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Overcow's guide to a better desktop

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Ok then, it's time for how to mod your XP. A guide by Overcow. v.1.1


Download nao!




The point of my XP modding is to:


1. Make it darker, it's nice with something that doesn't hurt the eyes.

2. Make it minimalistic, personally, I find minimalistic designs MUCH better than super big crap that only takes up space.

3. To make it look good, come on, the Luna (that's the XP standard theme) is so proboscis, it's the ugliest theme ever.




Most of the stuff (like dock) draws very little processing power and the theme is "built" into Windows.

Oh, and some good music to have in the background helps too.


The theme


The theme is by far, the most important (and possibly the easiest) step in this tutorial.

We are going to use a little thing called UxTheme patcher.

Now what will this do? Well, it patches the file uxtheme.dll so that the user can apply non-signed themes directly in windows so there is no need for applications like Windowblinds and StyleXP. This file can be found in my RAR.

When you've got the file, run it, and when it's done, restart your system. After this, you should be able to modify your theme.


But what is this? You don't have any custom themes to try out? Well, I've induced my favourites in the RAR, but if you want to find you own, try http://www.deviantart.com and http://customize.org/ (note Customize is my personal favourite, but it can be painfully slow, so have some patience).

Now to apply them, there are two ways. One is to put the theme in some system folder that I keep forgetting about. The other is to simply run the theme file which should take you to the normal theme selection menu where the theme should be added. NOTE: At least for me, the theme didn't stay here, but they will always work once applied.


The dock


A menu dock is a thing you've probably seen in MAC and Linux, but did you know that it's really easy to get one for any kind of Windows? All you need is a dock application. The two biggest ones here are ObjectDock and RocketDock. They are pretty much identical, but I prefer ObjectDock (it's in the RAR).

All you need to do, is to drag and drop all the things you want there, app shortcuts, folders, files, whatever really. To change the icon, you will need a .png file, the best website for icons in my opinion is Devintart, so just go there. I'll include the icons I use and a .psd so you can make your own. NOTE: I found these icons on Deviantart and I've not made them myself. If you want to change anything, just go to the options of the dock. There's a lot of options there so I won't go over them.


The Widgets


I use an application called Rainmeter to get the clock, notes and all the other crap (the app is in the RAR) and the skins are from this guy's Enigma theme suite (also in the RAR). There's a great tut in there so just follow it.

The thing I use to display album art is an app called CD Art Display (in the RAR), yet again with the Enigma skin.

More skins for these apps can be found on their respective sites.


The wallpaper


Just find a wallpaper that fits the rest of your style, is of high quality and in your resolution. I use 4chan, Customize and Deviantart for wall and I'll be uploading a massive wallpaper pack in the near future, so stay tuned.




If you find any typos or grammatical errors, please tell me and I'll fix 'em. All the materials are copyrighted to their respective authors.


I hope this helped you in the hunt for a good desktop!

Edited by Overcow

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Probably will be more helpful with the acclaimed "rar" :P


I use most of the steps you mention minus the widgets. And for the dock I use Rocketdock :lol:

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lolno. My desktop is fine. I don't want extra bull**** running in the background unnecessarily using resources I can use for other things.

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Or just use Vista ;) I do and it works fine.

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I use Windows Blinds. I love that program, but is annoying to get a hold of...

It can mess with the effects, transparency, hue of any skin made for windows blinds.

I use it because the msstyles don't work very often, but if you want a vista looking variant for XP get the Royale skin, from Media Centre Edition (can be found in here, place in Windows/Resources/Themes)

Edited by BlyTwo

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@BOB: I've never liked shell replacements...


@Sonic: At least Aero looks pretty good, that's more than you can say about Luna...


@Bly: I used it before and while it's a powerfull tool all the themes I found for it was a little bulky.


Anyways, my little collections of files are up.

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vista works just fine for the moment o.o a friend of mine got ahold of the windows 7 leaked beta xD sent me a load of screenies. from what i've seen and heard it works a lot better (and faster) then vista but without the problems. the downside is that it's still a beta - the design is minimalistic to say the least (the taskbar looks almost win 2000 comparable o.O)


so they may give it fancy stuff like vista's aero thing... but it's still a beta. i didn't get the beta cos sooner or later it would run out and stop working... i'd rather just wait until a proper version of it comes out o.o but yah it looks pretty kickass. downside is the other things that were standard before (such as movie maker and photo gallery) you have to get in a little upgrade pack (though apparently the beta my friend got had this with it o.O)


so if i do any upgrading it'll be to win 7 when it comes out properly ^^

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Updated the files and fixed the spelling mistakes.

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Needs pics to show what happens after its all done tbh. :P

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