The Dallemagnes → Vista Tweaks

Making A Media Center With My Computer

Well yesterday, my son’s old CRT monitor finally decided to quit working. We don’t have the cash at the moment to run out and get a new monitor, so my husband was kind enough to give him his monitor. It was decided that my hubby could use the laptop for what he does. So I formatted it, then installed & Setup Kubuntu for him. He’s pretty happy with it. That left us with one computer that had no monitor, so I decided to bring it into the living room and make good use of it.

This computer is a Gateway GM5478, it originally came with windows vista and has always had a few bugs that made it not work well with Linux, also dual screen doesn’t scale in linux. The one other issue that kept me from making it a mythbox is that the t.v. tuner(an AVerMedia M791) that came with the system is not supported by linux. So knowing all that I decided to put Vista back on it for our purposes.

Flip 3D and Aero On Vista Home Basic

For those users who purchased Windows Vista Basic, you’ll notice your missing two of the interfaces available in the other versions of vista. Flip 3D and the Aero Interface. On systems whose graphics capabilities are able to handle such things you may be wondering if there is a way to get these effects without paying the extra cash to upgrade to a different vista version. Good News there is! To get that flip 3D effect users have serveral options available to them.

For $20.00 Top Desk offers the Flip 3D effect as well as the Expose effect found in the mac systems. Better News yet there is also a free utility available to those of you on a tight budget called Shock Aero 3D and for xp users only you may wish to give WinFlip a try.

The following registry hack allows Vista Basic Users to enable Aero on their system (NOTE:BE SURE TO BACK UP YOUR REGISTRY BEFORE PROCEEDING!)

Click Start and type Regedit in the search bar, open the registry editor and navigate to:


Make the values of the following to keys as such:

Composition = 1

CompositionPolicy = 2

then Right click on Command Prompt and run as admin and enter the following commands:

net stop uxsms

net start uxsms

Reboot Your System to see the changes

There is also a program called TrueTransparency that changes the windows border adding png support and so true transparency.

Another option available to users is Stardocks Windowblinds, there are many skins for it which use the transparency effect. Windowblinds however is shareware.

Add Window Switcher (Flip 3D) Command to Vista Right Click Menu

Windows Flip 3D and Windows Flip is a new way to switch and jump between opened windows in 3D dimensional or informative view, minimizing the error while selecting target window. Beside, the Flip 3D mode is also a stunning visual view. To activate or trigger Windows Flip 3D or Windows Flip mode, other than using Window Switcher button in Quick Launch bar or pressing

Deleting that Windows.old folder

If you reinstalled vista only to find half your files were backed up into a folder on your C drive called “windows.old” you can easily delete it using the following steps.

  1. Click Start
  2. In the search box type disk clean and hit enter to open the Disk Cleanup tool
  3. Choose “Files from all users on this computer” and choose the drive you want to clean
  4. After it lists what is available to “clean”, scroll down and select Windows.old from the list of choices. Then delete as desired!

Downgrading from Windows Vista 64 bit to 32 bit with your upgrade disk

Most users who installed 64 bit copies of vista than decided it wasn’t for them for one reason or another found that they had product key problems once they wanted to re-install vista 32 bit using thier upgrade disk. Most would have to install windows Xp then run the upgrade again, but here’s a nice work-around to that problem.

Run your vista 32 bit install and skip the part where it asks for a product key, DON’T EVEN TRY TO ENTER A KEY you’ll just get errors. Once you boot up into Vista for the first time, just insert the CD/DVD again and then choose to

Increase and Change Size of Taskbar

There is a nice feature on windows vista that allows you to see a thumbnail of the minimized windows in your taskbar. It’s one of the things I love about vista. The live window taskbar hover preview can even support playing or streaming video or movie in animated preview. However, the thumbnail preview is kind of small, hardly allow users to see anything meaning, not to mention able to view movie in

Customize Start Menu power buttons

There are two new
power buttons on the Windows Vista start menu that behave differently
than in previous versions of Windows. The main button, that looks like
a power button actually puts your computer to sleep, not really turning
it completely off. The other button locks your computer. I personally
do not like putting my computer to sleep. I would rather turn it off
completely to save some power and save some money on my electric bill
when I am sleeping.

Follow the steps below to customize these button to work how you want them to work:

  1. Click on the Start Menu and type in Power Options and hit Enter.
  2. Click on Choose what power buttons do on the side menu.
  3. Configure the buttons.
  4. Hit Save Changes.

Disable the User Account Control (UAC)

One of the most commonly asked questions about vista is “How the hell do I disable the User account control On vista?!?!” You would be surprised at how easy it is do do this. I’ll outline the process below.

1. Logon to your windows vista desktop (a given)

2. Open your start menu and select Control Panel


3. Select User Accounts and Family Safety


4. Select User Accounts


5. Click Turn User Account Control On Or Off


6. Uncheck “Use User Account Control (UAC) to help protect your computer”


7. Click OK

8. You’ll now be prompted to reboot your computer so that the changes can take affect.

Thats pretty much it. Very easy to remedy in about 15 seconds. Now you’ll no longer have that annoying permissions dialogue popping up all the time. This doesn’t disable windows defender either which will still be running.

I hope this helps!

Enable DreamScene Video Wallpaper in Windows XP and non-Ultimate Vista

(Full credit for this article goes to My Digital Life Blog )

Windows DreamScene (also Motion Desktop) is a nice extra feature
that plays high definition video content or movie as desktop background
with animated wallpaper instead of static graphic. Unfortunately, Microsoft only offers the feature to Windows Vista Ultimate users for free download.
But it