Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Win7 Folder Background color...

During my usual nightout, I realized today how much pain it is to look at the bright white background whilst using explorer. These were the images that came to mind.

Although I did not find any direct way of doing it, there were bits and pieces of information in various posts throughout the net.
So here is the method I eventually came up with.
  1. Run universal theme patcher and patch the 3 files it shows. Restart. Details for this.
  2. Run Restorator on a copied msstyles (I used aero.msstyles from Windows\Resources\Themes\Aero) and edit. Extract sub file (variant/normal) to be changed as a ".raw" file.
  3. Run xvi32 to edit and and save this ".raw" file. E130/131/132 stores the RGB folder background color. (I set it to a light blue - A0C2CD). Any other hex editor will do.
  4. Use restorator to reassign the changed .raw file by right clicking the "normal" file extracted, clicking assign and pointing to the edited ".raw" file.
  5. Copy any theme to any location of your choice (I used Aero from Windows\Resources\Themes) location and edit it using notepad. Set theme file msstyles path to the msstyles file you saved using restorator.
  6. You may additionally change the display name of the theme found near the beginning of the file.
  7. Use this theme by saving it and double-clicking it. Done!
Caution: Use save and not save as in restorator so else it saves the theme as a 32 bit theme (which could be a problem for x64).

I used the msstyles from this theme by Vishal Gupta and it worked very well.
Now as we can imagine, there are many other modifications that can be done to the theme file and/or the msstyles file to change the various icons, colors etc. However, I was interested only in the folder background.

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