Jump to content
Strawberry Orange Banana Lime Leaf Slate Sky Blueberry Grape Watermelon Chocolate Marble
Strawberry Orange Banana Lime Leaf Slate Sky Blueberry Grape Watermelon Chocolate Marble

MSFN is made available via donations, subscriptions and advertising revenue. The use of ad-blocking software hurts the site. Please disable ad-blocking software or set an exception for MSFN. Alternatively, register and become a site sponsor/subscriber and ads will be disabled automatically. 


Jody Thornton

Server 2012 Updates on Windows 8

Recommended Posts

I miss some of the looks of Vista, especially having customized the captions and start menu colours in the Basic theme.  However, Windows 8 is MUCH MUCH faster.  Even Windows Mail (a Vista-specific application) is faster still.

 

Windows 8 as it now stands (provided that updates continue) gives these advantages.

 

(a) Since I only use the Explorer-based portions of the OS with Classic Shell (all Metro items are blocked), my OS essentially works like Windows 7, only faster and more modern looking.  And since Windows 8.1 improvements don't affect Explorer based portions of the product, I already have what I like about Windows 8.1, but in Windows 8.

(b) Since I ungroup the taskbar and restore Quick Launch, it's actually more like a modern-looking Vista.

© Now that I have working updates to apply, I have unofficial support, but also no telemetry updates, nor do I have Windows 10 nags.

 

The only disadvantage would be that the loading of the desktop by default is a tad cludgy, only because Classic Shell forces it to happen.  But that's a small issue.

:)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yeah, I also have that issue with classic shell. Although with an SSD, it's hardly noticeable.

I also have moments where I start to miss the look of Vista (which was one of the reasons I kept using it for so long). Here's a screenshot from a while back where I modded 8 to look like Vista as much as possible: http://prntscr.com/a234e2(though I've reinstalled since then so I'm back at the default look with glass8 only), so if I begin to miss Vista again, I'll probably just reapply those mods. 

This is another area that I find to be a little easier in Windows 8 compared to 8.1. For some reason, I always have trouble customizing 8.1 and getting my changes to stick. I'm aware that some users on here (namely NoelC) have modded their 8.1 installs just fine, so I'm not sure what I'm doing wrong. But 8.0 is working just fine, and I'm really enjoying the experience, and now that we have these updates, I have no reason to upgrade to 8.1.

  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yeah, I also have that issue with classic shell. Although with an SSD, it's hardly noticeable.

I also have moments where I start to miss the look of Vista (which was one of the reasons I kept using it for so long). Here's a screenshot from a while back where I modded 8 to look like Vista as much as possible: http://prntscr.com/a234e2(though I've reinstalled since then so I'm back at the default look with glass8 only), so if I begin to miss Vista again, I'll probably just reapply those mods. 

This is another area that I find to be a little easier in Windows 8 compared to 8.1. For some reason, I always have trouble customizing 8.1 and getting my changes to stick. I'm aware that some users on here (namely NoelC) have modded their 8.1 installs just fine, so I'm not sure what I'm doing wrong. But 8.0 is working just fine, and I'm really enjoying the experience, and now that we have these updates, I have no reason to upgrade to 8.1.

 

 

oh my! that looks awesome! can you tell me how you did that vista look to windows 8? I would love to try it  :) thanks

Edited by jeff69dini

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Wow I would love to know how you did that too, I run Windows 8.1 (with many things I removed) I love the look of Windows Vista on modern systems.

  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm sorry if I'm getting off topic here a little, if I am, then just split this post off into another thread.

Programs you'll need to install:

Glass8 for Win8/8.1

Oldnewexplorer for Win8/8.1

NetAnimate (for network icon)

Classic Shell with Vista skin: http://www.classicshell.net/forum/viewtopic.php?f=17&t=5655

You'll also need the theme itself, as well as Vista transformation pack for Windows 8/8.1 to get the icons. I'll compress the theme and transformation pack (don't let the name fool you, all it does is change the icons to look like Vista and can be easily uninstalled if you desire) into a .ZIP file and upload it to MEGA (a cloud storage service site) so you can download it. It might take a while to upload since my upload speed is pretty bad, but I'll get it there as soon as I can. 

I'll also type up some instructions and include them in the .ZIP. 

Edited by 2008WindowsVista

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm sorry if I'm getting off topic here a little, if I am, then just split this post off into another thread.

Naw!  It's all good :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I can supply with other needed files to transform Windows 8 to Vista if you want, as I even transformed Server 2012, which wanted to get DWM leaks everytime, even with updates. I got to use Windows 7 again, as 8 really hates being modded in its installation media. I tried replacing the Aero theme, and everything broke down. Explorer wouldn't open properly (windows had no corner buttons, new explorer windows would be stuck), and I couldn't change the theme, so I can't suggest 8 as an OS if you feel like modding the install media.

8 is still a great OS to use if you don't want to mod it that much, but as for myself, better stick with Server 2008 in my Sandy custom built PC I use at work, which completely satisfies me. When support for NT 6.0 ends forever, we'll see if we are to get to 7 and 2008 R2 or if MS makes a great OS again (after we got awful 10), use that instead.

And as for the Classic Shell Vista skin I made, whoever feels like continuing it, I'll be happy to check their work! I can't continue on it anymore, as it needs a lot of my patience and I've been very busy with things lately, too.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

For what it's worth, I've chosen not to accept any recent updates on my Win 8.1 and 7 systems.  There's just too much risk, and not enough benefit when the systems run perfectly as is.  At this point it's not clear whether Microsoft is doing good work even on its security patches, though apparently there haven't been too terribly many screams of anguish I guess.

 

Regarding what to turn Windows into...  I've found that my "downconfigured" 8.1 system (i.e., silent online, no cloud, no Apps, resurrected Aero Glass) has been the best I've ever used.

 

Haven't been able to make 10 into something that good yet.

 

-Noel

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I actually rolled back to Windows 7, and I was able to obtain a much more authentic Vista look than I could on Windows 8, and I'm pleased with the results: 

http://prntscr.com/a9lv5q

I have updates completely disabled now as well. I simply see no benefit to them, they've caused more harm than good lately...

For what it's worth, I've chosen not to accept any recent updates on my Win 8.1 and 7 systems.  There's just too much risk, and not enough benefit when the systems run perfectly as is.  At this point it's not clear whether Microsoft is doing good work even on its security patches, though apparently there haven't been too terribly many screams of anguish I guess.

 

Regarding what to turn Windows into...  I've found that my "downconfigured" 8.1 system (i.e., silent online, no cloud, no Apps, resurrected Aero Glass) has been the best I've ever used.

 

Haven't been able to make 10 into something that good yet.

 

-Noel

Edited by 2008WindowsVista
  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

For me it's less about trying to achieve the look and feel of some older system and more about maximizing usability.  Whichever direction you go, an elegant UI certainly goes a long way toward making a system a pleasure to use - and that boosts productivity.  It's something Microsoft completely fails to understand.

 

For those of you who haven't yet, see also:

 

http://www.msfn.org/board/topic/173976-craving-an-updated-ui-experience-re-skin-windows-81/

 

-Noel

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

That looks amazing, especially considering it's Windows 8.1.

 

For me, I'd have to say it's a little bit of both, because I've done several tweaks to 7 to boost my productivity. I dislike Windows 7's superbar, the default explorer layout tries to shove libraries in your face (I never liked nor used that feature), also, by default, Windows 7's Explorer forces auto arrange and doesn't show the sort header in all views like Vista did, and the tray network icon is also useless as it never shows the network traffic animation, something we had in Windows Vista and earlier. To change this all to meet my preferences, luckily Microsoft allows us to change the taskbar to act like VIsta's in taskbar properties, I'll give them that. The libraries can mostly be eliminated using Windows 7 navigation pane customizer, and I used registry tweaks to have the start menu shortcuts point directly to the user folders instead of the library folders, and to disable the forced auto arrange in Windows Explorer. Classic shell has an option to show the sort headers in all views, and netanimate brings back the classic Vista network icon that animates to show network activity which is nice. 

My 7 explorer layout: http://prntscr.com/a9mzoi

There are tons of other small things I did to Windows 7 like bringing back the classic Vista programs like Paint and Wordpad (which lack that horrid ribbon UI that I detest, no offense to those who use/enjoy it), and in my opinion, as far as aesthetics go, Vista is the pinnacle of the Windows GUI, so it's nice to have my favorite UI and layout, because as you said, it boosts productivity. The Vista branding itself is probably the most unnecessary thing, but I feel it complements the Vista look so I just stuck it in there.

 

For me it's less about trying to achieve the look and feel of some older system and more about maximizing usability.  Whichever direction you go, an elegant UI certainly goes a long way toward making a system a pleasure to use - and that boosts productivity.  It's something Microsoft completely fails to understand.

 

For those of you who haven't yet, see also:

 

http://www.msfn.org/board/topic/173976-craving-an-updated-ui-experience-re-skin-windows-81/

 

-Noel

Edited by 2008WindowsVista
  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Your tweaks are good, no doubts there eh? 

 

Nice to meet a like-minded person.

 

I like Win 8's Explorer windows a little more than 7's and Vista's because you can have less boilerplate at the top - leaving more room for actual file data.  I'm not that big a fan of ribbon bars, but at least they can be collapsed into single word "menus", and I've always preferred menus.  And like you I've eliminated stuff I don't want to see in the namespaces on the left...  Classic Shell adds back some things in the status bar, and some registry metrics tweaks reduce the size of the title bar and borders a little bit.

 

ExplorerWindow.png

 

Tweaking an older OS to give it a new look and feel can quell a craving for a "new, updated" experience from a newer OS - especially a flatter, more lifeless one such as that of Win 10.

 

-Noel

Edited by NoelC

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Restore formatting

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×
×
  • Create New...