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Windows 7: Trouble saving customized desktop backgrounds theme

21 Sep 2012   #11
DaveR

Windows 7 Pro 64-bit SP 1
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by whs View Post
Yes, you make a folder of all the pics you want in the theme and then you browse to the folder (see pic) and use that folder. Later when you want to add/delete any pics, you do it in that folder.
OK, I'll give that a try, though it seems like an odd way to do things. I'll also try deleting the contents of the Themes folder. I didn't have these specific problems when I first started using Win7 (though I've never found the theme management very intuitive), which makes me think that something has gone hinky. Hopefully clearing the Themes folder will de-hinkify it. So to speak.


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22 Sep 2012   #12
whs
Microsoft MVP

Vista, Windows7, Mint Mate, Zorin, Windows 8
 
 

Let us know how you make out. I find the facility to be very intuitive. But maybe after 52 years around computers I react differently.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
22 Sep 2012   #13
DaveR

Windows 7 Pro 64-bit SP 1
 
 

OK, sports fans, here's how things stand now.

Not wanting to lose them permanently yet, I created a subfolder under C:\Users\Username\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Windows\Themes called Junk and moved the *.theme files there. When I opened the Control Panel Personalization window, I found all the themes still present, plus a new one, Unsaved Theme, which was the actual most recent, active theme I'd created and been unable to save. When I right-click any of the themes that had now been moved to Junk and select Delete theme, I am asked whether I want to move the folder Junk to the Recycle Bin (with the proper created date of today listed for it). So far I've been saying no. I also saved the Unsaved Theme to the name Autumn, and now yet a third Autumn theme appears, with proper pictures showing in the icon and highlighted as the active theme. A file Autumn.theme also appears in C:\Users\Username\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Windows\Themes, with the expected created, modified, and accessed dates of today.

I've only been using computers for around 34 years, so call me a newbie, but I find this behavior beyond counterintuitive, headed rapidly toward bizarre.

But I press on. I'm going to close the Personalization dialog, manually delete the Junk folder altogether, and try creating a theme using the method you suggested of pointing to one specific folder and moving pics in and out of it. Back soon.
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22 Sep 2012   #14
DaveR

Windows 7 Pro 64-bit SP 1
 
 

Well, I'd say it's 90% solved. After manually moving the folder Junk to the Recycle Bin, I reopened Control Panel > Appearance and Personalization > Personalization, and the old themes had finally disappeared, leaving only the recently saved Autumn, as I desired. I manually created a new folder and moved the pictures I wanted into it. In the Personalization dialog I clicked Desktop Background, browsed to the new folder, selected all, and clicked Save changes. Back in the Personalkization dialog, a new Unsaved Theme had appeared with the items I wanted in it. I right-clicked it and saved it as "Active theme." Hopefully, I'll just be able to customize it as I wish in the future.

But here's the 10% not yet solved: I tried a little moving pics in and out of the designated folder to see what showed up in the icons in Personalization, which now seemed to be working right. At one point, however, after I clicked Desktop Background, did another Select all in that folder, and clicked Save changes, when it went back to Personalization what should be waiting there, with sarcastic grins on their faces, but the themes in the Junk folder that was now actually in the Recycling bin. This time I right-clicked one of them, selected Delete theme, was again given the option of moving the folder Junk to the Recycling Bin (where it already was), and clicked Yes. All the old themes disappeared from the dialog.

It looks to me like the Personalization dialog is reading some data from somewhere other than C:\Users\Username\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Windows\Themes, and that source occasionally gets messed up. As long as the darn thing is working now, I'm going to leave it alone and mark this Solved.

Thanks, whs, for your patience and advice.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
22 Sep 2012   #15
whs
Microsoft MVP

Vista, Windows7, Mint Mate, Zorin, Windows 8
 
 

Have a look into C:\Windows\Resources
My System SpecsSystem Spec
22 Sep 2012   #16
DaveR

Windows 7 Pro 64-bit SP 1
 
 

Hmm, that just seems to be the preinstalled themes that come with Win7. I don't see anything related to my customizations there. At any rate, things are working OK now, and I've made myself some notes about how to do it in the future.

BTW, I discovered recently that the folder C:\Windows\Globalization\MCT has subfolders with country-specific themes and photos. Just because I'm in the US doesn't mean I don't want to throw a photo from the UK or South Africa onto my desktop, so I copied those photos to a more accessible location.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
22 Sep 2012   #17
whs
Microsoft MVP

Vista, Windows7, Mint Mate, Zorin, Windows 8
 
 

Good work. Looks like things are in good order.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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 Trouble saving customized desktop backgrounds theme




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