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Windows 7: Windows 7 Custom Explorer Background using Windows Style Builder 1.5


21 Oct 2011   #1

win 764
 
 
Windows 7 Custom Explorer Background using Windows Style Builder 1.5

Hi everyone!

I have an existing custom Windows 7 Theme and it works as is (with ExplorerFrame.dll replaced and Universal Theme Patch installed). It has a distinct Explorer background image for each type of Folder views in Windows 7 i.e. Small Icon, Content, Large Icons, Tiles, and Details. Two out of the six views do NOT have an image, while four of them do. See some examples here:

http://www.animesurreal.com/ex01.jpg

http://www.animesurreal.com/ex02.jpg
http://www.animesurreal.com/ex03.jpg

However, I want to add two background images to the above two types of views which does not have one. I use Windows Style Builder and managed to find the location of these images in the .msstyle file. Here's is what's weird: If I add an image larger than 200x200 pixels, Windows Style Builder will say "Error Testing MsStyles File!". Yet if I shrink the image to less than 200x200 pixels, everything works. Is there an area where I must adjust the maximum image size allowed?

Here's the location of the item I am trying to edit in Style Builder. I've already imported the image but no matter what the style will NOT test or work at all with the image size I want.

http://www.animesurreal.com/ex04.jpg
http://www.animesurreal.com/ex05.jpg

Any help would be GREATLY appreciated. This error is driving me insane and I've tried every method I can find on this forum and no luck. And I know for a fact this can be done because I have another theme with 6 distinct images. Maybe I am not using the right software? Thanks again for any suggestions!

Thanks!!
Ryan


My System SpecsSystem Spec
.

21 Oct 2011   #2

win 764
 
 

I will even offer to PAY someone to teach me this. However, you must teach not do it for me. I want to be able to do this in the future. I will gladly pay a "tuition" if that's what you want. Thanks!
My System SpecsSystem Spec
21 Oct 2011   #3

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Win 7 Pro x64 / Win 8.1 Pro
 
 

Welcome to the Seven Forums
Are you using the 1.6.0 XMLs? I have 1.5
Name:  About Vista Style Builder.png
Views: 106
Size:  27.9 KB

And I do not have that location
Windows 7 Custom Explorer Background using Windows Style Builder 1.5-win7-style-builder-cwindowsresourcesthemes11.msstyles.png

I did not think you could do that with WSB

Jerry


My System SpecsSystem Spec
.


21 Oct 2011   #4

win 764
 
 

I have no idea how the original author did it. I am also using 1.5. When I opened the msstyle file, this location is already there. Apparently there must be a reference to this section for it to work properly but I don't know where the reference could be or which software he used.

UPDATE: I partially got it to work. It seems that there is a HARD 700KB limit on the total size of all 6 images. I shrink all other images and then I can add more or remove one add another. However I am pretty sure this limit can be controlled by user because I have another theme with all six images going way over 700KB.

Thanks,
Ryan
My System SpecsSystem Spec
22 Oct 2011   #5

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Win 7 Pro x64 / Win 8.1 Pro
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by angelgz View Post
I have no idea how the original author did it. I am also using 1.5. When I opened the msstyle file, this location is already there. Apparently there must be a reference to this section for it to work properly but I don't know where the reference could be or which software he used.

UPDATE: I partially got it to work. It seems that there is a HARD 700KB limit on the total size of all 6 images. I shrink all other images and then I can add more or remove one add another. However I am pretty sure this limit can be controlled by user because I have another theme with all six images going way over 700KB.

Thanks,
Ryan
Cool would you post a link to those themes I would like to look at them.
Jerry
My System SpecsSystem Spec
24 Oct 2011   #6

win 764
 
 

Be my guest. Till this day I do not understand how these Chinese people can make such themes which I have no seen on any American theme sites. Upon further research, I found that they patch 4 additional files:

ExplorerFrame.dll (in both the system32 and sysWOW 64 folder)
Explorer.exe
Shell32.dll

Unfortunately the original site is written in Chinese and requires registration so I ported theme to my site here:

http://www.animesurreal.com/Aria_Theme.7z

Note that the ExplorerFrame.DLL must be patched for the explorer background to work. I have a feeling that the ExplorerFrame.DLL file has a reference to that <6> item that you do not have. Please kindly let me know if you are able to figure this out.

Thanks,
Ryan
My System SpecsSystem Spec
24 Oct 2011   #7

win 764
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Bongo View Post
Cool would you post a link to those themes I would like to look at them.
Jerry
Guess what dude, I found it. The reference to that field <6> in Itemsview is in the ExplorerFrame.dll file. HOWEVER, I am still at a jab to understand why I cannot add or replace the existing images in that msstyle file.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
24 Oct 2011   #8

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Win 7 Pro x64 / Win 8.1 Pro
 
 

What did you find in the ExplorerFrame.dll?
I opened it up in Windows Style Builder without installing the ExplorerFrame.dll and get the <6> now. I know it's very confusing to me also.
Jerry
My System SpecsSystem Spec
24 Oct 2011   #9

win 764
 
 

You realize that under <6>, sub-paths 2 and 6 does not have an actual image but only a 31x25 white square. Try adding your own pictures -- you'll fail to test if the file is too big. I had success only with files smaller than 100kb in size.

The ExplorerFrame.DLL has a reference in it that says something like:

</UIViewHeader>
<element id="atom(UICollectionHost)" layout="filllayout()" background="themeable(dtb(ItemsView, 6, 1), argb(0,0,0,0))" padding="rect(4rp,0,0,0)"/>
</LineScroller>

There are six of those references pointing to the each of the six sub-paths of the msstyle file under <6>.

I am very sure that the size restriction does NOT come from the ExplorerFrame.DLL file because the same file can be used with a different theme with bigger explorer background images in it.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
24 Oct 2011   #10

win 764
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Bongo View Post
What did you find in the ExplorerFrame.dll?
I opened it up in Windows Style Builder without installing the ExplorerFrame.dll and get the <6> now. I know it's very confusing to me also.
Jerry
Here's the other one I am talking about that has an entirely different set of images under <6>, using the same ExplorerFrame.DLL.

http://www.animesurreal.com/Aria_Dark.7z
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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 Windows 7 Custom Explorer Background using Windows Style Builder 1.5




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