# Configuring Windows 7 to look/act/"feel" like XP?

## 21 posts in this topic

Hello, all.

I've decided to finally give Windows 7 a chance, at least for a while, so I can learn about and get used to it, and maybe even learn to like it. However, much like I've made my XP install look and "feel" reminiscent of Windows 98 ("classic" settings), I would prefer to get 7 looking, acting and "feeling" as close to XP as possible. Searching for info on Google brings up a boatload of different pages. I figure plenty of people here have already figured out the best way to do what I'm asking, so I'd rather ask here than blindly comb through links on my own.

In addition, I'd like to know the general success rate of getting older 32-bit applications to run properly in 7. I currently rely on quite a few "legacy" applications, written for Windows 98 but that work 100% in XP. Am I going to be up against poor odds trying to get them to work properly in 7?

Finally (for the moment), I had to make use of a few tricks to let XP allow me to delete certain system files (i.e. screensavers, etc.) without them automatically being reloaded. I imagine such workarounds exist for 7; could someone point me in the right direction?

These are some of the things that are important for me to get a handle on before popping in that installation disc and having a go.

Any help appreciated, thanks.

Edited by Click Beetle DX
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First things first. Before install:

http://www.wincert.net/forum/files/file/5-win-toolkit/

(like nLite for XP; if you haven't used it, maybe you'd like to skip this)

Then, here are some utils that are priceless (to me) to even think about going near 7:

http://www.classicshell.net/

http://www.sevenforums.com/tutorials/1911-take-ownership-shortcut.html

http://www.itsamples.com/network-activity-indicator.html

http://www.codeproject.com/Articles/118909/Windows-7-File-properties-Version-Tab-Shell-Extens

Then comes tweaking. I assume for the same purpose (to calm the OS down to a similar non-disturbing level, like Win9x) I need 3 days for XP (had a lot of practice in the past ) and 3 weeks for 7+ (I'm improving, when I was unfamiliar with and afraid of the OS, it took a lot longer). But you can skip this part if you're not feeling like it (take the blue pill?). My point is it can be done, but not everyone is willing to invest time and effort in it.

Maybe just one little tweaker... http://7room.net/gigatweaker/

As for the compatibility part, it depends on the programs themselves. For some of my programs, I found it was better to turn program compatibility assistant off - it was just confusing them. Most of the times, it's about permissions of the filesystem/registry, and the biggest compatibility problem - unsigned drivers.

GL

Edited by GrofLuigi
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WOW! What a big help, thanks so much!

I've just gotten around to installing Windows 7 this evening, and boy did your suggestions make a huge change. I feel I could actually get comfortable with 7, now that it looks and behaves more like XP.

Really appreciate the tips, thanks again.

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My pleasure.

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My journey to convert 7 into a pleasant OS began just 2 months ago when I installed this dual boot with XP. But now because work I spend much time on 7 (x64), it actually makes a difference with heavy projects I must admit, but the GUI is a disgrace. Because now I spend more and more time in it I discovered little annoying quirks and therefore little by little go fixing them. I will share mine.

Replaced icons. I replaced the image (png, jpg, etc) and system (ini, inf, dll, bat, etc) file icons with those from XP, because I have fastoneMV installed from unattended 7 I need to override those, but you can get the corresponding icon ID inside shimgvw.dll and replace where it needs:

; para cambiar los iconos de carpetas (id 3) o unknown files (id 0) hay que crear estas claves.[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\Shell Icons]"0"="%SystemRoot%\\shell32.dll,-1"; default imageres.dll,-69[HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\inffile\DefaultIcon]@=hex(2):25,00,53,00,79,00,73,00,74,00,65,00,6d,00,52,00,6f,00,6f,00,74,00,25,\  00,5c,00,73,00,68,00,65,00,6c,00,6c,00,33,00,32,00,2e,00,64,00,6c,00,6c,00,\  2c,00,2d,00,31,00,35,00,31,00,00,00[HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\inifile\DefaultIcon]@="%SystemRoot%\\shell32.dll,-151"; default imageres.dll,-68[HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\batfile\DefaultIcon]@=hex(2):25,00,53,00,79,00,73,00,74,00,65,00,6d,00,52,00,6f,00,6f,00,74,00,25,\  00,5c,00,73,00,68,00,65,00,6c,00,6c,00,33,00,32,00,2e,00,64,00,6c,00,6c,00,\  2c,00,2d,00,31,00,35,00,33,00,00,00[HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\cmdfile\DefaultIcon]@=hex(2):25,00,53,00,79,00,73,00,74,00,65,00,6d,00,52,00,6f,00,6f,00,74,00,25,\  00,5c,00,73,00,68,00,65,00,6c,00,6c,00,33,00,32,00,2e,00,64,00,6c,00,6c,00,\  2c,00,2d,00,31,00,35,00,33,00,00,00; default imageres.dll,-67[HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\dllfile\DefaultIcon]@="%SystemRoot%\\shell32.dll,-154"[HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\pnffile\DefaultIcon]@=hex(2):25,00,53,00,79,00,73,00,74,00,65,00,6d,00,52,00,6f,00,6f,00,74,00,25,\  00,5c,00,73,00,68,00,65,00,6c,00,6c,00,33,00,32,00,2e,00,64,00,6c,00,6c,00,\  2c,00,2d,00,31,00,35,00,34,00,00,00[HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\SystemFileAssociations\system\DefaultIcon]@=hex(2):25,00,53,00,79,00,73,00,74,00,65,00,6d,00,52,00,6f,00,6f,00,74,00,25,\  00,5c,00,73,00,68,00,65,00,6c,00,6c,00,33,00,32,00,2e,00,64,00,6c,00,6c,00,\  2c,00,2d,00,31,00,35,00,34,00,00,00[HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\dbfile\DefaultIcon]@="%SystemRoot%\\shell32.dll,-154"[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Classes\dbfile\DefaultIcon]@="%SystemRoot%\\shell32.dll,-154"; shimgvw.dll version de 430kbps, meter en carpeta WINDOWS; Install then put original image icons back[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Classes\.ijpg\DefaultIcon]@="%SystemRoot%\\shimgvw.dll,3"[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Classes\FastStoneMV.bmp\DefaultIcon]@="%SystemRoot%\\shimgvw.dll,1"[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Classes\FastStoneMV.gif\DefaultIcon]@="%SystemRoot%\\shimgvw.dll,4"[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Classes\FastStoneMV.jpeg\DefaultIcon]@="%SystemRoot%\\shimgvw.dll,3"[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Classes\FastStoneMV.jpg\DefaultIcon]@="%SystemRoot%\\shimgvw.dll,3"[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Classes\FastStoneMV.png\DefaultIcon]@="%SystemRoot%\\shimgvw.dll,2"[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Classes\FastStoneMV.tif\DefaultIcon]@="%SystemRoot%\\shimgvw.dll,4"[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Classes\FastStoneMV.tiff\DefaultIcon]@="%SystemRoot%\\shimgvw.dll,4"[HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\.ijpg\DefaultIcon]@="%SystemRoot%\\shimgvw.dll,3"[HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\FastStoneMV.bmp\DefaultIcon]@="%SystemRoot%\\shimgvw.dll,1"[HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\FastStoneMV.gif\DefaultIcon]@="%SystemRoot%\\shimgvw.dll,4"[HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\FastStoneMV.jpeg\DefaultIcon]@="%SystemRoot%\\shimgvw.dll,3"[HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\FastStoneMV.jpg\DefaultIcon]@="%SystemRoot%\\shimgvw.dll,3"[HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\FastStoneMV.png\DefaultIcon]@="%SystemRoot%\\shimgvw.dll,2"[HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\FastStoneMV.tif\DefaultIcon]@="%SystemRoot%\\shimgvw.dll,4"[HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\FastStoneMV.tiff\DefaultIcon]@="%SystemRoot%\\shimgvw.dll,4"

Here you have some other useful regs:

; Disable Windows Media Player AutoUpdates[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Policies\Microsoft\WindowsMediaPlayer]"DisableAutoUpdate"=dword:00000001; Blocked Handlers, first one for Photo Viewer Context Menu, next 4 to avoid video thumbnail on thumbnail mode[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Shell Extensions\Blocked]"{FFE2A43C-56B9-4bf5-9A79-CC6D4285608A}"="""{f81b1b56-7613-4ee4-bc05-1fab5de5c07e}"="""{1E589E9D-8A8D-46d9-A2F9-E6D4F8161EE9}"="""{e2fb4720-f45f-4a3c-8cb2-2060e12425c3}"="""{AEB16279-B750-48f1-8586-97956060175A}"="";Disable User Account Control ( UAC )[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Policies\System]"EnableLUA"=dword:00000000;Disable automatic restart in the event of a blue screen[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\CrashControl]"AutoReboot"=dword:00000000; Disables logging for readyboot.etl (prefetch)[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\WMI\Autologger\ReadyBoot]"start"=dword:00000000; Untick Remote Assistance checkbox[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\Remote Assistance]"MaxTicketExpiry"=dword:00000000"fAllowFullControl"=dword:00000000"fAllowToGetHelp"=dword:00000000"CreateEncryptedOnlyTickets"=dword:00000000"MaxTicketExpiryUnits"=dword:00000000; Removes Detail Pane in Explorer[HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\Modules\GlobalSettings\Sizer]"PreviewPaneSizer"=hex:45,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,0c,02,00,00; Set Desktop Icon Spacing to that of XP[HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Control Panel\Desktop\WindowMetrics]"IconSpacing"="-990""IconVerticalSpacing"="-990"; Hide Action Center Icon on taskbar[HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Policies\Explorer]"HideSCAHealth"=dword:00000001"NoCDBurning"=dword:00000001; Lock taskbar[HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\Advanced]"TaskbarSizeMove"=dword:00000000; Disable Tool Tips"ShowInfoTip"=dword:00000000; Removes Girar Izquierda, etc for Image Context Menu. Probably won't work.[HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\CLSID\{FFE2A43C-56B9-4bf5-9A79-CC6D4285608A}]@="Windows Photo Viewer Image Verbs""ImplementsVerbs"="preview;printto;slideshow";"ImplementsVerbs"="preview;printto;rotate90;rotate270;setwallpaper;slideshow";Remove "Play with Windows Media Player" context menu entries[-HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\SystemFileAssociations\Directory.Audio\shellex\ContextMenuHandlers\WMPShopMusic][-HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\SystemFileAssociations\Directory.Audio\shell\Enqueue][-HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\SystemFileAssociations\Directory.Audio\shell\Play][-HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\SystemFileAssociations\Directory.Image\shell\Enqueue][-HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\SystemFileAssociations\Directory.Image\shell\Play][-HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\SystemFileAssociations\Directory.Video\shell\Enqueue][-HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\SystemFileAssociations\Directory.Video\shell\Play][-HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\SystemFileAssociations\audio\shell\Enqueue][-HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\SystemFileAssociations\audio\shell\Play][-HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\SystemFileAssociations\video\shell\Enqueue][-HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\SystemFileAssociations\video\shell\Play];Remove Set as Background context menu entry[-HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\SystemFileAssociations\.bmp\Shell\setdesktopwallpaper][-HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\SystemFileAssociations\.dib\Shell\setdesktopwallpaper][-HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\SystemFileAssociations\.gif\Shell\setdesktopwallpaper][-HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\SystemFileAssociations\.jfif\Shell\setdesktopwallpaper][-HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\SystemFileAssociations\.jpe\Shell\setdesktopwallpaper][-HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\SystemFileAssociations\.jpeg\Shell\setdesktopwallpaper][-HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\SystemFileAssociations\.jpg\Shell\setdesktopwallpaper][-HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\SystemFileAssociations\.png\Shell\setdesktopwallpaper][-HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\SystemFileAssociations\.tif\Shell\setdesktopwallpaper][-HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\SystemFileAssociations\.tiff\Shell\setdesktopwallpaper][-HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\SystemFileAssociations\.wdp\Shell\setdesktopwallpaper]; Remove Print From common text-based files[-HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\SystemFileAssociations\text\shell\print][-HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\batfile\shell\print][-HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\cmdfile\shell\print][-HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\docfile\shell\print][-HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\fonfile\shell\print][-HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\htmlfile\shell\print][-HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\inffile\shell\print][-HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\inifile\shell\print][-HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\JSEFile\shell\print][-HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\JSFile\shell\print][-HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\MSInfo.Document\shell\print][-HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\otffile\shell\print][-HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\pfmfile\shell\print][-HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\regfile\shell\print][-HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\rtffile\shell\print][-HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\ttcfile\shell\print][-HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\ttffile\shell\print][-HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\txtfile\shell\print][-HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\VBEFile\shell\print][-HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\VBSFile\shell\print][-HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\Wordpad.Document.1\shell\print][-HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\WPEDoc\shell\print][-HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\WPSDoc\shell\print][-HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\wrifile\shell\print][-HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\WSFFile\shell\print]; Remove Print From Internet Shortcut[-HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Classes\InternetShortcut\shell\print]; Remove "Print" and "Edit" from context menu for image files[-HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\SystemFileAssociations\image\shell\print][-HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\SystemFileAssociations\image\shell\edit]; Remove "Preview" from image files context menu[-HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\SystemFileAssociations\image\ShellEx\ContextMenuHandlers\ShellImagePreview]; Remove "Edit" from BMP files context menu[-HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Classes\Paint.Picture\shell\edit];Remove "Restore Previous Versions" from the Context Menu[-HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\AllFilesystemObjects\shellex\ContextMenuHandlers\{596AB062-B4D2-4215-9F74-E9109B0A8153}][-HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\CLSID\{450D8FBA-AD25-11D0-98A8-0800361B1103}\shellex\ContextMenuHandlers\{596AB062-B4D2-4215-9F74-E9109B0A8153}][-HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\Directory\shellex\ContextMenuHandlers\{596AB062-B4D2-4215-9F74-E9109B0A8153}][-HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\Drive\shellex\ContextMenuHandlers\{596AB062-B4D2-4215-9F74-E9109B0A8153}];Remove "Security" tab from properties[HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Policies\Explorer]"Nosecuritytab"=dword:00000001;Remove "Restore Previous Versions" tab from properties[-HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\AllFilesystemObjects\shellex\PropertySheetHandlers\{596AB062-B4D2-4215-9F74-E9109B0A8153}][-HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\CLSID\{450D8FBA-AD25-11D0-98A8-0800361B1103}\shellex\PropertySheetHandlers\{596AB062-B4D2-4215-9F74-E9109B0A8153}][-HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\Directory\shellex\PropertySheetHandlers\{596AB062-B4D2-4215-9F74-E9109B0A8153}][-HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\Drive\shellex\PropertySheetHandlers\{596AB062-B4D2-4215-9F74-E9109B0A8153}]

The I install a bunch of applications:

network activity indicator

VersInfoEx

fast preview (like PicaView, still has a few annoying bugs)

ClassicShell (a must for 7)

FileSearchEX (like XP search)

FolderOptionsX (disable auto-arrange in Win7, and full row selection in explorer)

7+ (probably overkill, it's underdeveloped too)

-Uninstall Remote Differential Compression manually (don't know how to do by regs)

-And instead of going to classic shell, why not try a neat Aero theme? I installed ADOBULATED. I modified some dll's so it's more like XP. To start with shellstyle.dll, so I got rid of the useless "command bar", then I modified shell32.dll to make line spacing in explorer narrower like in XP. I upload the pack with my own modifications, just beware IE10 or IE11 won't work with this theme. Just practice the whole thing on VM beforehand.

Adobulated (I upload because it is not supported anymore, and hopefully someone can fix the shell32.dll incompatibilty too)

-Then as usual there are a whole lot of them I didn't list, since they are more debatable on user likes. Things like services, programs, etc I'm yet in the process so I will keep investigating.

Edited by Dogway
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And, if you loved the quick launch like me, in windows 7 is just hidden, to get it back just follow THESE easy steps

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More.

FolderOptionsX (used to disable auto-arrange in Win7, and limit full row selection in explorer)

This is like building Win7 from scratch lol.

Edited by Dogway
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This is like building Win7 from scratch lol.

Now that is a understatement! It surely needs rebuilding.

RT Seven Lite (with proper documentation), Unlocker, Win 7 Boot Updater, All Programs Auto Expander (for the start menu if you keep that), Shell Folder Fix (or Classic Shell & Explorer), a dozen or more registry fixes (hide or disable new, unwanted, unnecessary, annoying functions/features), the 'Show Desktop' shortcut for the task bar,

And 6 months of experimentation.

Edited by videobruce
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Thank you! every bit of input from users is welcome. Because I use ClassicShell, with classic start menu I don't need "All Programs Auto Expander".

Try to put a short description of the listed tools, so hopefully we can make a long self explanatory list for Win7 newcomers. I take "Win 7 Boot Updater" and "Shell Folder Fix" from your suggestions.

I really hate 3 "features" of Win7, if anyone knows how to fix.

-Explorer auto closes when you exit USB when still inside it.

-Opening a folder from Desktop starts with folder pane on.

-File autosorting when drop files into a folder.

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The first thing i do is to replace the god awful new windows file explorer.

With either Directory Opus - the ultimate Windows Explorer Replacement

or any free-ware alternative like Multi Commander or Explorer++.

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Tell me they can undo actions and I switch ASAP.

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All 3 do have Edit / Undo, if that's what you mean, i recommend to switch immediately.

And unlike the Windows 7/8 Explorer you can freely customize them to your liking...

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All third party explorers I tried (and they are many) had only one level of undo, and not all undo's were possible, for me this is unacceptable, despite how good the rest of features are, that's the main reason I'm bothering so much with builtin explorer.

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I also went and tried some, Directory Opus Pro and XYplorer are the only ones that can do it.
And they even have separate drop down menus for the undo history, Directory Opus Pro like:

And XYplorerFree, the free edition of XYplorer like that:

Sadly you were right, none of the other mentioned freeware explorers can do multiples. But I'll mail them with this request...

Edited by petrus
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That's nice to know though. I remember some of them also not being able to undo "delete" actions or something on that vein, don't remember exactly, but I will have a second look to those you mentioned.

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