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Windows 7: Skinning non-aero capable desktop


04 Aug 2009   #1

Win7 Pro 32-bit, Win8 Pro 32-bit
 
 
Skinning non-aero capable desktop

Apologize if this has already been answered, but I have a tablet PC with the infamous Intel 915 chipset -- which does not support Aero. The salient scores from the WEI for my box are: Desktop performance for Aero 1.9, 3D .. graphics performance 1.0.

So I bought and installed Windowblinds 7 beta, and confirmed it works great on the same box in Vista (it's a dual-boot with Vista and Seven). But it does not work in Seven. I only get windows classic with WB installed and Basic without it. I've posted on the Stardock forum, even sent email to Stardock support, but no one's come up with any solutions.

I've look through some of the skinning threads here, and it looks like you need Aero working to use the patches. I'm not eager to start patching system files if it's known in advance that such changes won't work.

So, does anyone know if the uxtheme-associated patches will work on a non-Aero capable machine? Has anyone tried this and confirmed it?


My System SpecsSystem Spec
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04 Aug 2009   #2

7600 x86
 
 

a visual style is defined by an .msstyles file. the default style, aero.msstyles, includes both the aero interface and the light blue basic style. both can be skinned the same way, and the uxtheme patches should work fine on non-aero systems.

there are not many basic style mods out there. i saw a pack on deviantart yesterday that had a bunch of colour variations, but that's about it. most visual styles that are currently available to download will change the aero style, but the default style will stay intact. give it a few more weeks though, and more skins will start showing up. i've yet to see a really nice one, like some of the xp/vista skins that come out these days. i can't wait for a nice shiny dark glass skin!

anyway, as for patching, get uxtyle. it works in memory, so no system files to mess with. it's free.

UxStyle - no more patching.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
04 Aug 2009   #3

 
 

If your hardware isn't up to support Aero, there is little much you can do to get it working. I can't recommend patching any system files, as I have seen too many people hose their systems by doing so.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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04 Aug 2009   #4

Win7 Pro 32-bit, Win8 Pro 32-bit
 
 

Garbanzo:

Thanks for the info and the link. I'll give it a try.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
04 Aug 2009   #5

7600 x86
 
 

here is the colour pack i mentoined. it turns out it just skins the taskbar and start menu. author mentions window borders are 'coming soon'. this was just posted a week ago, so keep an eye on it.

Windows 7 Basic Replacement by ~UntitledGame on deviantART

anyway like i said, in a few weeks things will pick up.

though i hope you get your windowblinds issue sorted! i'm not going to commit to WB just yet, by next spring i bet there will be lots of amazing WBs out there for 7, and i'll probably upgrade then...
My System SpecsSystem Spec
04 Aug 2009   #6

Win7 Pro 32-bit, Win8 Pro 32-bit
 
 

Garbanzo:

Thanks again.

I installed the file and confirmed that the Unsigned Themes service is running. I downloaded a theme from DeviantArt (Pristine -- not the one you mentioned), expanded the archive, and copies the files into the Resourced folders and rebooted the machine.

I've confirmed that the Unsigned Themes service is running but when I go into Personalization and look at the themes, there's no mention of Pristine.

So, is there a forum anywhere that you can recommend that I can peruse to see how this is done? I don't want to take up this forum with my personal theme problems.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
04 Aug 2009   #7

7600 x86
 
 

it's not going to show up in Personalization under themes. just double-click the .theme file itself, and the associated .msstyles file should be applied.

this is why i prefer AveStyler. it does basically the same thing as UxTheme, but it actually has a GUI, and it shows live previews of the theme you're about to apply. the only difference: AveStyler costs 3 euros...
My System SpecsSystem Spec
04 Aug 2009   #8

Win7 Pro 32-bit, Win8 Pro 32-bit
 
 

I did that (to the Pristine theme) and got an error popup saying "This theme can't be applied to the desktop".

So, if I understand what you said earlier, I have to hunt for Basic-specific themes, right. The vast majority of themes out there, I would imagine, are Aero-specific themes.

I'd just like to get a theme working with UxStyle. I found their website and read through most of their posts, and no-one said anything about using Basic themes. So, maybe it simply doesn't work unless you're using Aero.

Also, I looked at the Windows 7 Basic Replacement archive you linked, and it looks like it will patch the uxtheme file -- which I'd rather avoid for now.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
04 Aug 2009   #9

7600 x86
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Mark Phelps View Post
Also, I looked at the Windows 7 Basic Replacement archive you linked, and it looks like it will patch the uxtheme file -- which I'd rather avoid for now.
no, the archive includes patched uxtheme files, but you've got an alternative solution, so you don't need to use them. i just had a look in the archive, and it just has a bunch of copies of the default areo.msstyles file. so all you would need to do is back up yours (in windows/resources/themes/aero/), and replace it with one of these. then just changing your theme would be enough to reset the visual style - though you may need to restart explorer to get the new taskbar to kick in...

i'm quite certain that style changes are not limited to people running aero...

by the way, are you sure the Pristine visual style you're trying is for Windows 7? i can't find it on DA, all i see is one that's for Vista...
My System SpecsSystem Spec
04 Aug 2009   #10

Win7 Pro 32-bit, Win8 Pro 32-bit
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by garbanzo View Post
by the way, are you sure the Pristine visual style you're trying is for Windows 7? i can't find it on DA, all i see is one that's for Vista...
That's probably the one I downloaded.

But have a bigger problem right now ... downloaded and installed another theme from DA (called Luna 7) which IS supposedly for Seven Basic, and not only did the screen styles NOT change, I can't do hardly anything in Seven anymore! I can't access System Restore, I can't open an elevated command prompt, in fact, doesn't matter what I type in the Start area, it doesn't get read. I'm posting this from my dual-boot Ubuntu OS installation.

Fortunately, I did a complete image backup BEFORE I started messing around with the styles, so I have to do a complete restore -- and that will take a while. Probably won't be getting back here today unless that goes really well.

Thanks for your help, BTW.

Update: OK, I'm back. Ran "sfc /scannow" first and it found problems but said it couldn't repair them. <Sigh> So much for MS utilities. Ran ATI Home restore and, 15 minutes later, I'm back in business.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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