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Thread: Customizing Xp To Your Liking!

  1. #1
    All tested on XP SP1 and SP2 (only the modified system file packages might not work...)

    Tired off the default boring XP desktop?

    Visual Styles
    First thing we want to change is the visual style, a visual is what you see, the default Blue colors for example, a visual style basicly overlays everything with nicer buttons, colors and borders
    A visual style is basicly a file with visual aspects that windows needs
    Its located at C:\\Windows\Rescources\Themes\Name of theme

    In That folder is a file located with the extension .msstyles, it has all the images from the borders colors etc inside,
    In most cases there is also a Folder called Shell inside
    This folder contains the shellstyle
    The shellstyle is responsible for this

    The common tasks sidebar in Windows explorer

    Now, how can we skin all this?
    Well, The XP skinning engine has a sort of protection inside off it, XP styles have a digital signature inside Which a file called Uxtheme.dll checks, without this digital Signature, windows wont accept the visual style,

    There are differend ways around it

    StyleXP
    --> This program loads up with windows and replaces The uxtheme.dll in the memory so styles without signature will work.

    XP autopatcher
    --> this little program basicly replaces the uxtheme.dll with a patched one, this is best way in my opinion as there is no ram or disk space wasted
    Its recommend using this program in safe mode though
    --> that one isnt updated to XP SP2 yet so get a new sp2 version Here

    Windowblinds
    --> This program basicly adds a new skinning engine with more options to customize XP,
    i recommend using one of the above programs first though.

    Heres how you get themes to work:
    Put the folder with the name of the visual style in windows/rescources/themes folder and click on the msstyle file, the windows theme manager will load up, just click apply or ok and the style will load!

    Where to get visual styles!

    ThemeXP
    This site has a lot of visual styles, but they have spyware inside them!
    there is a way around it though, extract the installers with winzip!

    DeviantART
    --> No spyware on this one, has awesome visual styles!

    Wincustomize
    --> has excellent skins for WindowBlinds

    Making Visual Styles yourself!
    Why not, once you start using visual styles, why not making visual styles yourself?
    a few programs to do this:

    Stylebuilder
    --> the best program to make visual styles in my opinion!

    In case you are using WindowBlinds, use:
    Skinstudio
    --> it is able to convert msstyle themes to windowblinds format.

    Last thing about this: some older programs dont have skinning support and they have the old style buttons, you can patch that programs though!
    xp skins

    Icons



    What about changing the default XP icons, there are lots better ones on the net

    There are 2 differend ways changing the icons!

    1. changing them in the XP system files with reshacker, more on this later...
    2. Using a program to change them, a few programs are listed below

    Iconpackager
    --> nice program, loads of icons out for this one
    Icon packages are availible at www.wincustomize.org

    BeeIcons
    --> i use this one myself, pretty good

    DcolorXP
    --> this ap doesnt really change icons, but allows you to you tiled icons on the desktop!

    Iconphile
    --> very light and fast program!

    Bootscreen
    Another good idea to customize xp is changing the bootscreen, the defeauld look is pretty boring, so we gonna do something about it!
    How you can make it look like:



    --> Instructions, copied this from themexp.org, why write it all down if someone else allready did it?
      1.  In Explorer, browse to C:\Windows\System32 and find the file named "ntoskrnl.exe".
      2. Copy "ntoskrnl.exe" to "ntoskrnl.exe.bak", (COPY not RENAME). This way if anything goes wrong...you will have a backup.
      3. Extract the files inside the .zip file you downloaded to a temporary location of your hard drive, but NOT to C:\Windows\System32.
      4. Reboot your computer into Safe Mode (hit F8 before the boot screen appears) or into true DOS mode (from a boot disk)
      5. Browse to where you extracted the files for your new boot screen in Explorer and select the correct file to copy to C:\Windows\System32. If you have SP1 for Windows XP installed use ntoskrnlsp.exe, otherwise use ntoskrnl.exe. IT IS VERY IMPORTANT TO USE THE CORRECT FILE, OR YOUR SYSTEM WILL LOCK UP ON BOOT.
      6. If using ntoskrnl.exe, copy the file to C:\Windows\System32 overwriting the existing ntoskrnl.exe, (which should have been backed up).
      7. If you are going to use ntoskrnlsp.exe, delete ntoskrnl.exe in the temporary folder and rename ntoskrnlsp.exe to ntoskrnl.exe. Then copy the file to C:\Windows\System32 overwriting the existing ntoskrnl.exe, (which should have been backed up).
      8. All done! Reboot your computer as you normally would and enjoy your new boot screen.
    If you dont like doing this all manually, feel free to use one of the programs listed below!

    Loginuibootoptimizer

    **ALLWAYS MAKE A BACKUP OF NTOSKRNL.EXE

    Or this program that actually doesnt alter any files! it just changes the patch to it
    Bootskin
    --> Themes availible at www.wincustomize.org

    Login Screens

    Changing the login screen is also a nice trick!


    Steps:
      1.  In Explorer, browse to C:\Windows\System32 and find the file named "logonui.exe".
      2. Rename "logonui.exe" to "logonui.exe.bak". This way if anything messes up...you have a backup.
      3. Place your new login in C:\WINDOWS\SYSTEM32 and rename it to logonui.exe.
      4. That's it! Now when you log off your new login screen will be there.
    Also a few programs can change the login screen for you!

    Logon Loader
    --> nice program if you done like changing everything manually!

    LogonStudio

    AGAIN, ALLWAYS MAKE A BACKUP OF LOGONUI.EXE, if anything goes rwong you can replace the file again in safe mode!
    that kind of links are not alowed.

  2. Software & Hardware   -   #2
    (>Zero Cool<)'s Avatar he is Spartacus!
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    Fantastic work , I use a lot of these but you have given me a few ideas. Thanks

    oh to change the bootskin you can also use

    bootskin



    and bootscreen

    logonstudio

  3. Software & Hardware   -   #3
    Originally posted by (>Zero Cool<)@10 August 2004 - 11:48
    Fantastic work , I use a lot of these but you have given me a few ideas. Thanks

    oh to change the bootskin you can also use

    bootskin



    and bootscreen

    logonstudio
    thx for the links m8
    with this feedback i can improve it&#33;
    that kind of links are not alowed.

  4. Software & Hardware   -   #4
    iMartin's Avatar ♥Home Grown♥ BT Rep: +9BT Rep +9
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    Very Nice work. If really don&#39;t know what you&#39;re doing when it comes to this, StyleXP is the best by far. And also, TweakXP Pro is good for tweaking the small stuff in XP.



  5. Software & Hardware   -   #5
    BawA's Avatar FST Pioneer BT Rep: +1
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    Becarefull with Bootscreen, 1 Byte diffrence from the orginal BootScreen will cuase u to lose ur windows.


    "You can be mad as a mad dog at the way things went; you can swear and curse the fates, but when it comes to the end, you have to let go"
    Benjamen button

  6. Software & Hardware   -   #6
    Snee's Avatar Error xɐʇuʎs BT Rep: +1
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    Aston has some really good skins.

    Otherwise this is my favourite skin at the moment, ripped directly from the windows xp media center edition, but you&#39;ll need the uxtheme patch I think.

  7. Software & Hardware   -   #7
    iMartin's Avatar ♥Home Grown♥ BT Rep: +9BT Rep +9
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    Originally posted by bawa@Klite_user@10 August 2004 - 10:11
    Becarefull with Bootscreen, 1 Byte diffrence from the orginal BootScreen will cuase u to lose ur windows.
    I download all my bootscreens, along with many other things, from ThemeXP, and haven&#39;t had any troubles yet. And if and when you change your bootscreen, before the bootscreen comes up, you&#39;ll have the option of booting from the orginal screen, or the modified screen. But I think it only stays open for a couple of seconds.



  8. Software & Hardware   -   #8
    Originally posted by SnnY@10 August 2004 - 16:11
    Aston has some really good skins.

    Otherwise this is my favourite skin at the moment, ripped directly from the windows xp media center edition, but you&#39;ll need the uxtheme patch I think.
    its a skin from microsoft, so no patch

    thx for replys, gonna update if for SP2 soon i hope, didnt come out in the language of my xp yet...
    that kind of links are not alowed.

  9. Software & Hardware   -   #9
    RGX's Avatar Unstoppable
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    Only one fault, "defauld" is spelt "default".

    Other than that, a very nice guide and should be pinned IMO.

  10. Software & Hardware   -   #10
    Snee's Avatar Error xɐʇuʎs BT Rep: +1
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    Aston is another shell, btw. But like I said there are some really nifty skins for it.

    Oh, and the royale theme was ripped, I don&#39;t know if it is the entire theme, or just the images, so I think you might need the patch even tho&#39; it&#39;s from microsoft, but I&#39;m not sure.

    At any rate it looks good.

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