep it in properly named folder. For 64 bit, better to copy the syswow64 folder dll files separately rather than copying system32 files.

5. Replace the bitmaps by using Resource hacker; save them.

6. Replace with original dll with your moded one using System File Replacer.

7. Restart after each dll replacement.

Some resources:

1. To Change Toolband background color in Windows Mail :

Open aero.msstyles in restorator2007 , find out the image #682.

2. To Change background of the menubar :

Open aero.msstyles in restorator2007 , find out the images 671, 680, 972 and 973.

3. To Make the Start Menu fully transparent :

You need UxStyle patch applied for this.

1. Revert to Windows Classic theme in Righclick desktop -> personalization.

2. Disable UAC in the Control Panel.

3. Take ownership of the

C:\Windows\Resources.

4. Copy the AeroX folder and the AaeroA.theme into

C:\Windows\Resources\Themes.

5. Revert back to Aero in Rightclick desktop -> personalization.

6. Go to

C:\Windows\Resources\Themes, and click the “AeroX.theme”.

The transparent startmenu should appear right away,
and you can customize the theme and aero file now.
But mind, this is a complete theme, so if you don’t like it, a lot of modifying will be necessary.

4. To Change explorer folderband background and text colors:

Copy aero.msstyles to your desktop.
Open it in restorator.

These are the images to be changed :

891 -> folderband background
892 -> help and preview buttons background (on the right)
893 -> “arrange icons” button background (on the right)
894 -> “arrange icons” arrow background
895 -> “arrange icons” arrow

the original images can be colorized and such, or replaced by custom made
images, anyway the aero look will stay.

When saving, don’t forget to take ownership and rename the original file before replacing.

5. Many icons are in imageres.dll (%windir%\system32), you can change them.

6. ddores.dll (%windir%\system32) : Resource for volume\sound related icons.

7. display.dll (%windir%\system32) :Images and icons for display properties in windows

8. shell32.dll (%windir%\system32) :Icons in the system. Contains also folder icons for the open\save dialogs in explorer.

9. explorerframe.dll (%windir%\system32) :For images as the back and forward buttons at the top of open windows.

10. imageres.dll (%windir%\system32) :For most icons in the system and logon images. Lots of folder icons.

11. systemcpl.dll (%windir%\system32): Windows genuine advantage image in system properties panel.

12. themecpl.dll (%windir%\system32) :More icons and images in display properties.

13. timedate.cpl (%windir%\system32): the clock that shows in time properties.

14. wmploc.dll (%windir%\system32) :Windows media player icons & resources

15. netshell.dll (%windir%\system32) :Network Connections Shell icons

16. ieframe.dll (%windir%\system32) :Internet Explorer Browser icons & resources.

17. actioncenter.dll & actioncentercpl.dll (%windir%\system32) :Icons & resources for actioncenter.

18. To Change the icons in the Control Panel (x86 and x64):

This can only be done in an administrator account.
You should use a 256×256 pixel .ico (icon) files to have the best support
for all icon view sizes.

1. If open, close the Control Panel.

2. Open the Start Menu, and type regedit in the search line and press enter.

3. If prompted by UAC, then click on Yes.

4. In regedit, navigate to

HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\CLSID

and continue to the location of the Control Panel icon in the table below
for the one that you want to change.

Action Center –> {BB64F8A7-BEE7-4E1A-AB8D-7D8273F7FDB6}\DefaultIcon
Administrative Tools –>
{D20EA4E1-3957-11d2A40BOC5020524153}\DefaultIcon
Autoplay –> {9C60DE1E-E5FC-4of4-A487-460851A8D915}\DefaultIcon
Backup and Restore –> {B98A2BEA7D42-4558-8BD1-832F41BAC6FD}\DefaultIcon
BitLocker Drive Encryption –> {D9EF8727-CAC2-4e60-809E86F80A666C91}\DefaultIcon
Color Management –> {B2C761C6-29BC-4f19-9251E6195265BAF1}\DefaultIcon
Credential Manager –> {1206F5F1-0569-412C8FEC-3204630DFB70}\DefaultIcon
Date and Time –> {E2E7934B-DCE5-43C4-9576-7FE4F75E7480}\DefaultIcon
Default Programs –> {17cd9488-1228-4b2f88ce4298e93e0966}\DefaultIcon
Desktop Gadgets –> {37efd44d-ef8d-41b1-940d-96973a50e9eo}\DefaultIcon
Device Manager –> {74246bfc-4c96-11d0-9bef-0020afgb0b7a}\DefaultIcon
Devices and Printers –> {A8A91A66-3A7D4424-8D24-04E180695C7A}\DefaultIcon
Display –> {C555438B-3C23-4769-A71F-B6D3D9B6053A}\DefaultIcon
Ease of Access Center –> {D555645E-D4F8-4c29A827-D93C859C4F2A}\DefaultIcon
Folder Options –> {6DFD7C5C-2451-11d3-A299-00C04F8EF6AF}\DefaultIcon
Fonts –> {BD84B380-8CA2-1069-AB1D-08000948F534}\DefaultIcon
Getting Started –> {CB1B7F8C-C50A-4176-B604-9E24DEE8D4D1}\DefaultIcon
HomeGroup –> {67CA7650-96E6-4fDD-BB43-A8E774F73A57}\DefaultIcon
Indexing Options –> {87D66A43-7B11-4A28-9811-C86EEE395ACF7}\DefaultIcon
Internet Options –> {A3DD4F92-658A-410F-84FD-6FBBBEF2FFFE}\DefaultIcon
Keyboard –> {725BE8F7-668E-4C7B-8F90-46BDB0936430}\DefaultIcon
Location and Other Sensors –> {E9950154-C418-419eA90A-20C5287AE24B]\DefaultIcon
Mobility Center –> {5ea4f148-308c-46d7-98a9-49041b1dd468}\DefaultIcon
Mouse –> {6C8EEC18-8D75-41B2-A177-8831D59D2D50}\DefaultIcon
Network and Sharing Center –> {8E908FC9-BECC-40f6-915B-F4CAOE70D03D}\DefaultIcon
Notification Area Icons –> {05d7b0f4-2121-4effbf6b-ed3f69b894d9}\DefaultIcon
Parental Controls –> {96AE8D84-A250-4520-95A5-A46A7E3C548B}\DefaultIcon
Performance Information and Tools –> {78F3955E-3B90-4184BD14-5397C15F1EFC}\DefaultIcon
Personalization –> {ED834ED6-485A-4bfe-8F11-A626DCB6A921}\DefaultIcon
Phone and Modem –> {40419485-C444-4567-851A-2DD7BFA1684D}\DefaultIcon
Power Options –> {025A5937-A6BE-4686-A844-36FE4BEC8B6D}\DefaulIcon
Programs and Features –> {7b81be6a-ce2b-4676a29e-eb907a5126c5}\DefaultIcon
Recovery –> {9FE63AFD-59CF-4419-9775-ABCC3849F861}\DefaultIcon
Region and Language –> {62D8ED13-C9D0-4CE8A914-47DD628FB1B0}\DefaultIcon
RemoteApp and Desktop Connections –> {241D7C96-F8BF-4F85-B01F-E2B043341A4B}\DefaultIcon
Sound –> {F2DDFC82-8F12-4CDD-B7DC-D4FE1425AA4D]\DefaultIcon
Speech Recognition –> {58E3C745-D971-4081-9034-86E34B30836A}\DefaultIcon
Sync Center –> {9C73F5E5-7AE7-4E32-A8E8-8D23B85255BF}\DefaultIcon
System –> {BB06C0E4-D293-4f75-8A90-CB05B6A77EEE}\DefaultIcon
Taskbar and Start Menu –> {0DF44EAA-FF21-4412-828E-260A8728E7F1}\DefaultIcon
Troubleshooting –> {C58C4893-3BE0-4B45-ABB5-A63E4B8C8651}\DefaultIcon
User Accounts –> {60632754-c523-4b62-b45c-4172da012619}\DefaultIcon
Windows Cardspace –> {78CB147A-98EA-4AA6-B0DF-C8681F69341C}\DefaultIcon
Windows Defender –> {D8559EB9-20C0-410E-BEDA-7ED416AECC2A}\DefaultIcon
Windows Firewall –> {4026492F-2F69-46B8-B9BF-5654FC07E423}\DefaultIcon
Windows Update –> {36eef7db-88ad-4e81-ad49-0e313f0c35f8}\DefaultIcon

5. In the left pane, right click on DefaultIcon and click on Permissions.

NOTE: This (steps 5 to 7) is to take ownership of the DefaultIcon key.
It is required.

6. Click on the Advanced button.

7. Click on the Owner tab, select Administrators (highlighted in blue below),
and click on OK.

8. At the top, select Administrators (highlighted in blue below),
then check the Allow box for Full Control and click on OK.
NOTE: This just allowed you (administrator) full permission to make
changes to the DefaultIcon key in step 9 below.

9. In the right pane of the DefaultIcon key in regedit,
right click on (Default) and click on Modify.

10. Type in the full path of the custom icon that you want to use instead
of the default icon, then click on OK.

NOTE: If you move or change this icon’s location that you used in this
step, then the icon will no longer work in the Control Panel until you
change the path again to the new location.

11. Repeat steps 4 to 10 to change another default Control Panel icon.

12. When done, close regedit and open the Control Panel with small or
large icons view to see your changes.

19. To Change explorer folder icons (x86 and x64):

you have to manually change them in “imageres.dll”, located in the
system32 folder.

1. Make a copy of it to your desktop.

2. Open it in Restorator.

3. In the section “icon” on the left, go through the icons,
and re-assign every folder icon you need replaced with
your custom folder icons.

4. when done, “save”.

5. Take ownership of the original imageres.dll file in system32 folder.

6. Replace with your modded file.

7. Reboot

The library icons are located at 1002, 1003, 1004 and 1005.
But they can be changed also be changed like this :

1. Set folder options to show hidden files and folders.

2. In Windows Explorer, navigate to:

C:\Users\(User Name)\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Windows\Libraries

3. Open Notepad

4. Drag the Library icon (from step 2) that you want to change into the
blank Notepad and drop it. (See screenshots below)

NOTE: Libraries are .xml files, so they can be edited in Notepad.
These are the default entries for the Libraries.

- Documents default- <iconReference>imageres.dll,-1002<\iconReference>
- Music default – <iconReference>imageres.dll,-1004<\iconReference>
- Pictures default – <iconReference>imageres.dll,-1003<\iconReference>
- Videos default – <iconReference>imageres.dll,-1005<\iconReference>

5. When using a custom icon of yours :

A) Look for the <iconReference>path to icon<\iconReference> line.

NOTE: If this is a new Library that you have created,
then the line will not be there and you will need to add the
<iconReference>path to icon<\iconReference> line directly under the
<isLibraryPinned>-1<\isLibraryPinned> line entry.

B) In Notepad, substitute path to icon to the full path of the custom icon
that you want to use for the default Library icon instead.

C) Go to step 7.

6. To use another Windows 7 Icon :

A) Download and install the free program IconViewer.
NOTE: Be sure to download the correct 32-bit or 64-bit version for your
Windows 7.

B) In Windows Explorer navigate to the .exe (ex: for program icons) or .dll
(ex: Windows 7 icons) file that contains the icon that you want to use
for the default Library icon, then right click on the file,
click on Properties, and the Icons tab.

NOTE: The most common Windows 7 icons come from the
C:\Windows\System32\imageres.dll file.

C) Look for the <iconReference>path to icon,-icon#<\iconReference> line.

NOTE: If this is a new Library that you have created,
then the line will not be there and you will need to add the
<iconReference>path to icon,-icon#<\iconReference> line directly
under the <isLibraryPinned>-1<\isLibraryPinned> line entry.

D) In Notepad, substitute path to icon to the full path of the file that
includes the icon you want from step 6B, then substitute icon# with
the icon number under the icon you want from step 6B.

NOTE: If the file that includes the icon you want in step 6B is in the
C:\Windows\System32 folder, then you will just need to type in the
file name instead of the full path.

7. In Notepad, click on File and Save, then close Notepad.

You can also alter the default “open” folder icon in Registry :

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\Shell Icons

Just add a new string value “4″ (if it is not present yet).
Doubleclick it, and enter the path to your custom icon,
or let it refer to an icon you want in imageres.dll or shell32.dll.

The most important dll files containing icons are :

shell32.dll -> Windows Shell Common Dll (306 icons)
imageres.dll -> Windows Image Resource (218 icons)
wmploc.DLL -> Windows Media Player Resources (208 icons)
netshell.dll -> Network Connections Shell (164 icons)
mmcndmgr.dll -> MMC Node Manager DLL (129 icons)
moricons.dll -> Windows NT Setup Icon Resources Library (113 icons)
ieframe.dll -> Internet Browser (105 icons)
compstui.dll -> Common Property Sheet User Interface DLL (101 icons)
DDORes.dll -> Device Category information and resources (81 icons)
pnidui.dll -> Network System Icon (59 icons)
imageres.dll and shell32.dll contain most of the explorer folder icons (shell32.dll has the folder icons for open/save dialogs).
20.

C:\Program Files\Common Files\microsoft shared\ and C:\Program Files\Microsoft Games

You will get the default games.
This the starting, not the end!


You can get more resources written by xuliikoo in Deviant art; available in Pdf format.Download here.

The entire article has been collected over the internet, written in one place.
As I have no prior intention to write here, I just copy pasted the resources in Word and saved them. Whoever has any contribution, please contact us, We will mention your name and website\blog\forum link.


Read more: http://thecustomizewindows.com/2010/...#ixzz1JfBPD5IY
Under Creative Commons License: Attribution Non-Commercial No Derivatives
Original source: The Customize Windows


My System SpecsSystem Spec
.

16 Aug 2010   #2

Windows 7 x64
 
 

A nice read. Now I need to install my Restorator!!
My System SpecsSystem Spec
16 Aug 2010   #3

Windows 7 Ultimate 64 bit, Mac OS X 10.6
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Lasy B View Post
A nice read. Now I need to install my Restorator!!
Thanks mate! Problem is that, Restorator is premium
My System SpecsSystem Spec
.


16 Aug 2010   #4

Windows 7 x64
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by nokian73me View Post
Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Lasy B View Post
A nice read. Now I need to install my Restorator!!
Thanks mate! Problem is that, Restorator is premium
Yeah, I know, had a play on my mates, liked it, bought it.
Was bricking it wouldn't work on 64 bit but seems OK.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
16 Aug 2010   #5

Windows 7 Ultimate 32 bit
 
 

Very done! A good, clear write up.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
16 Aug 2010   #6

Windows 7 Home Premium 64bit
 
 

Nice. I know little about this stuff so it helped answer a few questions.

Thanks.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
16 Aug 2010   #7

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Windows 7 Pro 64 SP1
 
 

Nice Job! Good enough to be stickied.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
16 Aug 2010   #8
Arc

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Windows 7 Home Premium 64 Bit SP 1
 
 

Congrats, Abhishek !! You are doing great work here .
My System SpecsSystem Spec
16 Aug 2010   #9

Windows 7 Ultimate 64 bit, Mac OS X 10.6
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by CarlTR6 View Post
Very done! A good, clear write up.
Welcome mate!
Unfortunately, I could not add the pdf files materials, its copy protected, does not allow copy paste

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Wishmaster View Post
Nice. I know little about this stuff so it helped answer a few questions.

Thanks.
Welcome mate. Now you can do it One dll per day...it will take time, but you will not be messed up. BTW, choose the icons' size as close possible to default.

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by derekimo View Post
Nice Job! Good enough to be stickied.
Welcome friend! Thanks goes to Shawn for making it sticky

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Arc View Post
Congrats, Abhishek !! You are doing great work here .
Whats a great appreciation mate! I am very glad.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
16 Aug 2010   #10

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Windows 7 Home Premium x64 SP1
 
 

Very good Abhishek, 2 thumbs up!

A Guy
My System SpecsSystem Spec
Reply

 Master Tutorial for creating own "third party" theme




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