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Solved Classic Theme on Windows 8


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#21
Hello, this is my first post. That's what I was tring to do: Firstable I've put to Windows 8 files a themeui.dll from 7, but it doesn't working, you can try by yourself (or maybe it was a fall of two diffrent langueges, in Windows7 in English, and in Windows 8.1 - by suprise - in Polish, both of systems was in this second language). It was hard - a lot of work with a safety settings. Then i found this super mode for Windows 7: Windows 98 Plus For Windows 7 by AnsonSterling on deviantART - it's working on 8.1, but not perfectly at Windows 8 theme elements. But i runned a Max Payne, and there was a grey theme. Metro Start working naturally. Mozilla Firefox have nice grey theme at upside. We need only run a THEMES.EXE application an choose "Others...", then click from a list of UNPACKED themes a last one: "Windows Default". Here's a screen shot:
original_screenshot.png
original_screenshot2.png
I know it isn't clearly Windows 9x theme, but more we can't probably want from Windows 8.
PS: Sorry for little mistakes in words. :p Still learning a language.:D
PS2: I have Windows 8 x64, and because of that MPC x86 have on buttons another bright of grey, and MPC x64 normal bright of grey of WIN9x.
PS3: If you still want experiments on Windows files, you can try with explorer.exe too. But also you can try only modificate this files (themeui.dll and explorer.exe) by special programs.
 
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#22
I actually have an idea for getting the real classic theme in Windows 8 (and not just an Aero Lite/High Contrast recolor), but I can't test it quite yet. It's kind of complicated, so I'm not going to post it here until I have tested it. I should be able to try it soon though.
 

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#23
Well I do know about that. But the real Windows Classic theme is still in Windows 8, it's just being covered up by Aero/Aero Lite.

Here's proof of this:
[video=youtube;e77JpO8Uk8M]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e77JpO8Uk8M[/video]

The solution in this video is obviously just temporary, as keeping winlogon.exe suspended for too long can cause problems. But I have an idea that might work for using the Classic theme full time. But like I said, I can't really test it yet.

Edit:
I've been doing some research, and I found this:
https://www.facepunch.com/showthread.php?t=1300248

The people in this thread seem to have some ideas, if anyone wants to try them out.
 
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bulldows95

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#28
Does anybody know why Microsoft had to remove the classic theme in the first place? It reminds me of good typography where one is supposed to NOT notice the page design so one can go about actually reading the content. The classic theme is just so stripped away of all nonsense that I can actually focus on my work so I can get somewhere in life.........
 

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#29
The new theming engine (the Aero) is very restrictive in that you cannot do whatever you want with it. It was designed specifically for exactly one theme (unlike the Win XP theming engine which allowed different themes). In W8 they decided to change the theme but their W8 theme is the best what they could do given the restrictions. I think the simplicized and flat design of W8 is just because they could not do anything with it.

And it is the only engine which supports compositing. So do not expect new themes in Windows until they create a more flexible theme engine.
 

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#30
Thanks for your insight Anixx, and for the links in your previous posts.

I didn't know one could disable DWM like that. Is that what you're doing? If so how's that going?
 

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6sicSIX

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#31
Hi, first post....
I have played around with disabling dwm, and created a few disk images that get around the lack of metro (AutoAdminLogon, PeNetwork, Task Manager from WinPE, auto kill security options on crtl-alt-del, restart explorer hotkey, classic shell, ribbon disabler, command bar disabler) but on a windows update / config change sometimes my modified files get replaced again :(
I have seen another less drastic method (taskbar is almost unusable, some programs that expect to be running on 8 have a weird transparent classic theme..

Anyway...With no mods on (other than HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Control Panel\Desktop\WindowMetrics\PaddedBorderWidth 0)
Running Clock.exe from Windows 3.51 using different options gives me this:
1.gif
First one
Launched, then set to analogue, then double-click the clock area to remove the window decorations, then double-click again to restore the window decorations, it restores with classic theme instead (which is kinda weird becuase 3.51 didn't even have the classic theme engine...)

Second one
I actually can't remember... I thought it was caused by running in compatibility mode but I can't recreate in now..

Third one
Just launched normally.

So......

My question is.. Could we investigate this behaviour (seeing how it falls back to classic) and possibly use it to enable classic on other windows?

Such as running the same Win32 api commands as the clock runs, but on a windows 8 window?
 

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#32
6sicSIX, do you think you just disabled DWM for the 2nd one? Just wondering.

Anyway, when you talked about a method for using the classic theme, I assume you're talking about this method:
forum.thinkpads.com ? View topic - Classic theme on Windows 8
Let me know if it's another method, but that one does have all of the problems you describe, and it's the only one I know is not too drastic and actually works well.
If you use that method though, a lot of the problems you mentioned (like classic transparent windows and the unusable taskbar) can be fixed by disabling DWM. It works fine for me, but I am getting one major problem that's keeping me from using the classic theme full time, that being there's an unresponsive portion of the desktop (I think it's the search pane or the network browsing pane) and it just won't go away, no matter what I do. I've tried restarting explorer, restarting my computer, pressing certain hotkeys that would normally hide/show search, but it always there, and it's on top of everything. It's not like anything triggers it either; if explorer's running, it's always there. If it weren't for that problem, I'd be using the classic theme right now. Anyone have a solution for this?

EDIT:
One other problem that's kind of keeping me away from the classic there is there are a few broken Control Panel pages. Not many, but a few. Other than that, it does seem to work pretty well.

Also, anyone ever thought of creating an alternate LogonUI.exe that isn't dependent on DWM? I know that would be a ton of work and would be extremely difficult, but I just thought I'd throw it out there anyways.
 

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#34
Hmm, maybe we can somehow get DWM to stop applying the transparency effects on the Classic theme. That way we can keep it enabled, while having a more usable looking interface. Just an idea. I'll admit, I've used the Windows Classic theme for a while, but I was never really bothered by the tearing (it was never a major issue for me). That said, it would be nice to have no tearing at all, so I'll look into keeping DWM enabled.
 
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#35
Ok, I have a major update for those who wish to disable DWM. If you are experiencing problems with the stupid, non-responsive sidebar that just won't go away and is on top of everything, I have a solution for you! Simply rename the file C:\Windows\System32\Windows.UI.Search.dll and reboot your computer. Once that's all done, that sidebar will be gone for good! It makes the classic theme a lot more usable for me. Now I just need to find out how to fix the broken Control Panel pages...
 

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6sicSIX

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#36
6sicSIX, do you think you just disabled DWM for the 2nd one? Just wondering.
forum.thinkpads.com ? View topic - Classic theme on Windows 8[/URL]
Hi Butters,
Nope, I was just playing around in compatibility settings, didn't kill any processes or use any 3rd party apps.. Plus you can't just disable dwm per app anymore (can you?) so the other windows would lose their theme too.

I mentioned this because it seems that it calls some dll such as user32.dll using a different (older) method. I was thinking we could somehow modify either the call from other programs, or actually modify user32.dll or whatever dll it is.
I'd like to point out here that I know nothing about actual programming, just scripts and messing about.

Sorry, yeah that is the method i've been using recently.
I want to avoid things like disabling dwm because of the issues with keeping it disabled after updates etc.

If you set the apps with transparency issues into xp compatibility mode, the issues are fixed.
However, this opens up a world of issues with plugins like flash in firefox.

Maybe someone could hack dwm.exe to remove transparency? Maybe using dwm.exe from windows 7 sp1 to inspect the code that runs when classic theme is enabled?

Regarding loginui.exe, are you using the admin account?
You can set a key in the registry called something like autoadminlogon, this will log you on automatically at startup and also if you log out.

I have had luck with using ex7forw8, then disabling dwm and setting autoadminlogon
I then used the ribbon disabler, enabled menus
You can optionally edit shellstyle.dll in system32 to remove or autohide the command bar.

If anyone gets Windows 7 SP1 explorer working on 8.1, i'd be eternally grateful.
It's essentially the same, but doesn't have all of the hooks into metroui.
 

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#37
you can't just disable dwm per app anymore (can you?) so the other windows would lose their theme too.
Yeah, I'm pretty sure that's right.

I mentioned this because it seems that it calls some dll such as user32.dll using a different (older) method. I was thinking we could somehow modify either the call from other programs, or actually modify user32.dll or whatever dll it is.
That might work.

I'd like to point out here that I know nothing about actual programming, just scripts and messing about.
Well, that makes two of us. I really need to learn programing already...

I want to avoid things like disabling dwm because of the issues with keeping it disabled after updates etc.
I haven't had problems with updates so far, but I'll let you know if that changes.

If you set the apps with transparency issues into xp compatibility mode, the issues are fixed.
However, this opens up a world of issues with plugins like flash in firefox.
That is something I've considered, but I decided to not do that simply because of the issues you mentioned; it was just too annoying for me.

Maybe someone could hack dwm.exe to remove transparency? Maybe using dwm.exe from windows 7 sp1 to inspect the code that runs when classic theme is enabled?
That's actually what I was thinking too. But like I said, I don't know programing either. So if anyone knows what function causes window transparency, please post it here.

are you using the admin account?
Yes, I'm using the built in Administrator account.

You can set a key in the registry called something like autoadminlogon, this will log you on automatically at startup and also if you log out.
Yeah, that's what I've done. It works pretty well for me, but it would be nice to actually have a login interface.


I have had luck with using ex7forw8, then disabling dwm and setting autoadminlogon
I then used the ribbon disabler, enabled menus
You can optionally edit shellstyle.dll in system32 to remove or autohide the command bar.
Actually I've done all that (except I didn't use the Ribbon Disabler program, I modified ExplorerFrame.dll to remove the ribbon). The only thing is ex7forw8 doesn't work on Windows 8.1, but the Windows 8.1 explorer.exe with Classic Shell works fine for me.

If anyone gets Windows 7 SP1 explorer working on 8.1, i'd be eternally grateful.
It's essentially the same, but doesn't have all of the hooks into metroui.
Again, I actually have thought about this myself. That would be nice, because even though Classic Shell does disable hot corners, Metro still does manage to pop up every now and then. I also thought of doing the same thing with Windows 7's LogonUI.exe, but that would probably be more difficult because LogonUI in Windows 7 is very different than LogonUI in Windows 8/8.1.

Currently, I have DWM.exe disabled, and I renamed the Aero folder so Windows can't load aero. It seems to work out pretty well; the only real problem I'm having is the broken Control Panel pages. I'm looking into editing UIFILE resources to fix them.

By the way, can you tell me about auto-killing the CTRL ALT Delete screen? Because that would be nice.
 

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Hopachi

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#39
@Anixx
Congrats!
Looks old... but not obsolete! :cool:
 

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Jez2k

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#40
This is how desktop looks under Win 8.1 on my machine:

View attachment 67909
How did you accompish this? Did you use the ClassicTheme.exe from winclassic.boards.net ? Apparently there were problems with the taskbar colours. How did you fix that?
 

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