Jump to content


Photo
* * * * - 4 votes

The Ultimate Guide to Make XP be like Vista for Free


  • Please log in to reply
56 replies to this topic

#1 ShamusHand

ShamusHand

    The One and Only

  • Member
  • 1,574 posts

Posted 27 April 2007 - 03:09 AM

This is my Ultimate, end all guide to making XP look and feel like Vista. This is not a single-option guide, you can customize your machine the way you want it. Do all of this at your own risk, I will not be responsible for any damage done to your machine. Also, I will constantly update this guide if I find anything interesting.

This being a large guide, I broke it up into several sections:

1. Theme and Visual Styles
2. Cursor and Sounds
3. Boot and Logon screens
4. Icons
5. Transparency / Glass
6. Sibebar
7. Wallpapers
8. Screensavers
9. Start Menu and Button

10. Firefox and Explorer
11. Transformation Packs
12. Other Features

Section I: Theme and Visual Styles


There is no one best theme, it's all a matter of opinion. So I will show here what I think the best 10 themes are, but you can always browse through DeviantArt for better Visual Styles. All themes require Uxtheme Multi-Patcher 5.5. If the Uxtheme Patcher says it can't patch it for you because you have "NT" files in your i386 directory, just use this one. Just deselect everything but "Patch Uxtheme.dll". Remember to reboot!

1. DDVista 5.0 by dinghao51

Posted Image

2. iVista by xXPeDrOXx*

Posted Image

3. Aero 5203 v1.4 by Jemaho

Posted Image

4. Vista Anthracite by Nekh Art Studio*

Posted Image

5. VistaCG 1.41 by spaceqcg

Posted Image

6. Share by spaceqcg

Posted Image

7. AndrexV 2.2 by adrexnet

Posted Image

8. Rista 3.1 by DameonAndMeagan

Posted Image

9. Whista by DameonAndMeagan

Posted Image

10. Another Vista 2.2 by LoonyInmate

Posted Image

11. QueVista 3 by Vyrus956*

Posted Image

* Installer


Section II: Cursor and Sounds


Only installer that I found that works: XP Vista Pack by oddbasket.
I had trouble with this pack, to get it to work, install the pack, install it again, then do a "Repair" install. Thats how it worked for me and my friends.

Posted Image

Also, just cursors (without installer) can be downloaded here.

Installation Instructions:

1. Unzip the zip file to a temporary directory on your HD.
2. Place the "Windows Aero Cursors" directory into C:\Windows\Cursors\.
3. Open up your mouse properties (located inside Control Panel).
4. Go to Pointers tab.
5. Select (None) for a temporary scheme/theme from the list which is at the top of the list in most cases.
6. Browse for the Windows Aero Cursors directory.
7. Start picking the cursors from the Medium folder, once u have the right ones in the right spots, please proceed to step 8.
8. Save the cursor scheme/theme to the name to "Windows Aero Medium".
9. Hit Apply and then OK and enjoy!



Section III: Boot and Logon Screens


StarDock

Boot Screen:

1. Download BootSkins from StarDock (Freeware).
2. Install this Bootskin or browse through WinCustomize for a better one.

Posted Image

Logon Screen:

1. Download LogonStudio from StarDock (Freeware).
2. Install this Logon or browse through WinCustomize for a better one.

Posted Image


Vista Transformation Pack


VTP 6.0 can also skin you Boot / Logon screens. It can be downloaded here.

:new: Vista Transformation Pack 8.0.1

Posted Image

Sadly that I couldn’t bundle a user guide of this release together with the product since Maeroris doesn’t have much time to work on it and I already promised to release it in middle of this month (which seems to be late already). To be frank, this version is mainly the same to previous ones except “Aero Glass without WindowBlinds” and “WinFlip” featured with overall improvements such as:

-Fixed crappy hotfix issue, no more workaround trick required to avoid that
-Ability to save transforming information for later uses and unattended transformation
-Ability to detect the targeted machine and give suggested setup configuration
-Some transformation procedures refinements you should look at like pre-configure on first run, removed obsolete dialogs and msn skin, etc.
-New 3rd-party apps and new version of existing apps


:earth: Website
:download: Main Mirror | Mirror 1 | Mirror 2 | Mirror 3


Vista Anthracite

This Installer can change you logon screen as well. Download it here.


Section IV: Icons

Only installer that I found that works: Vista Anthracite by Nekh Art Studio
Note: This installer replaces Shell32.dll, with is the Icon cache, with a modified version. DO NOT delete the Start Menu entry it creates, because that is the only way to restore you icons to their original states if you change your mind later on. This installer can also install a Logon screen and Visual style.

Posted Image


Section V: Transparency and Glass



TaskBar
Transbar is great program that allows you to have a transparent taskbar, and you can set to the level of transparency you want. I recommend setting the transparency above 65% and set it to "Start with Windows" Download Transbar and install it.

Posted Image

Start Menu

For Transparency on the Start Menu, download and run Y'z Shadow. This also adds transparency to menus, a drop shadow to windows which can be costumized (color, length, direction) and a drop shadow to a taskbar when on top of screen.

Posted Image

Window Borders

Method 1: WindowFX Trial

Download WindowFX trial version (I know...) and Glass Borders. Follow instructions in Zip file. Note, the window borders are actually shadows, so it won;t replace the titlebar, you can't grab them and it won't show when maximized. It may look weird on WMP or other applications, just add them to exception list. When the trail runs out, uninstall WindowFX and reinstall it.

Posted Image

Method 2: Vystal

Use this at your own risk - it's sill beta and slightly unstable, but I see a future for this! Download it here.

Posted Image


Method 3: FastAero

Here is a new free program for applying the Aero Glass with blur effects on Windows XP.

Posted Image

* Very smart blur algorithm with low cpu load.
* Works fast
* Works without any other tools , such as WindowBlinds , StyleXP…
* You don’t need to install any thing or unstall anything. So do the program.
* You can visit : FastAero.wordpress.com for any new updates.

Download


Section VI: Sidebar


Thoosje's Sidebar

Good sidebar, skinnable, good gadgets. Download it here.

Posted Image

Desktop Sidebar

More like longhorn's sidebar, but very useful. Download it here.

Posted Image

Yahoo! Widgets

Yes, the Yahoo widgets engine has a a way of being a sidebar. The sidebar gadget is the actual sidebar, but it has no gadgets - it's just the sidebar, so you just drag the widgets to the sidebar. I recommend disabling the dragging of the widgets, so you won't accidentally mess everything up.

Download: Widgets Engine, Sidebar, Clock, Slideshow (Included with Engine), Trash, CPU Meter, RSS News Feed.



Section IX: Start Menu and Button


Start Button: Blaero Start Orb

This is what all Vista msstyles lack - a start orb that actually stands out of the taskbar. Having it cut off or shrunk won't really give that Vista look, but this little program will. Just place this over the old button and Voila! I recommend setting it to "Always on top" and "Start with Windows". Download it here.

Posted Image


Start Menu: Vista Start Menu Emulator

Posted Image

Download it here.


Start Menu: ViStart Beta

Part of the VTP project, but can be download separately here. Support transparency, rollover effects, working search feature, very skinnable.

Posted Image


Section X: Firefox and Explorer



Glass Internet and Windows Explorer

That's right - glass! Browser the web and your documents. Only problem is, they can't be maximized or resized. Download it here.

Posted Image


Firefox

Progress Bar

In Windows Vista, the progress bar is in the address bar, so this add-on will do just that. Download here. Use this background image.

The Theme

There are several themes for Firefox to make it look Vista-ish, but there's one I use in XP and Vista - Vista Firefox 2 v0.42

Posted Image


Section XI: Transformation Packs


The more the merrier! Since the recent problem with Bricopacks, that only leaves two in my list

Vista Transformation Pack 6.0

Vista Anthracite Pack


Section XII: Features


DreamScene


Movie background using VLC player, download it here.

Directions:

After downloading and installing VLC Player make your way to Settings > Preferences > Video > Output Modules > Direct X. In order to see all the settings available, you will have to check the Advanced options box in the bottom right corner. Enable Wallpaper Mode is such an advanced option; it is disabled by default, but you can just enable it by checking the box next to it.

Now it's time to simulate the behavior of DreamScene. In this sense, navigate to Settings > Preferences > Interface > Main Interfaces > wxWidgets and simply uncheck the box next to the Taskbar option. This will remove VLC Player from the Windows Taskbar while the application is running, and it will be running extensively. And if you select Settings > Preferences you will also be able to loop a single video fragment. Enjoy!



Live Window previews

Just like in Vista, live thumbnail previews of Windows when hovered over in taskbar. Download Visual Task Tips here.

Posted Image


Hide Logoff / Shutdown text

In Windows Vista, there is no test next to those buttons, so this patch takes them away. Download here.

Posted Image


Explorer Breadcrumbs

Neat little app that can replace the address bar in Explorer. Download it here.


Posted Image

Vista Styler

Posted Image

Styler
Vista styler

:new: Flip 3D! (7/26/07)

Finnaly, flip 3D for XP in a freeware program - Shock 4Way 3D! Download here.

Posted Image

:new: TrueTransparency (01/01/08) Happy New Year! :)

Posted Image

TrueTransparency is by far the most stable program that adds glass to yuor windows. Download it here.

My TT themes: Royale Vista II, Glass Apple

:new: Vista Drive Icons
Submitted by Le Marquis

Posted Image

Changes the drive icons shown in Windows "My Computer", to a nearly Vista drive icon, showing the drive's free space with a smooth colored horizontal bar. Download here.

Enjoy, and Happy New Year!

Edited by ShamusHand, 01 January 2008 - 06:22 PM.


#2 Jatin

Jatin

    Administrator

  • Admin
  • 4,858 posts

Posted 27 April 2007 - 03:47 AM

Great work ShamusHand! (Y) Here is a small contribution to this thread:
Vista Wallpapers (Biggest collection of Vista wallpapers)
ViStart (Better Vista start menu emulator)
Vista Look-alike Sidebar (List of sidebar programs)
DreamScene for Windows XP (Simple way to use animated wallpapers on Windows XP)
Vystal Reloaded (Aero glass for XP - works only with powerful computers)

#3 Jesta

Jesta

    New WinMatrixian

  • Member
  • 20 posts

Posted 27 April 2007 - 08:12 AM

fantastic work! you have obviously put a lot of effort into compiling this guide :D

#4 FalseAgent

FalseAgent

    your average joe (tm)

  • Elites
  • 6,694 posts

Posted 27 April 2007 - 11:07 AM

ha, that kick VTP's butt.

take that, VTP.

#5 yanike

yanike

    I am YM. If you don't know me, you will.

  • Global Moderator
  • 4,582 posts

Posted 27 April 2007 - 01:38 PM

Looks like XP land has done a lot to mimic Vista. Excellent guide!

But I think it's time for Windows' users to get Vista ;)

Unless you do a lot of gaming.

I'm running Vista Home Premium full-time (by itself no more XP) and no problems with my PC.

Also, save up the money to get Premium. Basic isn't worth it in the end. Plus! You can still get Basic with Premium by easily selecting the Basic Theme. Yes! The Windows will run just as fast as XP with the Basic Theme on Premium. If you have a fast computer, you should see no problems using Aero. I have 512 MB and I can run Aero good with no problems.

Enough with the generics! Get the real deal :)
http://www.flickr.co...@N00/470440458/
Posted Image

Edited by yanike, 27 April 2007 - 01:47 PM.


#6 rahuljin

rahuljin

    Active WinMatrixian

  • Member
  • 664 posts

Posted 27 April 2007 - 01:47 PM

great guide !!!
is it possible to make taskbar transparent without making the icons in it ???

#7 vyrus

vyrus

    WinMexican

  • Member
  • 144 posts

Posted 27 April 2007 - 02:58 PM

You can also add the Vista Orb to show up before xp logs in your account ..just like how vista boots up.. i can't find the guide that showed how to do that. it was a registry hack... it also had other kool Vista customizations for XP.. anybody know what im talking about... I remember it was in the AeroXP forums but i can't find it anymore... if not then i tried looking 4 it in the Joejoe Community..

Heres my QueVista to add to the List...its not a BEST... but its still another Option..

Posted Image

#8 Burned Phoenix

Burned Phoenix

    WinMatrix Addict

  • News Poster
  • 3,399 posts

Posted 27 April 2007 - 07:03 PM

Add VistaPerfection StartButton for MSStyles.

#9 thoosje

thoosje

    Lolz Wooot!! 5 Stars

  • Member
  • 568 posts

Posted 27 April 2007 - 07:19 PM

I totaly agree with that guide but i also totaly agree with vtp. they both include me lol

#10 ShamusHand

ShamusHand

    The One and Only

  • Member
  • 1,574 posts

Posted 27 April 2007 - 09:19 PM

Great work ShamusHand! (Y) Here is a small contribution to this thread:
Vista Wallpapers (Biggest collection of Vista wallpapers)
VistaStart (Another Vista start menu emulator)
Vista Look-alike Sidebar (List of sidebar programs)
DreamScene for Windows XP (Simple way to use animated wallpapers on Windows XP)
Vystal Reloaded (Aero glass for XP - works only with powerful computers)


Well, I did have most of those in my list, but I can't finish the post itself now. I'll put those I don't have in the original post and give you credit! :)


Looks like XP land has done a lot to mimic Vista. Excellent guide!

But I think it's time for Windows' users to get Vista ;)

Unless you do a lot of gaming.

I'm running Vista Home Premium full-time (by itself no more XP) and no problems with my PC.

Also, save up the money to get Premium. Basic isn't worth it in the end. Plus! You can still get Basic with Premium by easily selecting the Basic Theme. Yes! The Windows will run just as fast as XP with the Basic Theme on Premium. If you have a fast computer, you should see no problems using Aero. I have 512 MB and I can run Aero good with no problems.

Enough with the generics! Get the real deal :)
http://www.flickr.co...@N00/470440458/
Posted Image


I have Vista myself, but like you said, I dual-boot for gaming and I still like skinning XP. B)


great guide !!!
is it possible to make taskbar transparent without making the icons in it ???


Haven't found anything like that, sorry. :no:


You can also add the Vista Orb to show up before xp logs in your account ..just like how vista boots up.. i can't find the guide that showed how to do that. it was a registry hack... it also had other kool Vista customizations for XP.. anybody know what im talking about... I remember it was in the AeroXP forums but i can't find it anymore... if not then i tried looking 4 it in the Joejoe Community..

Heres my QueVista to add to the List...its not a BEST... but its still another Option..

Posted Image


Great skin! How could I have overlooked it? :woot:


Add VistaPerfection StartButton for MSStyles.


Missed that... Kinda like Blaero Start Orb too! :yes:

#11 Razor VinT

Razor VinT

    tech savvy

  • Member
  • 2,164 posts

Posted 28 April 2007 - 08:20 AM

Really great customization guide with freewares! (Y)

#12 Freka

Freka

    Super WinMatrixian

  • Member
  • 2,758 posts

Posted 28 April 2007 - 02:38 PM

Thanks for the help a lot.

#13 WhistAler

WhistAler

    WhistA

  • Member
  • 1,866 posts

Posted 29 April 2007 - 06:13 AM

Good efforts but I think most of the WinMatrix users have upgraded to Vista.

#14 SyLviO

SyLviO

    New WinMatrixian

  • Members
  • 10 posts

Posted 29 April 2007 - 09:58 AM

Thanks to your guide and to all the mods available ;)

#15 Seventh Surfer

Seventh Surfer

    Super WinMatrixian

  • Member
  • 2,897 posts

Posted 30 April 2007 - 05:44 AM

Nice guide. Keep up the great work!

#16 vivava

vivava

    My First Post!

  • Members
  • 1 posts

Posted 02 May 2007 - 11:44 AM

Thanks to your guide

#17 ShamusHand

ShamusHand

    The One and Only

  • Member
  • 1,574 posts

Posted 16 May 2007 - 04:34 PM

Finished! Enjoy the guide and happy customization! :)

#18 timbertide

timbertide

    Super WinMatrixian

  • Member
  • 1,317 posts

Posted 16 May 2007 - 05:16 PM

Hard Disk Meter for Windows XP

#19 Another_User

Another_User

    uhmmm...

  • Member
  • 326 posts

Posted 16 May 2007 - 05:32 PM

Hard Disk Meter for Windows XP


Yeah! don't forget about that one!! ;)

#20 ShamusHand

ShamusHand

    The One and Only

  • Member
  • 1,574 posts

Posted 17 May 2007 - 12:11 AM

Oops, I forgot to put that on the guide! I even use it myself. :D

Want to comment?

Register or Sign In to go completely ad-free!