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 Post subject: Windows 2000 Style?
PostPosted: Wed Feb 27, 2013 1:45 am 
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Hello!

I have just read the FAQ and searched the forums, but I couldn't find a definitive answer anywhere, so I thought I might ask here: Is it possible with classic shell (say: on Windows 7) to get a fully Windows 2000 style GUI (task bar + start button + start menu + generally GDI GUI)?

Something like this (this screenshot is a fake, just to show that I might also like the Win7 style "Search" in the 2000 skin, the rest is from a real screenshot though):



And this is how a part of my task bar looks like, as you can see I have all my launchers in there, grouped as application "classes" like system tools, graphics tools, video processing/transcoding tools etc., so you'll get the idea of how I want it to look like, grouped, with small icons and tightly packed together (the launchers are on top of the two rows, the running application bars are in the lower row as shown in above fake screenshot):



Now, my question is, can I have Classic Shell make Win7 look like Win2000? Also I don't want the "thick" window borders of Win7. Even by using Registry hacks I couldn't make them as thin as I can on XP/2000. I like to pack as much information as possible into as small an area as still feasible, i hate to waste my precious screen real estate for eye candy crap.

So, currently I'm using XP Pro x64 Edition using 2000 UI, and I simply cannot accept any more modern GUIs, not even that of 7. Hence, the question if this is possible. Basically, I just want the entire OS to look like Win 2000 with small icons, classic 2000 explorer (including its search function), etc. ;)

Edit: Ah yes, this is how my Explorer looks like and how it would like it to stay (showing the search function not to reveal any folder/file names), only that by now, the address bar is on the same row as the buttons on top (and I have removed some of the buttons to save additional space, this screenshot is quite old). Also note, that on the bottom right you can see a scroll bar. Those are slimmer even than Win 2000 defaults:



Thanks for your replies and sorry if my question is redundant, I tried to find the answer here by searching, but failed.


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 Post subject: Re: Windows 2000 Style?
PostPosted: Wed Feb 27, 2013 2:15 am 
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asfar as the whole of windows gui, no

as far as the start menu, it can replicate everything i see there, except maybe the text "search>
being next to the searchbar instead of inside it

also you would need a custom button if you wanted the same look

classic shell wont modify your theme, which is what i believe you may be after

most/all of those buttons (right beliw file, edit view and favorites) can be re-added with classic shell, they will however be below the address bar..
i dont know of any search alternatives that are properly integerated


thick boarders, i think theres a way to thin them some (but you did mention this), duno if they can be thinned further, but it would be a combination of theme and registry


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 Post subject: Re: Windows 2000 Style?
PostPosted: Wed Feb 27, 2013 2:45 am 
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Yes it's possible to get a very close equivalent to Windows 2000 style GUI but it's going to take some effort on your part to read the instructions and help file in detail and learn the settings on your own. Here are some tips to get you started. Assuming you have already set the Windows 7 theme to "Windows Classic", next steps for you would be as follows:
1. Install Classic Shell and set the Start Menu initial style to "Windows Classic". This sets up many initial settings easily by 1-click. Next steps are to make it even more "classic".
2 Right click the Start button, enable All Settings radio button at the bottom. Go to "Start Button" tab and change the Button Look to "Classic Button".
2. Next to go to the Skin tab and set the skin to "Classic Skin". Check "Solid Color Selection" if you want. And "Small icons" option too. ;)
3. Next from "Special Items" tab, uncheck "Show recent programs" option. Check "Confirm Log off" on same tab if you want.
4. Go to Customize Start Menu tab, and remove the "SearchBoxItem", "ComputerItem" and others you don't want.
5. From Customize Start Menu tab, you can change the icons of the individual items too to make them exactly like classic Windows.
6. This is only for Start Menu. For taskbar, you can unlock it, change to Small Icons and enable Quick launch and other custom toolbars easily. Use 7+ Taskbar Tweaker (FREE at http://rammichael.com/7-taskbar-tweaker) to further tweak the taskbar to make it more Windows 2000-like.
7. For thinner window borders, open Personalization in Control Panel -> Window Color and Appearance -> Advanced Appearance and reduce the "Border Padding".
8. Classic Explorer has numerous tweaks to make the Windows Explorer Windows 2000-like. You get a customizable toolbar and lots of other tweaks to revert to options Microsoft didn't keep.
9. For the Classic search function, there is a paid program called FileSearchEX (http://goffconcepts.com/products/filese ... index.html) that clones the Windows 2000 UI. You can just add a button on Classic Shell's Explorer toolbar to call FileSearchEX at the current location. Look in the help file. You can also link to FileSearchEX or your favorite search program from the Start Menu instead of "Windows Search". Go to Customize Start Menu tab, double click the command for "SearchFilesItem", point it to FileSearchEX
10. Change Alt-Tab into classic style: http://www.askvg.com/how-to-get-windows ... sta-and-7/

Although, on Windows 7, I would recommend against doing these because it turns off the DWM with classic theme, so performance and peceived smoothless of the GUI is lost. Also, the search box in the Start Menu is a major innovation you lose.

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 Post subject: Re: Windows 2000 Style?
PostPosted: Wed Feb 27, 2013 6:04 am 
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Thank you for your detailed description and help. I just looked around and did in fact find an old Windows 7 VM lying around here at work (I'm using CentOS Linux here). So I started playing around with stuff, and it actually looks quite promising in combination with the classic theme.

Thanks also for mentioning FileSearchEx. I do love the classic search, but I don't think I'm gonna pay the 30 bucks for it, that's just too much, so I'll maybe have to swallow the new search engine.

The only weird thing with the classic Start button is, that when you use it with a 2-row taskbar like I do, the button stays in the middle instead of on top. But I guess that cannot be changed, I think I can live with that. Otherwise my taskbar now looks pretty much like on my trusted old XP x64.

Also, the way Classic Shell integrates the search function into the start menu is ok, not bad at all. I'm not very flexible in how I wanna use my GUIs, but that's just fine. The "Search" text beside the field for entering the query is not something I'd insist on anyway, as it would probably be kind of pointless for it to take away space there.

Looking good so far, if I can also tame the Windows explorer a bit I think I'm totally satisfied. :)


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 Post subject: Re: Windows 2000 Style?
PostPosted: Wed Feb 27, 2013 6:46 am 
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You can also use a free alternative called FileLocator Lite (http://www.mythicsoft.com/page.aspx?typ ... &page=home) which is just as good and powerful as Windows 2000/XP real-time grep search. Windows Search on the other hand while powerful is based around the whole idea of indexing. If stuff is not indexed, it sucks at real-time searches IMHO. And you know how bloated the indexed DB gets and how Windows performance slow down if you tell it to index the whole computer.

The Classic Start button is just that - a ready made button for the default taskbar width, suitable for both large and small icon taskbar. You can just as well make a custom Start button PNG with 3 states and the classic look (look in the help file for details) such that its position is at the top.

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I am a Windows enthusiast and helped a little with Classic Shell's testing and usability/UX feedback.


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 Post subject: Re: Windows 2000 Style?
PostPosted: Wed Feb 27, 2013 8:14 am 
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Is there any way to get the Win2000 theme in Win8? I played around with the registry and got it to accept the font I want for Active/Inactive titlebar, but it won't accept colors. I'd also like to get the taskbar back to the Win2000 style.


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 Post subject: Re: Windows 2000 Style?
PostPosted: Wed Feb 27, 2013 8:37 am 
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Well, Microsoft removed the classic theme and the DWM can't be turned off in Windows 8. MS made the high contrast themes DWM compatible and someone made a visual style mod based on the High Contrast theme that is "Classic": http://kizo2703.deviantart.com/art/Wind ... -325642288 but it makes even white areas grey. You will need to install UxStyle first (http://www.uxstyle.com/).

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 Post subject: Re: Windows 2000 Style?
PostPosted: Wed Feb 27, 2013 8:46 am 
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Ugh...I just installed that theme. Some of the colors are getting closer to what I want, but yeah, it's not good. It's very clunky. Reminds me of some of the weird themes in Win 3.1 :)

Oh well, I figured after all these years that MS would finally f**k up Windows to the extent that I don't want to use it anymore. Looks like we've almost reached that point. I'll keep hacking at it and see what I can come up with.


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 Post subject: Re: Windows 2000 Style?
PostPosted: Thu Feb 28, 2013 2:40 am 
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GauravK wrote:
You can also use a free alternative called FileLocator Lite (http://www.mythicsoft.com/page.aspx?typ ... &page=home) which is just as good and powerful as Windows 2000/XP real-time grep search. Windows Search on the other hand while powerful is based around the whole idea of indexing. If stuff is not indexed, it sucks at real-time searches IMHO.

The Classic Start button is just that - a ready made button for the default taskbar width, suitable for both large and small icon taskbar. You can just as well make a custom Start button PNG with 3 states and the classic look (look in the help file for details) such that its position is at the top.


FileLocator Lite is commonly known as AgentRansack I believe

its an awesome program, best search available for Windows, and can replace the Default search in Explorer Windows, and can right-click anywhere for a Context Menu Option to Search Current Location..

its also very fast, and you can completely turn off Windows Indexing.. much to the chagrin of Microsoft or their puppetmasters, i'm sure


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 Post subject: Re: Windows 2000 Style?
PostPosted: Thu Feb 28, 2013 3:58 am 
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I'll have a look at File Locator then.

In the meantime, I have finetuned Classic Shell, hacked the classic themes shellstyle.dll and did lots of crappy stuff in my testmachines registry, and this may not be cleaned up or useful yet, but it's a test machine anyway, so that doesn't matter. But all in all, it looks quite nice now (sorry this is a German test machine, not English):



The only thing I dislike is that when you drag icons around on the classic desktop, you don't see a transparent representation of the icon while dragging. You just see nothing at all. Great, must be some disabled composition feature in Win7 classic or something. Crappy, but ok. Still got quite far I think. Just a few details missing now. I might also try Vista to see whether that "icon moving thing" works there.

Edit: Damn. It actually works in Windows Vista classic mode, but not in Win7...


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 Post subject: Re: Windows 2000 Style?
PostPosted: Sun Mar 03, 2013 3:49 pm 
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Duno if this helps, but i just noticed that Display fusion has an option to adjust the window border padding for windows 8, Its not free but a 30 day trial is, and im pretty sure the feature only works on windows 8, because its in a tab labeled "windows 8", but the developers may make it work on win7 if requested, and its possible. (or maybe it already does, in a tab called "windows 7" that i cant see because im on windows 8)

If you do decide to get it, using this link gives the developers of classic shell a % of the sale: http://www.displayfusion.com/?refid=373553


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 Post subject: Re: Windows 2000 Style?
PostPosted: Sun Mar 03, 2013 11:22 pm 
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For Windows 8, there is a free tool to adjust window border padding: http://winaero.com/comment.php?comment.news.96

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 Post subject: Re: Windows 2000 Style?
PostPosted: Thu Mar 26, 2015 2:45 am 
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You might also like this skin: viewtopic.php?f=17&t=4248&p=18378

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 Post subject: Re: Windows 2000 Style?
PostPosted: Thu Mar 26, 2015 5:58 am 
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Features like what you're asking seem to be going away for good in the world because people with the design and interface jobs don't think you should spend your time on things they think are unimportant or which they wouldn't spend their time on.

Advanced Customizability has been one of the main advantages of Microsoft Windows over other OSs.. And that seems to be going away with Windows 8 as these OSs become more and more like the crappy phones we all have today.

Phones have completely lost their Customizability since Windows Mobile was dropped for Windows phone, choosing to cater to the simpletons rather than the independent power user with specific needs or desires to do things differently.

It seems they prefer us to do things their way. We're being herded like cattle..

And it makes us all more stupid. And this because the NSA or HLS has been pulling and pushing at companies to consolidate their OSs functionality to more streamline the spying they are doing to each person with a digital device. We're being made extremely stupid in the process, something they don't even care about it seems, so long as they get everyone on the same easy-to-read page.


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 Post subject: Re: Windows 2000 Style?
PostPosted: Thu May 07, 2015 8:32 am 
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GrandAdmiralThrawn wrote:
In the meantime, I have finetuned Classic Shell...




I wonder, is this a real Explorer screenshot or is it shopped?
If it is a real thing then how did you manage to do it? Desperately want same to me.
I also prefer W2K style since it is the best one - it doesn't distract from the actual computer using, there are no clown colours and meaningless abimations.
Just full metal UI and that's that!


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 Post subject: Re: Windows 2000 Style?
PostPosted: Thu May 07, 2015 12:25 pm 
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My money is on real, Ive seen a few classic/older themes floating around that would do the job in explorer (and the start menu, looks like it would with classic shell


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 Post subject: Re: Windows 2000 Style?
PostPosted: Fri May 08, 2015 2:55 am 
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The screenshot is from Classic Shell's Start Menu with the Classic skin running on Windows 7 with the Classic theme and Quick Launch enabled.

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I am a Windows enthusiast and helped a little with Classic Shell's testing and usability/UX feedback.


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 Post subject: Re: Windows 2000 Style?
PostPosted: Fri May 08, 2015 10:19 am 
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GauravK wrote:
The screenshot is from Classic Shell's Start Menu with the Classic skin running on Windows 7 with the Classic theme and Quick Launch enabled.
I did some search and found out a pair of videos on utube like this http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e77JpO8Uk8M or this http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y1q_nlcCjyA.
To cut the long story short, MS doesn't throw away anything including "classic theme" from W2K.
Putting the Classic theme back in service in W8 involves: manipulations with dwm.exe, ribbon removal, making windows 7 shellstyle.dll mod on shellstyle.dll in system32, deleting Windows.UI.Immersive.dll, installing classic shell start menu, installing the old task manager, exporting HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Control Panel\Appearance\Schemes from windows XP/2003, importing into windows 8.
Pressing Ctrl-Alt-Del brings black screen with no way out of it.

In the first video the guy just fools around with stopping the dwm.exe - just a proof of concept.
The second one in the comments contains a complete guide for making classic theme in W8.1.


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