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18 October 2010 @ 09:38 pm
Windows 7 to Windows XP  
Well since both atarunomiko and profgreg were interested, i'm taking a break from Civ 5 to compile a list of all the steps to "making Windows 7 look like Windows XP" that i've been able to find so far. More specifically, i was trying to make it look like Win XP Classic. Here's what i ended up with, more or less.


1: Set background and folders to XP style: Right-click on desktop -> Personalize -> Windows Classic

2: Adjust desktop icon size: Click on desktop, then hold down ctrl key, then scroll mouse wheel

3: Change folder icons back to horizontal
- a: Copy C:\Windows\system32\shell32.dll from a Windows XP install, rename it shell32xp.dll and copy to the same folder in Windows 7
- b: Run RegEdit and go to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer
- c: If it doesn't already exist, add a new key named "Shell Icons"
- d: Add two new string values to Shell Icons: The first named "3" with a value of "C:\Windows\System32\shell32xp.dll,-4" and the second named "4" with a value of "C:\Windows\System32\shell32xp.dll,-5"


4: Turn off Details Pane - In an explorer window: Organize->Layout->Details Pane

5: Turn off Navigation Pane - In an explorer window: Organize->Layout->Navigation Pane

6: Turn on the menu bar - In an explorer window: Oraganize->Layout->Menu Bar

7: Turn on the status bar - In an explorer window: View->Status Bar

8: Change My Computer view back to normal - In explorer at My Computer: View->Details, View->Group by->None

Fixing the Taskbar:

9: Right-click taskbar->Lock the taskbar (If locked)

10: Right-click taskbar->Properties: Taskbar buttons->Never Combine, Use Small Icons.

11: Right-click taskbar->Toolbars->New Toolbar, navigate to %userprofile%\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\Quick Launch

12: Right-click Quick Launch->Show Title, Show Text


13: Install Classic Shell
- Explorer Settings: Windows XP Classic, Disable Breadcrumbs, Show free space and file size in status bar,
- Start Menu Settings: Classic Menu, Show Documents, Show Log Off

14: Install the 7 Taskbar Tweaker
- Taskbar Tweater: Don't Group, Settings->Run at startup

Still left to do: Make Search for files behave in a reasonable manner. Force programs that open Explorer windows to load or save files to use the same settings as (my new) regular explorer windows. Find some better icons for the back, forwards, and up directory buttons. Edit: Oh yes, and why all of the right-click->New options _except_ for "folder" disappear in a lot of contexts.

Also, figure out what i've been doing to get blue screens of death and stop doing it =P (Had two or three happen so far, mostly when trying to install new programs.)

Whoops! Forgot to open the start menu for the first pic!

And just for reference, here's a quick cut/paste of most of the sites i used for references:

Miscellaneous URLs:









Current Mood: geekygeeky
Current Music: Chrono Trigger - DarkeSword - Blue Skies Over Guardia
Mattnasu_dengaku on October 19th, 2010 04:46 am (UTC)
This must depress the hell out of every Microsoft UI designer.
DonAithnendonaithnen on October 19th, 2010 04:53 am (UTC)
Well, if they release an "upgrade" that results in lists like this then they've got only themselves to blame :)
atarunomikoatarunomiko on October 19th, 2010 04:26 pm (UTC)
Thanks for this. I gave up and I'm using Linux primarily on all my machines right now, but I'll keep this in mind for my dual boots. :)
(Anonymous) on November 19th, 2010 03:54 pm (UTC)
...to the point that that idiot would kill himself.

in all seriousness though... how these incompetent dimwits have managed to stay the course with that horrible redesign is beyond me. i bet they were trying on purpose to make windows unnecessarily slow in terms of usability for some reason. i don't know why but i can't imagine they tried to improve shit.

how having vital options tucked away, having to move the mouse at least twice the distance for pretty much every function and the stupid scrolling in the start menu (and the explorer tree view, for that matter) could be considered improvements... yeah, in bizarro world.
Prof. Gregprofgreg on October 20th, 2010 04:42 pm (UTC)
Many thanks! The classic shell (with start menu) is particularly nice.
DonAithnendonaithnen on October 20th, 2010 07:37 pm (UTC)
You're welcome :)

The classic shell is definitely the most impressive graphically, but i particularly like that the taskbar tweaker actually allowed me to do what i _thought_ Windows 7 would enable in the first place, ie let me arrange the buttons (links? whatever) on the taskbar in any order i wanted. I found it kinda ironic that the one new feature in Win7 that i was excited about turned out to be entirely nerfed in the vanilla install =P
atarunomiko: Deeronatarunomiko on October 23rd, 2010 01:42 am (UTC)
Ubuntu lets you rearrange the taskbar at will. Just sayin'. :)