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Windows 7: Want a Windows Classic theme that uses the GPU like Aero -- advice?


12 Nov 2012   #1
Randy31416

Windows 7 Ultimate x32
 
 
Want a Windows Classic theme that uses the GPU like Aero -- advice?

Moved recently from Win XP Pro to Win 7 Ult 32bit, and am very happy with the Windows Classic theme in Win 7, except that I can see it draw when major windows are closed and opened. The machine is a 2.6 GHz Core 2 Quad with two 2GB GDDR5 HD7770s driving four monitors at 60Hz. The Aero themes available to me do not show these atrifacts, so I infer that the GPU acceleration is making a difference. Therefore I seek an Aero-mode version of the Windows Classic theme.

(The artifacts I see are partially-updated windows, with the updates occurring in large blocks moving diagonally from top left to bottom right, and the updates requiring two or three screen frame cycles (1/30th or 1/20th of a second) -- a blnk of an eye, but a visible blink of an eye, and annoying.)

The specific questions that prompt this post are:

If I buy the Vista Style Builder, and I dump the Windows Classic theme into it and get an aero-enabled theme out of it with no work?

If not, then is it feasable for a dedicated but computer-skilled novice to build this theme using the Style Builder?

In either case, is the Style Builder the right tool (its web site news page says a very old version 1.4 is current, but its forum says this version is not supported any more; I cannot find help or info on the web site without buying the product first; but from this forum I infer that the product is still very good and supported)?

Note that I don't care about the task bar and the start button (I use the Classic Shell anyway), and really just want to make program windows and controls look like they do in Windows Classic. And I do not want to patch or replace system files like explorer.

Anybody know of a theme that has already done this? If not, is what I want feasible? And is the Vista Style Builder able to do it?


My System SpecsSystem Spec
12 Nov 2012   #2
Bongo

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Win 7 Pro x64 / Win 8.1 Pro
 
 

Welcome to the Seven Forums

Windows Style Builder is the right tool to use, the current version is 1.5 Ave's Windows7 Style Builder

Quote:
then is it feasable for a dedicated but computer-skilled novice to build this theme using the Style Builder?
Absolutely when I started using it I believe two years ago I didn't know nothing but now I have a real good knowledge of it. After purchasing it and then joining their forum there are tutorials and maps to show the image locations. Besides Windows Style Builder you will need a image editor I use Gimp which is free.

Quote:
and really just want to make program windows and controls look like they do in Windows Classic
Which programs and controls are you talking about would you post a screenshot of them, sometimes programs are not controlled by the .msstyyles.
Use these tutorials for posting screenshots.
Screenshot with Paint
How to Use the Snipping Tool in Vista - Vista Forums
Screenshots and Files - Upload and Post in Seven Forums


I do not know of any themes offhand but if you look at Browsing Windows 7 Utilities on deviantART and do a search for Windows classic theme you may find one.

Jerry
My System SpecsSystem Spec
12 Nov 2012   #3
Randy31416

Windows 7 Ultimate x32
 
 

Bongo, thanks for answering my post. I was trying to send a private message to you before posting to ask these questions, but the system here does not seem to allow private messages. After reading here a good bit, it looked to me as if you would be the person most likely to have an answer.

With respect to the Windows Style Builder, what I really wonder is what happens if you run this sequence of operations. First, enable the Windows Classic style in the Personalize option screen. Second, save that style under a new name. Third, use the Style Builder to open the newly saved style, and do the minimum possible to it to have it run, with desktop composition enabled, using the GPU acceleration like Aero. Can this be done? Is it easy?

As it stands, Windows Classic does not run with composition or acceleration (I bleieve thiese two are equivalent but do not know this for a fact). I just want the standard Windows Classic theme running accelerated.

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Bongo View Post
Which programs and controls are you talking about would you post a screenshot of them, sometimes programs are not controlled by the .msstyyles.\
And so since Windows Classic does not use .mssstyles, it may be that Windows Style Builder can not save it in a manner so that it will run in an accellerated mannner. Any insights?

Randy
My System SpecsSystem Spec
12 Nov 2012   #4
Bongo

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Win 7 Pro x64 / Win 8.1 Pro
 
 

Quote:
With respect to the Windows Style Builder, what I really wonder is what happens if you run this sequence of operations. First, enable the Windows Classic style in the Personalize option screen. Second, save that style under a new name. Third, use the Style Builder to open the newly saved style, and do the minimum possible to it to have it run, with desktop composition enabled, using the GPU acceleration like Aero. Can this be done?
No this cannot be done, you would have to start a new theme and edit the images in the .msstyles

Quote:
And so since Windows Classic does not use .mssstyles, it may be that Windows Style Builder can not save it in a manner so that it will run in an accellerated mannner. Any insights?
You are right.

Jerry
My System SpecsSystem Spec
12 Nov 2012   #5
Randy31416

Windows 7 Ultimate x32
 
 

Thanks very much for the answers. I'll have to think about whether it is worth the time and work to make a style from scratch. If I decide to do it, I'll buy the Style Builder and be back with questions.


Randy
My System SpecsSystem Spec
15 Nov 2012   #6
Randy31416

Windows 7 Ultimate x32
 
 

Ok, I bought the Style Builder and am having no luck whatsoever getting started. For one thing, the help site is down and so all the help material (whatever it is -- I don't know because I can not see it) can not be seen.

I ask for help with something very simple -- just getting started with an editable theme. I followed your excellent post ("Look at Post #38 of this thread will tell you how to start a new theme") with no success. If I replicate all of the steps you describe, placing my new theme in the C:\Windows\Resources\Themes folder where the aero theme is originally found, I cannot edit the theme file with editors and VSB will refuse to save it. This is because of permissions, and even when I give all users explicit full control over my new theme file I cannot save it because of overriding inherited permissions on the system disk. If, instead, I simply copy the aero theme and folder to another location ("G:\All Tools\Windows Themes" in my case) and do all of the steps again in that place, VSB refuses to compile the theme successfully when I save it (it is plain unmodified Aero) and says there is likely an error in the file (but does not say what).

So I am stuck at the simple mechanics of loading and saving aero, as a starting point.

Any ideas? Thanks.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
15 Nov 2012   #7
Bongo

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Win 7 Pro x64 / Win 8.1 Pro
 
 

Are you talking about getting help from the VistaStyleBuilder - Index website because I have no trouble accessing it? Or are you talking about the bottom area of Windows Style Builder highlighted in red below please look at the screenshot? If it's the area highlighted below in red that does not work.
-win7-style-builder-cwindowsresourcesthemespstavarispstavaris.msstyles.png

When you are talking about the permissions are you getting a error message? If so what is the error.

Zip up the theme you started and post it here so I can look at it and see what you have done.

One thing you will need to remember is that you can not edit a theme while it is in the use, what you will need to do is switch to a different theme and then log off and then log on and that you can work on the theme you want to.

Jerry


My System SpecsSystem Spec
15 Nov 2012   #8
Randy31416

Windows 7 Ultimate x32
 
 

I have rebuilt my starting test theme and am attaching it here. All I did was copy the Aero theme and folder, rename them, and edit them as you describe (all of which makes excellent sense). When I open the renamed msstyles file in VSB, make any change, and click the save icon, VSB is now complaining that the style is in use (even after a fresh reboot -- note that I am using the Windows Classic style as I try this editing so not even Aero is in use) and refuses to save it under its original name. If I give it a different name to save it as, VSB then complains that it cannot save it because the permissions of the target folder to not permit this.

If, instead, I take my renamed copy of Aero to a diffetent disk, and appropriately edit the msstyles path statement in the theme file to point to this new location, then VSB complains that the msstyle is invalid when I try to save it: "There was an error compiling your MsStyles file, this usually signals an error in the MsStyles file". VSB does not see the theme file, though; it just looks at the msstyles file as far as I can see.

So I have not yet found out how to load and save an existing theme or style -- much less edit one.

The website owner (Andreas) confirms that the help is not online any more because of hacking, but they hope to find a way to fix this. There is supposed to be a wiki somewhere but I cannot find it. I can find the main site you point to, and wonder whether that would be a better place to take this conversation and problem (I've seen you there as well).

Hope you can give me a pointer. Or two.


Attached Files
File Type: zip RGS Test.zip (947.2 KB, 8 views)
My System SpecsSystem Spec
15 Nov 2012   #9
Bongo

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Win 7 Pro x64 / Win 8.1 Pro
 
 

I tested your .msstyle, I changed a text color and it saved for me. I work off of my desktop but that should not matter. I would go to WSB forum and ask about it.

Jerry
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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 Want a Windows Classic theme that uses the GPU like Aero -- advice?




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