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XP Mod to emulate MAC - PROBLEMS!


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Hi to all.

I've been playing with my wife's Macbook and while I work in Windows, I do like the User interface of the Mac OS.

I decided to mod my machine to lookand act like a Mac.

I downloaded several software packs:

Stardock (Object Dock)

Windowblinds (skin)

Konfabulator (widgets for Windows)

I have an older machine...

XP Pro 2002 SP3

Intlel Celeron 657 mHz

512 MB Ram

Most of the new software works well. THe machine is a little slower than ususal.

The big issues are:

1. I cannot launch Symantec Pro Systemworks. It's in the taskbar but will not launch. Nor will it launch from the start/Programs menu. It is the only software that I have NOT been able to launch. I can launch Autocad, which is fairly large, with no problem.

2. I cannot run the Systemworks Utilities CD. It is the ONLY CD that I cannot run.

The Taskmanager shows a normal CP usage of between 3% & 10% at idle.

I do not get any pop-up windows when I browse.

I'm thinking that something is going on related to Norton Antivirus.

Has anyone here had any experience with these XP mods?

Thanks in advance for any info on this situation.

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Remove Norton and get Avira. Problem solved.

Sorry that was ignorant of me. But seriously you should look at a lightweight alternative to norton and systemworks. If you need help finding any just ask here :)


Edited by eyeball
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Remove Norton and get Avira. Problem solved.

Sorry that was ignorant of me. But seriously you should look at a lightweight alternative to norton and systemworks. If you need help finding any just ask here :)



I'm sure whether the mods you've made to the windows appearance are your problem or not (and if so, I wouldn't know how to resolve it), but I agree with eyeball.

Edited by TheFlash428
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Thanks for the input.

I did take a look at Avira....even downloaded their Un-Erase program.

Impressive. Certainly does way more than any Norton product I have seen.

Please tell me more about Avira as opposed to Norton. You've got my interest.

Bear with me as I am adventurous (that's how I got into this trouble) but have always been pretty mainstream.

I would like to hear more about Avira and why I should make the switch. I am definitely not happy with Norton. It has already allowed a virus into my computer twice and was NOT able to remove them. Had to do it myself...manually. One was very difficult...Vbundo.

Sooooo...back to Avira. Are you saying that it actually works?

Should I try the Free version or go right for the paid mode. I have no problem paying for what I get if it's a good product.

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Well i use Avira Free and disable the advertisements with a neat little trick i know (only works on XP Pro, what OS do you have?). It works really well, infact too well i would say as a few things such as ipscanners are detected, but i cant live with that.

I also use windows defender, but only because i like the idea of the vista security model and i currently run X64 XP.

To cleanup my pc i use ccleaner and to defrag it i use defraggler.

All that being said if you run everything in a virtual machine like i do (aside from visual studio and games) you will have no trouble anyway. It takes 3 mins to recreate a hard disk for a virtual pc as opposed to 3 hours to reinstall, so i do most of my work in VM's.

Since you have an older pc i would omit the Virtual PCs and maybe windows defender here and just exercise caution.

Oh and i also use Firefox with Adblock Plus and NoScript, that really helps protection too :)


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Avira works ok, I use Avast myself (the ads in Avira really annoyed me). From what I've read; AVG is actually slightly lighter on system resources, and as such would probably be a better free AV option for you. I don't like the GUI though. If you don't mind paying then I've read that NOD32 has one of the best detection rates and is also one of the lightest on system resources. I can't confirm that from personal use though.

Definitely ditch Norton, its a system hog and has poor detection and removal rates (as you've discovered).

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In a nutshell:

products from Symantec were exceptionally good until a few years ago, when they started to be affected by bloat, that had made them resource and disk space hoggers.

Curiously enough the "Corporate" varsion of some of their products appear to be lighter than corresponding "Consumer" ones.

Symantec products have traditionally used undocumented features of the OS where they are installed, that as well traditionally the good guys at MS keep changing, thus creating the potential for chaos.

A couple of links that might interest you:




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Seriously, if you want the OSX look with minimal impact on performance you could do much worse than following Flyakite's methods.


He's been doing it for several years and the patches/themes ets are VERY stable.

Also second the advice from above, if you want to get best performance you need less overhead - not more!

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After a bit of trial & error, I have discovered and executed a few things:

1. I deleted Norton/Symantec from my PC. This was extremely difficult as it did not want to go quietly.

2. I downloaded/purchased Avira Premium (a bargain @ $26...I think) and it seems to be operating nicely. We will see. It's ads claim that the Premium version deals with Adware & Malware, but it's interface makes no mention of such operations. This will require more research & documentation.

As for the software I tried:

Konfabulator (for Windows Widgets)

Widgets looked good and interface works. A decent tool for getting weather updates, and the Analog Clock on my screen is pretty cool. As a General Contractor, fast weather updates/forecasts are important to me.

Windowblinds (for Skins)

This was the killer when all the smoke cleared. Getting rid of this software brought back all of the speed I had before. Maybe this works for some, but it murdered my system with very little return. Graphics looked great but it can be a system killer. GONE.

Reflex Visions (for F8 display of all open windows)

I really wanted this to work but it doesn't...at least for me. Gone. Maybe I'll try it again.

Stardock (for Object Dock like Mac)

Looks pretty good, works fairly well. It doesn't like all programs/shortcuts...Strange.

Otherwise I am keeping it...I like the look. I don't use the sweeping effect as it is annoying after awhile if you are tring to get any real work done. It does not really get along well without the Taskbar still functioning, so I moved my Taskbar to the TOP of my screen and I keep it hidden until needed.

Edited by roycepc
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Thought I would post an update...

1. Windowblinds was definitely the resource killer.

2. Reflex Visions is also a big drain and slows the computer considerably. Problem is, it is very difficult to remove. Removal through uninstall does NOT remove it. You have to do a search for any files with "reflex" in the name and manually remove them.

3. Norton's own "removal tool" is a load of crap. It does NOT remove several Symantec files, both in the windows files and especially in the registry. Do this manually.

Avira is excellent! In the 3 days that I have it, it already found 2 files on my computer which Norton allowed in, as well as another 2 files that were stopped on entry. Norton found NONE in the last year! Avira even caught a Phishing Code on Citibank's On Line banking web site which requires 3 levels of security to enter.

The only issue I have with Avira is that their customer service is a bit lacking here in America.

They do not have a Tel # for the US and there is no email that I can find on their web site.

I registered with their Forum but after 3 days have still not received a registration code so I cannot contact anyone that way. If anyone knows how to contact them please let me know.

The issue I am having is their avamailc.exe (part of their mail guard system) file locks up in 'run' mode if an email operation or the system scan is interrupted for any reason. This pretty much brings the system to a crawl and blocks all email transactions.

Otherwise, thanks to all for great input and advice.

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