Saturday, December 13, 2008

Customization Unlocked. All that’s left is to have the famous UxTheme Patch.

Ever since Microsoft handed out Windows 7 – 6801 I became somewhat sad because using custom Visual Styles may not be longer usable in Windows 7 and I don’t think I was the only one. UxTheme.dll and friend’s coding was insanely modified (according to someone at least). And the Appearance Tab (which became a Window in Vista) was taken out. Thus leaving users with this.


Not much useful information here. When I first encountered this I was crushed. However, recent thoughts made me think. I had to think the same way that Microsoft is thinking in terms of how the Personalize window works, not just replace Aero’s VS. (which I did at first)

So what did I do? I opened up a Theme File with notepad. Personally I haven’t opened one before and it’s simple enough to edit freely. But more importantly…


The Theme Files are the -convenient- way to load up MSSTYLES. Here are some examples to show that it works.

First up is 6801’s Visual Style:


Notice the gray taskbar, that’s proof enough that it’s 6801 (unless the ones between 6801 and 6956 had the same color).

Next up is 6519’s Visual Style, the Vista Clone:


Look at the Taskbar and Start Menu. Good ol black bar. However, it seems that the Start Orb is located in a different resource… Hence why it looks the same.

Following it is Vista’s own Visual Style


Notice how the taskbar lacks… style. This one also shows the highlighted taskbar color on the new popup. Can be related to moved resources.

Loading up a Custom Style reverts back to classic.

As a point of interest, looking at 6519’s MSSTYLE with Vista’s reveals that it had a lot more than people saw. It worked on both 7 and Vista perfectly. But when loaded in 6956, it shows that they were already making “Superbar” resources.

So in short, this is some good news to those customizers waiting to get their hands dirty creating the world’s first Windows 7 Custom Visual Style! However, as the title says, we have to wait for a UxTheme patch… AGAIN!


Thursday, December 11, 2008

I also think that Windows 7 Error Recovery is a pain in...

A post made by Rafael Rivera reveals his experience with the said tool. So far, he is not the only one who went through this. Yesterday my 6956 install decided to die on me when I turned on my computer. Reaching the advanced boot menu was impossible as... well... his first image describes it better. I tried to atleast get to Safe Mode, but couldn't. Using the Error Recovery sent me to 6801's which I had removed (so I got an error).

So yeah... A loop. I ended up reinstalling Windows again.

Thursday, December 4, 2008


I bet that almost no one who's using Windows 7 is still using these applications. Everything in this picture came from a XP VHD (I finally learned how to mount them!). Really nostalgic, but amusingly they work just fine on Windows 7. MSN Explorer won't sign in though... But who cares? Nobody uses it today (I hope...). It's kinda fun searching which .exe files work and which won't. Like for example, Windows Messenger. That bugger is dead since Vista came out.

So, uh...

Tuesday, November 25, 2008


Yeah... It only happened for a little while though...

Saturday, November 8, 2008

☢ CAUTION! ☢ CAUTION! ☢ 7 and XP Dualboot problems ☢ CAUTION! ☢ CAUTION! ☢

I'm on a roll here, so this will be as brief as possible.

Trying to install Windows XP after Windows 7 isn't a nice ride as before. After the initial part of the installation, where your bootloader gets replaced, you'll get a "Operating System not found." message.

Using 7's Startup Repair tool brings up the next error on startup "BOOTMGR is missing Press Ctrl+Alt+Del to restart"

Solution: Ya know the 200 MB partition that 7 does? The bootloader's in there. You simply need to make it's partition active with diskpart

  • Enter the Command Prompt via the 7 DVD

  • Diskpart

  • list disk

  • select disc x (where x is your disk number)

  • list partition

  • select partition x (where x is the 200 MB partition)

  • active

Now just exit it by writing "exit". Windows 7 should boot by now. Next you just add XP's entry via EasyBCD, but it will give you yet another error. It's basically says that NTDETECT.COM and ntdlr are missing and gives you a page where to get them. If not, a quick web search could do it.

Next, after finishing adding XP's entry..... You're done! You can now continue XP's installation with ease.

(And for curiosity's sake... I installed XP on a small partition just for me to use Perfect Disk...)

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

I said - I am

I just had to puzzle the title. Here's the thing, I said that the only way that I can help with Windows 7 is by sending error reports. And now, this is one of those important moments.

My computer suffered another BSoD due to a completely different cause; the screen didn't give me much info, however, the report is big... And by big I mean BIG.

Thats the percentage at the time of writing after eating my dinner. Instead of blabbing about techy mumbo jumbo, I shall describe the error with a end-user point of view.
-I inserted a blank CD
-It starts identifying it
This one is pure randomness. And yes, it can read blank discs... But this is the charm of using an OS in development! IT DOESN'T CEASE TO AMAZE!
And now time to recreate my wonderful logon... (I lost it in a format) To Photoshop, AWAAAAAY!
(The % is at 19 at the time of finishing this post)

Monday, November 3, 2008

Windows 7 Build 6801 – Quick Overview

I got my hands on the released Windows 7 build over at PDC 2008. (Even though I did it the old fashioned way) I’m not much of a beta tester even though I LOVE betas, but at least I can send all of the error reports I can generate to Microsoft.

I am just going to lay things out that can be viewed by an inexperienced user (with betas, that is.)

First off, the installation went really smooth and the change from green aurora to blue shine/light is REALLY sweet. Maybe it’s because I’m a sucker for blue, but it’s a nice change from green. No issues or complications here.

For those who used Longhorn Betas, prepare to have an EASY TIME. This has to be the most stable piece of beta software that I have used! (on a scale as big as an OS) This build instantly takes you to the Vista lookalike experience once it finishes setting up, however, there ARE noticeable changes. First off, Aero has been slightly modified, giving it more color and a new blur which successfully blurs text without making images look ugly.

The Welcome Center seems to be awaiting deletion, it has been untouched since the first 7 Build and it doesn’t pop up on the first logon. Personally, I’d get rid of it.

UAC has been GREATLY improved on. By default, it only notifies you of external programs doing something “important”. I am STILL using it which is a WORLD RECORD for me with UAC. The only time I had to turn it off was to install AppLocale. But there is a bug in it that I think I found a workaround. Trying to launch something with “Run as Administrator” opens up a window asking you to log on as another user (in which I still have not set up another user). I enabled the built in Admin account and it ran without asking me. I re-disabled the account and now it won’t ask me again, it’ll just launch it like it was in Vista with UAC disabled. Which is how I think it should be. Hint to any Microsoft employee that actually managed to read this: this is something that needs checking.

Still at the first boot, 7 felt a bit unstable. All that was needed is that I insert my driver CD and it used Vista’s drivers just fine. After that, it works flawlessly.

The Start Orb sometimes opens up the Start Menu when you click AFTER the shine animation finishes. Just a minor quirk.

Folder navigation has been improved and thumbnail generation is now significantly faster.

Programs install just fine. However, Windows Live OneCare failed along with programs that use Windows Installer to specify which OS they want it to install.

There are also some major fixes in Windows itself and I am saying this because I have never seen Photoshop install so fast on my computer.

Also, a little extra found by Rafael from Within Windows, is that he found how to enable the Superbar from the new build shown at PDC. It works great, but it doesn’t have Aero Peek and the thumbnail popup has a delay that needs to be sped up. I think this one can be achieved with the registry.


Overall I am very happy with the experience I’ve had with Windows 7. It really is a promising OS and Microsoft really amused me this time (and people who know me knows that it’s hard to amuse me).

As a side note, I’d like to say that users need to be cautious with the current version of AVG. The compability issues are minor, and it works, but it can cause Blue Screens. So I recommend that AVG users wait for at least the next version.

I know that I may have missed alot of info and that it’s not as much as other sites, but atleast I try.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Windows Live Wave 3 Beta Installer for Windows Server

Update: There's a newer post containing the final version of Windows Live Essentials. Head over along the Newer Posts buttons and go get it!

Just noticed the lack of a messenger installer for any of the Windows Server OS'es. Hopefully, this shall rectify the problem.

Download Link

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Logon Screen Customization on Windows Server 2008 = YES, IT IS POSSIBLE!

I knew that one day someone would find a way to get rid of that annoying blue thing covering our precious logon screen in Server 2008. Luckily, the people present in this topic (this link), remanaged to find a way to do it.

However, I can make a quick summary of what needs to be done.

1. Find authui.dll in Vista, x86 and x64 respectively (depending on your Server architecture).
2. Replace Server's file with Vista's
3. ????

Anyway, a HUGE thanks is deserved for the people who worked hard in order to figure out this thing. Now I can finally stick to Server... after I find my logon...

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Changes in the WLMv9B3

I WAS going to put a list of changes in the new Windows Live Messenger, but dwergs at pretty much sums it up.

{Insert some free time here}

Installing Windows Live Messenger 9 on Windows Server 2008

Update: New post with Final installer... posted! Refer to a newer post to download it.

It’s a good thing I had reinstalled Server 2008 because I would crash into so many troubles if I were busy by the time WLM 9 went gold.

This process is similar to what was done with WLM 8.5 in the previous wave (Hint: This was really useful because it only installed –THAT- and worked in Server.

However, not everything was a walk in the park. Having installed Server 2008 on both my Desktop and Laptop I was pretty much screwed. BUT! I had a Plan B! (god, I love plan B’s). {Intermission: Hold on, some ZUN music change at time of writing} Ok, I remembered that I installed XP via Virtual PC while I was in my electronics class, so I installed it there.

I really dig the new installer and it’s MUCH faster than Wave 2 (according to my experience) (And I installed 3 products too…). Anyways, so I let it download and install the products that I wanted.

Due to 8.5 experience, I quickly went to look for a .MSI file, but all I found were temp. files. Not very useful although they did show Messenger’s file size. I tried changing the extension to .msi and .exe, but both failed. So I Plan B-fied and took a look into the –big- log. In that log there were scattered installation URLs that the installer used. I ”quickly” found the one belonging to Messenger and downloaded it. HOWEVER the work is not done.

Attempting to install Windows Live Messenger with just the installer will cause a corrupt installation that can’t sign in with error 8000FFFF (not to mention that there’s no entry in the Programs and Features list). So, I applied Plan B to this step too (sorry folks, I don’t reach Plan C). I searched and downloaded all URLs that I found relevant to Messenger. Entries like Contacts, WlLogin, etc. And a catalog.xml file for luck (I really don’t know why I downloaded this anyway…).

I opened up each installer and allowed them to install. After I finished with all of them, I re-opened WLM’s installer, and it WORKED!

I wasted about an hour figuring this out, so I hope this helps other Windows Server 2008 users who also wants to use this.

I should be able to do a post with the end-user noticeable changes near the weekend. (If I don’t do it later today).

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Thoughts on the supposed WPF the leaked Windows Live Messenger build uses.

Well... I pretty much broke alot on my blog while testing...

Anyway, I'm taking this chance to write about what I've seen about the design of the now old leak.

These are the two types of display that can be seen. Left is Aero and right is Basic and XP. Looking at the Aero version, the window isn't hold by a hideable frame. Instead, the frame is the edge of everything. Next we look at the right, Aero-less windows look just like it did before, with a hidden frame. Just as my printscreen detected, it works just like it did in 8.5.

This shows how WPF is being implemented. I know, nothing fancy and not even close to what Yahoo! Messenger did. But I do know that it feels more stable while in Aero (specially while dragging). This piece of coding that was added has a big potential... But how much is used is up to the developers.

Now, to try to get rid of the "undefined" text and the ad from here!

Friday, August 29, 2008

Windows Live Messenger 9 - 2nd build quick review

I admit it, I couldn't resist to download the leaked messenger build. I just LOOOOVVVVEEE using Beta software. Anyway, here's the rundown.

Although the interface looks almost the same, there are alot of inside changes. The display pictures actually look kinda nice in person rather than screenshots, people'll get used to it. But I'm not sure on the little bullet next to each message...

There's something I want to focus on, but I'll need more time for it.

Monday, August 11, 2008


As the title says, I am BAAAAAAAWWWWWWing because my summer vacation has come to an end and I will return to college tommorow. Sad, yes... BECAUSE I BARELY DID ANYTHING THIS SUMMER! Well... atleast working entertained me.... BUT I STILL DIDN'T DO ANYTHING! Well... it's life, so... bleh...

Friday, August 1, 2008

Lookie at the computer!

Well, I was finally able to get a picture of my computer even if it was rushed. I also didn't mind to organize the cable jungle around it and with my USB sticking out. I admit, I'm a mess.


Saturday, July 26, 2008

Project ~ Construction IS DONE!

After suffering while trying to build a new PC I finally did it!

So here's the thing. My original plan was to replace my processor, but my computer was old. This turns into having to buy a new motherboard. Turns out that I can't use my RAM and my DVD Drive due to it having one IDE slot; I also couldn't turn it on due to my case being from HP... and old. Then I bought new RAM (unveliebably cheap) and a new case. I wrapped up my DVD drive with my HDD and viola! A new computer!

And I must say... I feel awesome after doing all of this. This was technically my first time doing this much on a computer so I was kinda nervous. I also never expected it to become like this.

I would put some pictures up, but my sister took the camera again to not use it again...

New Specs:

Motherboard: ASUS something.... (too long)
CPU: AMD Athlon 64 X2 Dual Core 5200+
HDD: Same ol' 70 GB drive from the old one
RAM: One stick of 1 GB
Video: 256 MB... 1/2 of what I used to have, but I don't care.

Friday, July 25, 2008



Thursday, July 17, 2008

DS Secret Wifi Button Whowhahu....

So not so long ago I've stumbled upon some videos on Youtube showing off a "secret button" in the wifi menu so I thought "I should check it out" or something like that. I did it and due to the horrible calibration my DS has on that side it was insanely comfortable to do. Older games just say "Starting simple Wifi blahblahblah" and it gives you 60 seconds for you to press the wifi button on something. This, however is not new nor something amazing. This is just a common option that the japanese can use in Japan.

What I'm trying to say is that all they did was remove a button from the menu, shrunk it, moved it to the edge, and made it invisible. Why? Because the rest of the world does not use them, thats why. Here, this is what I mean.

This is the same menu, just in japanese.

Now there is nothing more to this science or "mystery". Blahblahblah, blahblah... blah...

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Project... DELAYED!

Doesn't everyone hate it whenever one's efforts end up in vain? I'm going to write this down as short as possible.

I woke up, got to the train station, arrived at my destination, walked alot under the sun to the store, arrived fatigued, asked for 2 items, none where available, I died inside, bought atleast a Power Supply, walked again under the sun, did all the same but in reverse order, got back, and whined for a bit.

I don't blame them because they needed to move by the end of the week, but DAMN...

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Project: PC Reconstruction!

Years have passed since I got my wonderful computer. It has served it's purpose well and without fail. But alas, it's hardware has gotten obsolete. I plan in replacing some of it's parts in order to tune it up.

So far I'm thinking of Power Supply (ONE THAT'S SILENT), a Motherboard, and a CPU. Those are my priorities right now. I can still handle with 70 GB of space and 1 GB of RAM ain't that bad.
My Graphics Card is in good shape and better than my 6 month old laptop, so thats not needed. Besides, the only games I'm currently playing are Touhou and they don't need fancy stuff.

I plan on reinstalling Server 2008 and I may go with 64 bit this time. I just hope my check fills my budget for this.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Operation ~ A week later.

So after 8 days I was sent back to my surgeon's office so that he could remove the tapes/bandages/whatever he had put on me after the surgery. I must say, I was imagining myself suffering from pain, but infact it didn't hurt at all, even one of them tickled me. He said that I can now do almost anything I want. Of course, that almost means what my body can handle due to the sewn parts. I'm basically 95% healed. I'm eating, working, sleeping laid on the side, whatever.

Oh and I returned to work 3 days after the surgery. Let these 2 posts be useful for some people who stumble upon this place who are going through the same drama as I did.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Blog Move

This was quite an unexpected twist in my short-lived blog life. There was a certain thing that prevented me to use my blog propertly which I won't say due to private reasons, so I decided to move all posts to Blogger and basically transfer my blog to here. Atleast this makes it always online... I just need to learn to customize this page propertly.

Now I just sit unpatiently watitng for Star Force 2...

Monday, June 23, 2008

A day in the hospital ~ Gallbladder removal.

So, I finally got my Gallbladder removed. Most WTF experience of my life.
First we got up really early and flashed to the hospital. Once we got to the waiting room... we waited (GASP). Next I was moved to the preparations room. I was a human earthquake, I couldn't stop trembling due to fear.

Later I was sent with the anestesia(?) people. They made fun of me (in a good way) and injected me with something that felt like a cold rush from my hand to arm to body. Suddently I was KO'd.

I realized I was asleep and needed to pee. I started to wake myself up and mumble "I need to pee" but I HAD SOMETHING INSIDE MY PENIS THAT SUCKED MY URINE FROM MY BLADDER. Talk about cock vore... (yes, it hurt when it was took out)

The surgery had already finished 2 hours ago and I was recovering. I was moved to a chair to be injected with pee-inducing fluids and wait until 5 PM to be checked out.

Now I stole my parent's bedroom for tonight and wrote all this from my DS. Yup, I already slept that much.

Windows Server 2008: Logon Screen Customization = not yet

Update: I have noticed that people are still reaching this post. There is a newer post that says that YES IT IS POSSIBLE TO CHANGE THE LOGIN SCREEN OF WINDOWS SERVER 2008. I however am currently lazy to go put a link, so just navigate through the blog. It has cookies, er... basic instructions.

Some Server 2008 users, including myself, have encountered the nasty blue logon screen. Sure, I like the fact that it's simple and different than Vista's. However, being the customization freak I am, I just have the UUUURRRRGGGEEE of changing the background.

Part 1: The 'ol fashioned way. I quickly grabbed a copy of LogonStudio Vista and noticed that where it says "Windows Vista Default"(?) there wasn't any image in there. I placed my carefully crafted logon and when it threw me to the Logon Screen... BAM! Still the blue background.

Part 2: After a big f-up with my PC, I decided to reinstall Server 2008. Frustrated with what happened before, I took a peek inside imageres.dll with Resource Tuner. And what did I found? VISTA'S LOGON SCREEN FIRST IN LINE! I once again applied my logon and re-checked it with Resource Tuner and THERE IT WAS. But I could only see the blue BG in the Logon Screen.

Part 3: Desperate times means desperate measures. What did I do? I just grabbed imageres.dll from my Vista installation and slammed it onto Windows Server 2008. The result? NOTHING.

I also tried with a modified version of imageres.dll from a certain Visual Style, still nothing.

Conclusion thoughts: What I believe that's causing all of this is the -source- of the blue background. I have NO idea of where it comes from. If someone could just find a way to remove that layer, I'm 95% sure that the real logon screen will be visible.

Note: I am not a programmer... this is just based of what I have experienced and may not be accurate. Please consult your life manual if you want to follow this all the way.

Best meal EVER.

That is all.

The personal irk with Vista

Windows Vista... The OS that has been criticized for a shitload of things that are way too much to mention here. HOWEVER, as an user since the RC1 phase I'm writing about the few misses that I've experienced.
1. Maximized = Black: At first, I thought this was a bug during the development of Vista. I was full of hope that they made it transparent for the RTM version, but we were stuck with a black BG that varied depending on the color chosen. Some people like the black, some people don't. I wish that an option for choosing between those two would have been awesome.

However, with stuff like VistaGlazz, those few sentences were a waste of my valuable time :D.

2. Windows Explorer: I must say, Microsoft did an awesome job redesigning the Explorer UI. However, there is one thing that really sets me off, and that's how Explorer works . In my experience, it feels like it's trying to read the files the same way a PS2 loads data. It's slow as hell! But after using Windows Server 2008 x64 that problem has almost been solved. (In there, not Vista)
3. People complaining about UAC: This isn't directly about the OS, but damn! Some people just complain about it to no end! Seriously, the first time I used Vista I just couldn't stand it and turned it off. I was like "There, problem solved.". But some people just stick with it and whine. If you don't like it, just take it out!

There, thats about everything that irks me. I like Vista and it's difficult to stick with XP, but with some fine-tuning, it could become way better.

Evolution of the Taskbar in Windows 7 = "Superbar"

Some of you with a sharp eye might have noticed something very interesting on-screen during the Windows 7 multi-touch demonstration at the D6 conference yesterday. If you did, you might be curious to understand what you saw. If you didn’t, read on anyway. Update: The new taskbar is superficially called the “Superbar”.

Picture credit: Gizmodo

The picture above comes from the video feed of Julie Larson Green’s (Vice President of Windows Experience Program Management) demo of the multi-touch picture browser demo app. The quality is a little rough, but you can easily notice a few things that are different.The first being the taskbar is higher than usual, but not as big as double-height. If I were to guess, I’d say its somewhere around 1.75x-high. In the left corner, the Windows orb remains wedged “on top” of the taskbar - sticking its head out a little - instead of in the center like it is today in Vista.

The taskbar also appears ‘divided’ into sections by variations in the color (dark, gray, lighter) to indicate the different areas. Speaking of which, if you look at the far right corner, you’d notice that the tray (icons & clock) is not touching the edge of the screen, and there’s a small lighter gap. I have no explanation for this, but is well worth keeping an eye on.

A double-height taskbar in Windows Vista

Keeping the focus on the right, the tray is also different. The icons sit in the middle of the taskbar, instead of wrapping in two-lines like it does today, whilst the date now wraps on two lines instead of three. This clearly indicates this taskbar cannot accommodate three lines of text.Most obviously the quick launch icons are now larger in size, but the icon besides it is not a quick launch icon instead an application. I’ve been told this particular Windows 7 build has rendering issues which is why there’s no label or text next to the icon, but there should have been. At the same time, the icon also should have been a smaller version of the “Live Preview” thumbnails you see when you hover over applications in the taskbar today. That would have been pretty sweet. Apparently that feature has been canned .Now you would probably be wondering why I just spent so much effort writing about a taskbar, and the answer is because this is what Windows 7 is about. They’re going to take existing interface elements like the taskbar and give them a new coat of paint with some sparkles. Different enough so you notice them, like Walt Mossberg did.During the demonstration (5:25) Walt asks “I can’t help noticing that the taskbar doesn’t look like the taskbar?” Julie responds with, “It’s something we’re working on Windows 7 and I’m not suppose to talk about it now today.” Shutdown.Guess those Windows “Start Menu” surveys weren’t all flash and no substance.

Source: istartedsomething

Hmm... This seems interesting. Although it's somewhat sad that Microsoft isn't doing any major overhaul for now, it's intriguing how they are modifying existing objects in the M1 release. Simple, yet this is almost what I have been expecting in a new version of Windows: "Existing features, new twists". Even with this it's WAY too early to say "THIS IS IT!". I'm sure Microsoft can atleast deliver one enhacement. Which is better performance.

I'm guessing that atleast one person who reaches this place has already play this awesome game.

Classic Touhou in a fighting world with an improved formula! Mere words cannot express the awesomeness of this game. ...Did I mention it's AWESOME?!For those still in the blank, I have a video containing footage of a Spell Card practice.

Go get it today!