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Windows 7: Remove window decorations, maximize windows across multiple screens

11 May 2015   #1

Windows 7 Home Premium 32bit
Remove window decorations, maximize windows across multiple screens

Hello! First post here, and looking for some quick help and suggestions.

I built a custom desktop PC running on a Intel G2020, and using integrated graphics. This low-end computer is dedicated to a single task - running a karaoke game called Ultrastar. I was used to running it on Linux, but the latest versions / modification (Ultrastar World Party) rely on the Win32 API, making Windows quite essential in order to run that with some stability (Wine has a few issues to be reliable here, including a low limit of audio input sinks).

So I grabbed a copy of Win7 Home Premium, removed the stuff I didn't need with vLite, and installed a 32 bit version on my machine (Ultrastar being 32bit, and the machine having only 1Gb of RAM). So far, so good, the game runs fine as expected.

Now, Ultrastar has a neat feature: it can be spawned across two screens in order to accommodate more players (3 per screen, 2 screens max). Back in the days, this was made with essentially TwinView in mind: with some tweaks, one could have a system with two identical monitors acting as a single wide surface, and the game would draw on this. This option no longer exists afaik (even more so on Intel hardware), and I failed at recreating it for my own setup (two 720p screens). Fullscreen mode means the game only runs on a single screen, no matter how many are connected.

On Linux, I faked that by exploiting window environments (in my case, OpenBox):
- I'd run the game in windowed mode, instead of fullscreen
- I'd configure the game's .ini to have it displayed with a 2560720 resolution
- I'd tell OpenBox to turn off all window decorations for that application
- I'd tell OpenBox to start drawing the window at 0,0 (upper-left corner, fixed)
- I'd tell OpebBox to have the application always on top, just in case
This effectively faked a full screen mode across screens. No parts of the operating system's UI were visible that way, even if the game wasn't in fullscreen.

This is the behavior I'd like to replicate, somehow, using Windows now. But I have no idea on how to achieve that. I've tried a few alternative shells, such as LiteStep; unfortunately, none I tried so far allowed me to turn of window decorations.

This is were I need help!
- How can I turn off window decorations?
- Any recommendation on how to achieve this fake fullscreen effect?
- Alternatively, is it sill feasible to have two screens behave like a single surface la TwinView?


My System SpecsSystem Spec
12 May 2015   #2

Windows 7 Ultimate x64 SP1

Hey, I haven't used this myself but maybe it will work for your needs?

SoftTH - software multihead gaming
My System SpecsSystem Spec
12 May 2015   #3

Windows 7 Home Premium 32bit

Wow, this looks neat, thanks! I'll give it a try later on, and will report back.

EDIT: gah, no OpenGL support (yet). USDX runs on OpenGL 1.2, so I can't use this piece of software here.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

13 May 2015   #4

Windows 7 Home Premium 32bit

Alright, found a solution: BorderlessGaming. This allowed me to use the same trick as what I used in Linux (remove decorations, set the windowed game to (0,0) and let it fill the screen freely). Solved!
My System SpecsSystem Spec
13 May 2015   #5

Windows 7 Ultimate x64 SP1

Hey, glad you have solved your problem :)

For reference there is a program named GLDirect:

"GLDirect is the utility package for Windows 95/98/Me/2000/XP that enables OpenGL based games and applications to access 3D hardware acceleration through the Direct3D drivers provided by your graphics hardware manufacturer."

Works ok in Windows 7 also. With this I can play Jedi Knight 2 in Nvidia 3d vision, even though the game is OpenGL.

GLDirect |
My System SpecsSystem Spec

 Remove window decorations, maximize windows across multiple screens

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