Saturday, October 18, 2008

XP Embedded Theme – Cool Blue!

On my XP systems, I prefer the darker tones of Microsoft’s add-on “Zune XP Desktop Theme (direct MSI download link)” theme.


If I had to go with a 2nd XP theme, it must be Royale Noir.

Royale Noir

I can’t stand the default punky green-blue "Luna” theme, nor does the silver version look any better.  I’d rather go back to “Classic” in the Windows 2000 theme.  In fact, that’s what Lavie still prefers on her XP laptop profile.

So when I found notice of another “official” Microsoft theme freely available I took a look. Wow!

Microsoft’s “Embedded” theme is both fresh and nicely tonally blue.


It’s almost “harmonious” in a sophisticated way.

While my main XP interface remains Zune black/orange. For my virtual PC sessions (and Lavie’s profile) I have switched to “Embedded”.

What makes all of these themes nice is that they were all signed by Microsoft “officially” so you don’t have to do any dll hacking/swapping as one does with other “unsigned” replacement XP themes.

How To Install XP Embedded Theme

It’s pretty simple, download, unpack, copy, and activate!

However, for some reason, folks have been a bit confused on how to install this theme.

So here’s Claus’s attempt at instructions on installing the “Embedded” theme on XP;

  1. Download Microsoft Embedded Theme as a ZIP file and save it somewhere handy.
  2. Unpack it.
  3. Then in another Windows Explorer session, browse to c:\windows\resources\themes 
  4. Copy the “embedded.theme” file from your unpacked zip folder and drop it right in that folder.
  5. Copy the "Embedded" folder from your unpacked zip folder and drop it right in that folder.
  6. Note: You should see what I mean as the Luna.theme and Luna folder should already be present.
  7. To activate this theme switch, either right-click on your desktop to change the theme/properties or just double-click the Embedded.theme file.

The included “WES_Desktop.bmp” file is just an optional wallpaper for the XP Embedded platform that is nice, but not really needed unless that's your thing.

Happy XP Theming!



Nathaniel said...

Hey, that's cool! I have the Zune and Royal Noir visual styles, but I hadn't heard of embedded... I assume it was originally intended for Windows XP Embedded?

One of my favorite styles is ClearLooks 0.4
It's a port of the GNOME (or is it GTK 2?) theme...

Anonymous said...

The strange thing is though, that this "signing" is utter nonsense. You can easily replace the pics and change its colors, and then have an entirely UNsigned different theme with MS signature under it. It does not check for file integrity or anything, so you can even embed viruses if you're into such things and you'd still think you'd be activating a Microsoft signed theme..

Just so you know.

Anonymous said...

signing means your dll are not tampered. if you used a oatch dll - any updated dll from microsoft (security, bug, etc.) will break your theme. if you would have use a patched dll from say 3rd parties. your theme may break.

any changes in other resources like jpg or bitmap can be scanned by your local virus scan