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Transform Your Windows XP in

Windows Vista without any

Customization pack


NOTE: If you are facing problems while saving a file after editing in resource hacker,
then make sure you have disabled WFP (Windows File Protection) service using WFP
Patcher, it can be found in our “Download” section.

Also if you are getting error “Can’t create file…“, that means you have edited and saved
the same file in past and there is a backup file which need to be deleted before saving this
file again. Go to the folder containing this file and you’ll see a similar file having
“_original” in its name. Delete it and try to save the file in resource hacker.


Since we all know that Windows Vista has been released but its too costly to purchase.
The most interesting thing in Vista is its look, new icons, cursors, theme, sounds, login
screen, boot screen, etc. So I’m posting this tutorial to make our existing Windows XP to
look-a-like Windows Vista.

Yes! There are lots of Vista Transformation packs available on net but I never use them
because they slow down the windows and also install a few 3rd party utilities. So its
better to do all the things manually.

In this tutorial, I’ll tell you about how to make following things to look-a-like Vista:

Visual style (or theme)

Boot screen
Login screen
Mouse Cursors
Windows Icons
Windows Explorer
Progress dialog box
Shutdown/log off dialog box
About Windows box
System Properties dialog box
Windows Classic Startmenu Left-side Image and Start button Logo
and a few other things

So here we go:

1. Vista Theme:

First thing which you should change in your windows is theme. There are lots of Vista
themes available on net. I have also created a Vista theme for XP called “VistaVG

Download VistaVG Ultimate by Vishal Gupta

Download VistaVG Ultimate with Searchbar by Vishal Gupta

If you use WindowBlinds, then you can also get the glass affect. You can search on
DeviantART and you’ll get lots of WB skins.

2. Vista Boot Screen:

In Vista, Microsoft has removed the graphical boot screen and there is a minimal boot
screen with just a progress bar. But it looks nice and you can download a similar boot
screen for XP from here:

Download VistaVG Boot Screen

Use Tuneup Utilities to apply it. Its completely safe. To know more about Tuneup
Utilities, visit following link:

How to change Windows XP Boot Screen using Tuneup Utilities

3. Vista Login Screen:

Vista new login screen is just awesome and “ears1991″ at DeviantART created a look-a-
like login screen for XP, which you can download from here:

Download Vista Login Screen

This pack contains both LogonXP and LogonUI files. So you can either replace existing
%windir%\System32\LogonUI.exe file with the LogonUI file in the pack or use
Stardock LogonStudio and apply the LogonXP file.

4. Vista Sounds:

Vista contains new sounds, which are quite nice. You can download the whole pack from

Download Vista Sounds

Just open “Sounds & Audio Devices” (mmsys.cpl) in Control Panel and goto “Sounds”
tab and here you can replace windows default sounds with the new ones.

5. Vista Cursors:

Vista cursors are really sexy. You can download the pack from here:

Download Vista Cursors

6. Vista Icons:

Here is an Icon Pack for Windows XP, which will change XP default icons with Windows
Vista icons. So you’ll experience the high-resolution Vista icons in XP:

VistaVG Icon Pack for Windows XP

7. Vista Explorer:

Vista Explorer is very much different from XP Explorer. It contains Back & Forward
buttons along with the Address bar & Searchbar and under it there is another toolbar
containing useful links, like Tile icons, details, etc. But there is a 3rd party utility
available called “Styler“, which can add the same toolbars in XP explorer too. Just
download Styler from here and then download following Styler Skin:
Download VistaVG Styler Skin

Now extract it and copy this skin to “%ProgramFiles%\Styler\TB\skins\Styler’s”

directory and then apply it from the styler.
Another thing in Vista is the Common Tasks are displayed at bottom of the explorer
instead of the default left-side in XP. But if you’ll use my “VistaVG” theme, then you’ll
get the Common Tasks at bottom automatically.

8. Progress Dialog Box:

Vista progress dialog box is different from XP. But we can make our XP dialog box to
look-a-like Vista one by using Resource Hacker.

Just open “%windir%\System32\Shell32.dll” file in Resource Hacker and then goto:

Dialog -> 1020 -> 1033

Now replace the existing code in right-side pane with the code in following file:


Click on Compile Script button.

You’ll also have to replace existing AVIs in the file with new Vista ones. Just download
following Zip file and extract it:

Download AVIs

After extracting the Zip file you’ll get 3 AVI files. Replace existing AVIs in shell32.dll
file with these new ones in following manner:
AVI -> 160 ->1033 with 160.avi
AVI -> 161 ->1033 with 161.avi
AVI -> 162 ->1033 with 162.avi
AVI -> 163 ->1033 with 162.avi
AVI -> 164 ->1033 with 162.avi

And also download a BMP file from here:

Download BMP

After extracting the BMP file from it, add it at 404 location in file. Just click on Action
-> Add a new resource and then click on Open file with new resource button. Select
the downloaded BMP file and click on Open. Now in Resource Name enter 404 and in
Resource Language enter 1033 and click on Add Resource button. Thats it.

9. Shutdown/log off dialog box:

Windows Vista doesnt have any shutdown/logoff dialog box just like XP have but XP
default dialog box doesnt look good. So here I’ll tell you how to change it in XP?

Download required BMP files from here:

Download Shutdown BMPs


Extract the file and you’ll get 4 BMPs with the name:


Now open “%windir%\System32\Shell32.dll” file in Resource Hacker and then replace

following BITMAPs with the mentioned BMP files:
Bitmap -> 14351 -> 1033 with 1.bmp
Bitmap -> 14353 -> 1033 with 2.bmp
Bitmap -> 14354 -> 1033 with 1.bmp
Bitmap -> 14355 -> 1033 with 2.bmp
Bitmap -> 14356 -> 1033 with 3.bmp

now save the file and open %windir%\System32\msgina.dll file in Resource Hacker
and then replace following BITMAPs with the mentioned BMP files:

Bitmap -> 20140 -> 1033 with 1.bmp

Bitmap -> 20141 -> 1033 with 2.bmp
Bitmap -> 20142 -> 1033 with 1.bmp
Bitmap -> 20143 -> 1033 with 2.bmp
Bitmap -> 20150 -> 1033 with 4.bmp

Now save the file.

10. About Windows box:

To change the About Windows box you’ll have to change 2 things:

The BITMAP file and the text of box saying Windows XP.

Download the required BITMAP file from here:

Download About BMP

Open “%windir%\System32\Shell32.dll” file in Resource Hacker and then replace

following BITMAPs with the downloaded BMP file:

Bitmap -> 131 -> 1033 (For XP Professional)

Bitmap -> 147 -> 1033 (For XP Home)

Now open %windir%\System32\msgina.dll file in Resource Hacker and then replace

following BITMAPs with the downloaded BMP file:

Bitmap -> 101 -> 1033 (For XP Professional)

Bitmap -> 107 -> 1033 (For XP Professional)
Bitmap -> 128 -> 1033 (For XP Home)
Bitmap -> 129 -> 1033 (For XP Home)

Now to change the text of dialog box, open “%windir%\System32\xpsp1res.dll” file in

Resource Hacker and then goto:

Dialog -> 14352 -> 1033

Now replace the existing code in right-side pane with the code in following file:


Click on Compile Script button and save the file.

11. System Properties dialog box:

To change the System Properties dialog box, you can follow this tut:

Hacking System Properties Dialog Box (Sysdm.cpl file) in Windows XP

12. Windows Classic Startmenu Leftside Image and Start button Logo:

To change them first download required BMP files from here:

Download Startmenu and Start button BMP


After extracting the BMP files, open %windir%\Explorer.exe file in Resource Hacker
and then replace following BITMAPs with the mentioned BMP files:
Bitmap -> 166 -> 1033 with 1.bmp (For XP Home)
Bitmap -> 167 -> 1033 with 1.bmp (For XP Professional)
Bitmap -> 176 -> 1033 with 2.bmp

Now a few more tricks:

1. Windows Vista shows the “View” menu on desktop too, you can also enable it in XP
using following tut:

How to enable “VIEW” Menu on Desktop in Windows XP

2. Windows Vista’s All Programs menu is different from XP, you can follow following tut
to make ur XP Programs menu similar to Vista:

Change Look-n-Feel of Windows XP Start Menu

3. In Windows Vista an animated Vista Logo is also displayed before the Login screen.
You can also do a similar thing in XP. Just download required BMP file from here:

Download ORB BMP


Open regedit and goto:

HKEY_USERS\.DEFAULT\Control Panel\Desktop

In right-side pane change the value of Wallpaper String value to the Path of downloaded
BMP file. e.g., if you saved the BMP file at “D:\Startup.bmp”, then set the value of
Wallpaper to D:\Startup.bmp. Now you’ll get a similar Vista Logo just before the
Login screen in XP too.

4. In Windows Vista explorer, A small horizontal progress bar is displayed under each
drive icon showing the filled/remaining space in the drive. You can also do the same in
XP by using a 3rd party utility, which I have uploaded here:

Download Vista Drive Status Utility


Just run the file and it’ll add the progress bar in each drive.

5. In Windows Vista explorer, we get Bread Crumbs in addressbar which is quite useful.
You can also get the same feature in Windows XP using “QT Addressbar”:

QT Addressbar: Windows Vista Addressbar Clone for Windows XP

6. Windows Vista also contains a Sidebar, which is displayed on right-side on desktop (by
default and can be changed to be displayed at left-side). You can also use a sidebar in XP.
Just download it from here.

7. If you have any problem with Resource Hacker and want to know about it, then please
go through following tuts:

All About Resource Hacker in a Brief Tutorial

List of Files to be hacked using Resource Hacker
List of a few Locations in Windows XP System Files to be Hacked using Resource

8. If you get error while saving the system files, then its happening because of the WFP
(Windows File Protection) service, which can be disabled using WFP Patcher or you can
use Replacer to replace system files with ur hacked ones. You can get all these utilities
from following topic:

List of Some Useful System Utilities!

Thats all for now guys. If you have more suggestions then please post them.

Remember this tutorial is for doing the task manually and not using the
transformation packs.
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