Change the look of your boring Windows XP

12:40 17/02/2007, in Tips & Tricks

Hey guys, look at this thumbnail. Is it good? If you feel it, go with me to find some basic information about Windows tweaking. In this article, I will tell you about Visual Styles tweaking (by famous uxtheme.dll method), Tango Icon Patcher (by vertigosity) and Samurize – a nice and powerful docking program.

Glass (slumpurized)

The first thing you need to do, is download uxtheme.dll into your computer and replace the file C:\Windows\System32\uxtheme.dll with it. You can skip this step if you’re sure that your uxtheme.dll was patched before, or you’re a guru 😉 . If you can not delete the original file, try rename it to something else like uxtheme.dll.bak and then copy the new file to that directory. If you can’t rename the old file, try logging in to your Windows using Safe Mode (by pressing F8 insanely when your PC started) and then do what you want with it.

Once you had your uxtheme.dll patched, you can install whatever Windows theme (also known as Visual Styles) you can find. The visual style was used in my screenshot is Tango Inspirat by Vichair. Go grab it if you like it. You can also find the great wallpaper Green Hills by Daxius on DeviantArt.

You can skip this second part, because it’s really short. Just download Tango Icon Patcher and apply it. This is the greatest icon patcher I’ve ever seen and I think I should stick with it forever. All icons are from Tango Project, but vertigosity did make a wonderful port to Windows. Install it and you can forget the boring default Windows icons.

And then, we can now focus on the third part: Installing and configuring Samurize to make it looks smooth. Go to Samurize Homepage, download the latest Samurize and install it on your computer. You can skip Server feature and some sample scripts/plugins as we don’t really need them. After the installation completed, open Config Tool and Import this package. You may be asked for your NIC card and/or some other info but I believe you can understand and answer them all.

We need to modify the imported configuration a little bit to fit your settings. Go to the directory that you’ve installed Samurize (mostly C:\Program Files\Samurize), and then navigate to Config/Glass folder. You’ll find a file named Glass (slumpurized).ini there. Open it with some useful text editor (I suggest SciTE, or Notepad++, or at least WordPad).

  • Replace all D:\Samurize with your path to Samurize. It will be C:\Program Files\Samurize for default installation.
  • Replace all VMXX0006 with your Zip Code (if you are US resident), or your weather.com city code. If you’re not sure about this, go to weather.com, and search for your city. If the result came up, you’ll see your city code in the address bar. It will be formed of your nation code (2 chars) + XX + your city number (4 numbers). For example, Madrid will be SPXX0050.
  • Replace all Metric with English if you’re more familiar with Fahrenheit than Celcius degree.
  • Find this text DLLFunction=getMessageCount and fill up their next parameters. Param 1 will be your Gmail account, Param 2 will be your password and Param 3 is False. You can find more information about this plugin here.

You’re done. Launch Samurize Client and then select Config -> Glass -> Glass (slumpurized). You’ll see what you’ve done 😉

Note: I’m not the author of any plugin or configuration in this article, I just mix them up. The Glass configuration was made by Em7 and it’s included in the latest version of Samurize. If you have any question, feel free to drop it here. I hope you’ll be satisfied with the new look of your Windows XP.

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