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bigmuscle

Aero Glass for Win8 RC4

2,631 posts in this topic

DimasKid

It will not be long now, new website is being setup ready for full version, but you may have to pay for full version.

MY opinion:

Bigmuscle deserve every penny for all his hard work (If he is going to charge / sell dwmglass.dll).

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BM, i think it's need to add the "favicon.ico" file to root in the site to add icon of program that visible on browsers.

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Nice website bigmuscle, and nice theme, Tusticles :)

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2 more visual styles shots - 1 mod with Win7 blue magnify search and rtm navs and the other with win8 stock aero.mstyles..DPyes.gif

AG_1.png

AG_3.png

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Hmm, windowblinds8 is out, here is a random theme applied to win8

39y0.png

There is transparency behind the navigation bar :D, but without blur it looks like sh*t!

Edited by Tusticles
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DosProbie: nice screenshots, I should make some gallery on the website to present the look of AG's users.

Tusticles: yeah, WB does not provide blur effect but even if it does in the future, it still follows different approach than my Aero Glass. WB just hooks into system via RegisterUserApiHook and thus completely replaces UX theme service. Then it draws the frame completely via GDI so you cannot be sure that HW acceleration is used for it. My first (private only) version of Aero Glass worked this way, because it is very easy to do, but I rather decided go the native way by DWM hooking :-)

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DosProbie: nice screenshots, I should make some gallery on the website to present the look of AG's users.

Tusticles: yeah, WB does not provide blur effect but even if it does in the future, it still follows different approach than my Aero Glass. WB just hooks into system via RegisterUserApiHook and thus completely replaces UX theme service. Then it draws the frame completely via GDI so you cannot be sure that HW acceleration is used for it. My first (private only) version of Aero Glass worked this way, because it is very easy to do, but I rather decided go the native way by DWM hooking :-)

What about the transparency in navigation bar area? Can you do it?

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What about the transparency in navigation bar area? Can you do it?

This is not on me - this has nothing to do with DWM. Glass is present on all places where each application (Windows Explorer in this case) requests it.

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What about the transparency in navigation bar area? Can you do it?

This is not on me - this has nothing to do with DWM. Glass is present on all places where each application (Windows Explorer in this case) requests it.

--edit--

I'm trying to re-enable transparency in that area... hope someone will find a way to do it.

Edited by Tusticles
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Hi, bigmuscle!

First, thank you for your hard work, this thing is really amazing! Everything one needs to make Win8 look pretty without the sizes and hassle of WB. :)

But here's a question:

SOLVED.

Problems were:

- An Antivirus exception had to be added, because AppInit_DLLs reg key is frequently used by MalWare and anything modifying it is seen as "Trojan" or "Suspicious software" by Antivirus suites.

- "Secure Boot" had to be disabled in UEFI/BIOS, because it disables AppInit_DLLs processing in Windows somehow. (My opinion is that having to do this may scare away potential release users, and this is a major psychological concern to be addressed (maybe, by including a launcher that doesn't have to use "AppInit_DLLs" key, akin to the one that was included in v.0.6.)).

Edited by EvilAlex
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Yep the DWMhook method is a lot more work but totally worth it! Stardock just took the easy way out with WB, not worth the $10 bucks and all the daily spam mail you get with it.Thanks for doing it right Bigmuscle!..DP

DosProbie: nice screenshots, I should make some gallery on the website to present the look of AG's users.

Tusticles: yeah, WB does not provide blur effect but even if it does in the future, it still follows different approach than my Aero Glass. WB just hooks into system via RegisterUserApiHook and thus completely replaces UX theme service. Then it draws the frame completely via GDI so you cannot be sure that HW acceleration is used for it. My first (private only) version of Aero Glass worked this way, because it is very easy to do, but I rather decided go the native way by DWM hooking :-)

Edited by DosProbie
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Stardock just took the easy way out with WB....

What is WB?

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I'm a programmer myself, so I already had such a situation with a program of my own, which hooks keyboard events, and is, therefore, paranoidly regarded as a "Keylogger" by antivirus suite.

It's not paranoid, because your program intercepts keyboard data, which is very suspicious activity. It's fine if you wrote it, but if someone else wrote a program like that and put it on your computer, then they have access to everything you type, including every single password and username to go with it. If you ever buy something online, you enter your bank info, and it could intercept that. That's why government sites offer an on-screen keyboard in the website that you can optionally use if you feel that there might be a keylogger, because then it would be very easy for someone to get your SSN.

So you might want to figure out a different way to get your program to work besides keylogging :-)

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I'm a programmer myself, so I already had such a situation with a program of my own, which hooks keyboard events, and is, therefore, paranoidly regarded as a "Keylogger" by antivirus suite.

It's not paranoid, because your program intercepts keyboard data, which is very suspicious activity. It's fine if you wrote it, but if someone else wrote a program like that and put it on your computer, then they have access to everything you type, including every single password and username to go with it. If you ever buy something online, you enter your bank info, and it could intercept that. That's why government sites offer an on-screen keyboard in the website that you can optionally use if you feel that there might be a keylogger, because then it would be very easy for someone to get your SSN.

So you might want to figure out a different way to get your program to work besides keylogging :-)

That's way offtopic, but since you seem inclined to state the obvious (no offense intended :) ), I can also tell you, that for each decision, there are reasons: if I needed to write something, that didn't really require system-wide low-level access, like a game, I'd use Windows Messaging or DirectInput, obviously. No one wants their soft to be regarded "suspicious".

But, here's the same deal going back to the topic at hand:

DWMGlass we're discussing here uses not one, but AT LEAST two things extremely often used by Malware: DLL Injection (also called hooking), AND that aforementioned AppInit_DLLs reg value, which is actually the way a lot of "WinLock" type trojans work. They set themselves up in that value, load themselves at system start-up and hold an unsuspecting user for ransom: "Give a hacker a lot of money, or all your data is lost". And, apparently, this last quality is what (probably) causes my AV to react badly to this Win8-bad-looks-solution.

So to speak about "dangerous coding decisions".

But, like in the case with "returning Aero after it has been cut by Microsoft", there are situations, where "non-dangerous" approach is either impossible by design, or is way to complex, or isn't really solving the problem (like the aforementioned Stardock's WindowBlinds 8 (WB) \probably\ not having hardware acceleration).

So, there are situations, where you either just trust the software author (you do trust driver vendors, don't you?) not to abuse your privacy, or don't use the software, or have to stick with less satisfying approaches.

This was a case with my soft: I either had to write a full-fledged driver along with all the hassle and trouble (not to mention having user to install it), or just use a global hook, which I did.

Obviously, mr. bigmuscle had to do something similar for similar reasons.

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Hello,everyone

I've put all the files uncompressed from DWMHook094-64.7z to C:/DWM ,and changed the LoadGlass__AppInit_DLLs.reg as

'

Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00

[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\Windows]

"LoadAppInit_DLLs"=dword:00000001

"AppInit_DLLs"="C:\AeroGlass\\DWMGlass.dll"

"RequireSignedAppInit_DLLs"=dword:00000000

'

then import it into the registry.

and I have patch theUxStyle_Core_Sep3_Experimental_x64.msi ,and select an aero theme in the personalize setting...

but after a reboot,the AeroGlass seems not to work...

only the task bar become transparent,but all the winexplorer frame still is opaque.

I can see a DWM.exe in task manager...

anyone can tell me what's wrong with my process?

or how can I enable the AeroGlass normally?

Thx a lot> <

XLzsPZq.jpg

RWWy3Ez.jpg

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Hello,everyone

I've put all the files uncompressed from DWMHook094-64.7z to C:/DWM ,and changed the LoadGlass__AppInit_DLLs.reg as

'

Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00

[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\Windows]

"LoadAppInit_DLLs"=dword:00000001

"AppInit_DLLs"="C:\AeroGlass\\DWMGlass.dll"

"RequireSignedAppInit_DLLs"=dword:00000000

'

then import it into the registry.

and I have patch theUxStyle_Core_Sep3_Experimental_x64.msi ,and select an aero theme in the personalize setting...

but after a reboot,the AeroGlass seems not to work...

only the task bar become transparent,but all the winexplorer frame still is opaque.

I can see a DWM.exe in task manager...

anyone can tell me what's wrong with my process?

or how can I enable the AeroGlass normally?

Thx a lot> <

XLzsPZq.jpg

RWWy3Ez.jpg

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Hello,everyone

I've put all the files uncompressed from DWMHook094-64.7z to C:/DWM ,and changed the LoadGlass__AppInit_DLLs.reg as

'

Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00

[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\Windows]

"LoadAppInit_DLLs"=dword:00000001

"AppInit_DLLs"="C:\AeroGlass\\DWMGlass.dll"

"RequireSignedAppInit_DLLs"=dword:00000000

'

then import it into the registry.

and I have patch theUxStyle_Core_Sep3_Experimental_x64.msi ,and select an aero theme in the personalize setting...

but after a reboot,the AeroGlass seems not to work...

only the task bar become transparent,but all the winexplorer frame still is opaque.

I can see a DWM.exe in task manager...

anyone can tell me what's wrong with my process?

or how can I enable the AeroGlass normally?

Thx a lot> <

XLzsPZq.jpg

RWWy3Ez.jpg

Well your problem is right there in your post.

I've put all the files uncompressed from DWMHook094-64.7z to C:/DWM ,and changed the LoadGlass__AppInit_DLLs.reg as

'

Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00

[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\Windows]

"LoadAppInit_DLLs"=dword:00000001

"AppInit_DLLs"="C:\AeroGlass\\DWMGlass.dll"

"RequireSignedAppInit_DLLs"=dword:00000000

You should have the following

[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\Windows]

"LoadAppInit_DLLs"=dword:00000001

"AppInit_DLLs"="C:\DWM\\DWMGlass.dll"

"RequireSignedAppInit_DLLs"=dword:00000000

Edited by MrGRiM
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Actually, when importing directories into the registry using a .reg file, you need TWO backslashes.

"AppInit_DLLs="C:\\DWM\\DWMGlass.dll"

Im pretty sure it makes a difference.

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Hello,everyone

I've put all the files uncompressed from DWMHook094-64.7z to C:/DWM ,and changed the LoadGlass__AppInit_DLLs.reg as

'

Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00

[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\Windows]

"LoadAppInit_DLLs"=dword:00000001

"AppInit_DLLs"="C:\AeroGlass\\DWMGlass.dll"

"RequireSignedAppInit_DLLs"=dword:00000000

'

then import it into the registry.

and I have patch theUxStyle_Core_Sep3_Experimental_x64.msi ,and select an aero theme in the personalize setting...

but after a reboot,the AeroGlass seems not to work...

only the task bar become transparent,but all the winexplorer frame still is opaque.

I can see a DWM.exe in task manager...

anyone can tell me what's wrong with my process?

or how can I enable the AeroGlass normally?

Thx a lot> <

XLzsPZq.jpg

RWWy3Ez.jpg

GRU,

If you are using a UEFI system, then you must turn off secure boot in your BIOS before you try this.

That does not apply in a VM.

Edited by Dreamweaver01
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But, like in the case with "returning Aero after it has been cut by Microsoft", there are situations, where "non-dangerous" approach is either impossible by design, or is way to complex, or isn't really solving the problem (like the aforementioned Stardock's WindowBlinds 8 (WB) \probably\ not having hardware acceleration).

The reality is that even WindowBlinds use DLL injection. Also my opinion us that LoadAppInit_DLLs is one of the most secure injection because you can check what is really injected. There are much "worse" ways which you cannot control at all.

MagicAndre1981: I guess you use shader optimization, it's probably not compatible in this setup.

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Basically, it's another case of a false positive (hence the .generic suffix), but any decent antivirus allows you to add a suspicious program to your exception list if you trust it.

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GRU,

If you are using a UEFI system, then you must turn off secure boot in your BIOS before you try this.

That does not apply in a VM.

BTW this also helped me. Never expected anything like this to be a reason.

Disabled "secure boot" - everything works.

It still requires an exception in AnitVirus soft to be made in order to successfully add registry values, but then it works. What the?...

The reality is that even WindowBlinds use DLL injection. Also my opinion us that LoadAppInit_DLLs is one of the most secure injection because you can check what is really injected. There are much "worse" ways which you cannot control at all.

There are, of course. But thing is, AV Suites AND, as it turned out, even the UEFI (bios) itself, tend to block this key (like in my case) without regards to "worse ways". Malware being what is...

Just in case, have you considered adding an exe-file launcher (akin to the one you had back in v.0.6) to the final release, for people like myself, with a little paranoid AV suites and UEFI bios-es? (Those are becoming more and more standard this days.)

I must admit (although I understand why this happens), it's "a little bit strange" having to change bios settings just to be able to run a small app. It's OK while it's in "beta"\"testing" stage, but will be a major issue for release users who don't expect having to do anything like this.

Thanks again for this amazing tool! :)

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