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I recorded part of a video training with XP and now I have Vista installed.

I want the look of the windows (the candy buttons XP theme) to be the same through all the videos.

How can I make Vista have that bright blue, candy-buttoned red buttons that XP has:

alt text

When I go into Appearance Settings in vista, I only can choose from:

  • Windows Aero
  • Windows Vista Basic
  • Windows Standard
  • Windows Classic

but no Windows XP.

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Why are people so attached to XP, let it go, it's a 2001 OS :p – Nick Josevski Aug 25 '09 at 1:30
up vote 7 down vote accepted

Create a virtual machine and install Windows XP. Then they will look exactly the same.

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WindowsBlinds by Stardock has a decent XP theme, although they didn't really try to cover up Vista in the screenshot:

alt text

The widgets can still be hidden, and explorer's style can be changed around a bit more. But the free version of WindowsBlinds will do what you want, you can see the feature comparisons here.

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I installed the shareware version of windows blinds but under "Look & Feel" / "Visual Styles" it only has Windows Classic, Windows, Aero, Random Skin, Aero Metal, Diamond, Dragon, and Leo, how do I get Windows XP? – Edward Tanguay Aug 24 '09 at 16:15
at there are over 32 pages of XP themes, I installed "Windows XP Blue Accelerated" but the candy buttons are transparent, see through, which theme is the your screenshot above, do you have a link to it? – Edward Tanguay Aug 24 '09 at 16:25
You can actually use the luna theme right off of XP. Although you will need SkinStudio to do the conversion, then you can use it with windowsblinds: – John T Aug 24 '09 at 16:36

I love some Stardock products as above, but without requiring a 3rd party program, you can go to control panel > system, then click on advanced system settings.

Click on performance button and click on "Adjust for best performance" and your pc should look rather like Windows XP when in basic / no theme mode.

Not as good as Stardock, but it works!

For the other touches, edit the start menu / task bar properties for things like no stacking e.t.c.

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"How can I make vista have that bright blue, candy-buttoned red buttons that XP has" - classic is more of a dark-to-light blue bar with dull grey buttons, but it's my preferred theme on Vista or XP. I was never one for eye candy. – John T Aug 24 '09 at 16:14
Well done, ignore me! – William Hilsum Aug 24 '09 at 17:08

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