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


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#1
Click Beetle DX

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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, 09 January 2014 - 04:53 AM.



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#2
GrofLuigi

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First things first. Before install:

 

http://www.wincert.n.../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.sevenforu...p-shortcut.html

 

http://www.itsamples...-indicator.html

 

http://www.codeproje...ab-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...  :blushing:  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, 09 January 2014 - 03:22 PM.


#3
Click Beetle DX

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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.



#4
GrofLuigi

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My pleasure.  :yes:



#5
Dogway

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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:

Spoiler



Here you have some other useful regs:
Spoiler



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)
7+taskbartweaker (for taskbar like XP)
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, 06 April 2014 - 04:14 PM.


#6
andywarrior

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#7
Dogway

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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, 15 March 2014 - 02:21 AM.


#8
videobruce

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This is like building Win7 from scratch lol.

 

Now that is a understatement!   It surely needs rebuilding.  

 

Add these;

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.   :w00t:


Edited by videobruce, 06 April 2014 - 08:14 AM.

When not in use, turn off the juice.

Think of someone else instead of just yourself. There is far more to it than your utility bill.


#9
Dogway

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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.

#10
petrus

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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++.

 

 

 



#11
Dogway

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Tell me they can undo actions and I switch ASAP.

#12
petrus

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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...



#13
Dogway

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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.

#14
petrus

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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:

 

undookujx.jpg

 

And XYplorerFree, the free edition of XYplorer like that:

 

undo2yjsvd.jpg

 

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, 07 April 2014 - 11:08 PM.


#15
Dogway

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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.

#16
theelf

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Hi, something that I hate from 7 is when i do the logon, for 1 or 2 seconds, screen do a fade to black, and show desktop

 

 

 

Ayone have any idea hot to disable this?

 

 

 

And other, is how i can get the old,  32x32 icons? I say in normal icon view

 

Thanks



#17
Dogway

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Yes, although I hate more when while booting 7 it turns off screen/monitor for a second (WTF?).

yesterday I felt that it was lacking something... and then I realized I missed the folder tree pane toggle icon. Luckily the very last version of Classic Shell (4.0.6) adds this button to the their custom tool bar. Go grab it!

I also miss how I could rename folders from the folder tree (by double clicking I mean). Maybe this is possible on untouched Win7? now I'm not sure.

Edited by Dogway, 09 April 2014 - 04:21 AM.


#18
vinifera

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it probably adjusts screen resolution :P

while on CRT that would be annoying, on LCD it has no impact

 

I rather see 2 seconds of black screen fading to wallpaper than watching ugly blue solid color with no background and then waiting for wallpaper to load


If you want true Windows user experience
try Longhorn builds: 3718, 4029, 4066

#19
Dogway

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it probably adjusts screen resolution :P
while on CRT that would be annoying, on LCD it has no impact
 
I rather see 2 seconds of black screen fading to wallpaper than watching ugly blue solid color with no background and then waiting for wallpaper to load


You shouldn't complain because it happens, you should complain because it's a regression that a 13yo OS didn't have.
I would rather not see anything fade to anything.

#20
videobruce

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That's when the proper video driver(s) is loaded from the stock VGA driver. :yes:


When not in use, turn off the juice.

Think of someone else instead of just yourself. There is far more to it than your utility bill.


#21
CamTron

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Do these things work for Windows 8?
Man, would that be awesome!
Keyboard failure...
Strike the f1 key to continue, f2 to run the setup utility.




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