Thursday, August 18, 2011

custom windows themes.

To be honest, linux has to be my favorite operating system. i get asked why a lot, and the answer is simple, i want my computer to look and behave how i want! the only problem is, due to my gaming addiction, and my work.... i cant always use linux. well, i have a windows 7 boot as well due to this, and i HATE how it looks so cookie cutter. they only give you a few themes, and the only difference is some colors.

well, there is a solution, and its to say good bye to your stock windows files and take a step into the realm of operating system modifying.

in this post, i will show you how to get your pc to look like this: click me.

if you don't like a certain aspect of it, don't worry.... keep in mind that this is all about making your os look how YOU want. in this post, ill show you how to make it look like this, but it is so simple to change themes, and there is hundreds out there.

the first step is patching your windows files. windows puts a digital signature on all of their themes so that you can only use theirs (talk about being controlling). so, the solution is simple.... download some modified system files to remove the signature checking. you can download the uxtheme multi patcher hereNOTE: you are replacing windows system files, if for whatever reason it gets messed up, usually the worst that will happen is your windows theme will be messed up... however, i strongly recommend creating a restore point just in case. if worst comes to worst, just use the repair option when booting from your windows cd, and it will fix any mistake you made.

alright, next step is simple. restart your computer.

now you need a nifty program called theme manager. this program is near impossible to find, but its worth the short survey (just use a spam email or 10minute mail).

once you open it, click on the "Browse deviant art for windows 7 themes" link.

now you should see tons of themes. the one i used is called dynamic black. just find one you like.
before we get into installing the theme, go ahead and download full glass, this is what makes the  background of any explorer window transparent. get it here.

alright, the actual installing of the theme varies between the themes them self. in short, just open the theme files, and look for what IS there, then just locate the corresponding parts through the browse on theme manager.
  • Theme: the .theme file (controls color, transparency, and object shapes.)
  • Explorer: the explorer.exe file (controls anything to do with the start bar / start menu)
  • oobeFldr out of box files, not usualy used.
  • explorer frame: explorerframe.dll not used all that often, but still used more than oobeFldr.
  • Shell32: the shell32.dll this is all of the sidebars in windows.
  • timedate: timedate.cpl (the look of the clock in the bottom right, and its appearance when you click on it)
when your done, press install theme, after that, you can delete the theme you downlaoded, as its all contained in theme manager. use apply theme to apply them, and press the arrow on the right to take screenshots to keep them in order.

note: to get full glass to open on start up, just put it in your start up folder!


Talerfuchs said...

I wish I would have that understanding of linux.

Dragmire said...

Good info. I never knew you could customize your operating system like this.

Sub-Radar-Mike said...

This is rad, thanks for the heads up.

Nyx970 said...

AWesome! Thank you for this, I also hate the "cookie cutter" aspect of windows themes and love making things look how it want. I usually go thru a program that will do it all for you but this is way more informative. Thanks!

Sylv said...

This may be a little computer intense for me. Best customization I have done so far is with rainmeter for my desktop. Still, interesting post, may have to try it.

DesoWave said...

Nice, more customization.

Anonymous said...

Very cool.

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