Windows 8 and 8.1 Forums


I altered a windows theme and now I can't access my laptop

  1. #1


    Posts : 3
    Windows 8.1

    I altered a windows theme and now I can't access my laptop


    Hello there,

    I'm new to this forum and wanted to say hi. And also, ask for some help with my problem if any of you have time for that. I'd very much appreciate it.

    Currently I'm having a little issue that frustrates me a bit.
    I was working on building a theme for my windows 8.1, when the theme was almost done I decided to save the .msstyle file and reboot my computer.

    Accidentally I was still using the theme that I was editing in my personal preferences. Since I must have saved something inside the .msstyle file that caused it to become corrupt, I am now unable to get into my windows 8.1 machine. When I start my laptop it goes straight to my lockscreen but the lockscreen shows a completely black screen (as if it's trying to recognize the screen) and flashes the icon for my wireless in the bottom left corner every now and then. (That's how I recognized it was my lockscreen)

    My first assumption was that I should remove the files I was working on so I got into my recovery console and removed the .theme file from my c:\windows\resources\themes folder.
    Using the dir and del commands I was for some reason unable to remove the folder containing the .msstyle file though. Which is odd because the recovery prompt is an elivated prompt.
    It even asked me if I wanted to remove the folder, pressed yes and the folder was still there. Anyways...

    Apparently removing the .theme file is not enough to fix the issue and I was wondering: what are my best options on accessing the file system and/or registry in order to change the theme of my windows so that it won't get stuck at the lock screen?

    My problem is that I have access to my personal computer and a network cable but other then that I don't have any cd's and/or usb sticks lying around.

    I tried using the SMB protocol to connect but for obvious reasons my laptop doesn't respond to that request.

    Is there any way to alter the registry from recovery console and change the theme?
    I do not have a system backup and/or recovery point.

      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  2. #2


    Have you tried doing a System Restore to before you did this?
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  3. #3


    Posts : 2,627
    win8.1.1 enterprise


    i think thats what he means by not having a 'recovery point' think you might need to find a way to do a refresh or restore
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  4. #4


    Posts : 3
    Windows 8.1


    Quote Originally Posted by caperjack View Post
    i think thats what he means by not having a 'recovery point' think you might need to find a way to do a refresh or restore
    I'm still new to windows 8.1, what exactly does a refresh/restore do? Does it run chkdsk /f to see if any system files have become corrupt? Does it check for all md5 hashes to check if system integrity is intact? I'm not that sure yet.

    EDIT: I just saw in another thread what it does: Repair Install Windows 8

    If all else fails I'll try to get a usb somewhere and use a linux OS or hiren's to access the windows registry to see if I can alter the theme it starts up with.

    Is there anyone so kind to tell me and knows exactly which key stores this information?

    Quote Originally Posted by Ztruker View Post
    Have you tried doing a System Restore to before you did this?
    No I have not done a system restore previously and there should not be a point in time where I can revert to my non-broken system if that's what you meant.

    EDIT: Why have I not thought of getting into safemode :/ stupid me overthinking things that can be way simpler.
    I'll check back and mark this thread solved if that's possible as soon as I fixed my problem.
    Last edited by MrCarrotTop; 29 Aug 2014 at 20:53.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  5. #5


    I don't understand what you said about System Restore?

    No I have not done a system restore previously and there should not be a point in time where I can revert to my non-broken system if that's what you meant.
    Are you saying you don't have any restore points prior to your theme problem? Have you checked? Things like this are what System, Restore is designed to fix.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

I altered a windows theme and now I can't access my laptop
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