customising xp

  new214 08:48 22 Feb 2007

Heya al, i got a new pc about a yr ago and was wondering if theres any ways i can customise the taskbar and themes in xp and are there any security problems if i do this?? I would luv to change the taskbar to look like a vista one or even a total vista theme.
Suggestions, advice and links welcome

  Shortstop 08:57 22 Feb 2007


Try Vista Transformation Pack click here

I used it without any issues but, changes to the Windows Registry settings, you should make a back up of your system.



  Input Overload 08:58 22 Feb 2007

click here WindowBlinds, there are 1000's of differant skins including Vista type.

  new214 09:56 22 Feb 2007

Is a recovery cd- ok as a backup of my system?? isnt a recovery cd of windows the same as backup of windows registry?? If i need to back up the regestry how would i do this??

Finally, are skins/themes safe to install- in terms of security, visuses, spyware etc??

  Batch 10:11 22 Feb 2007

Recovery CDs are designed to restore the system to how it was on the day you bought it - not the best of solutions by a long way.

Far better to use something like Acronis True Image (TI).

You can either use TI to create its own hidden area on the existing hard disk or, better still (as it enables one to recover from disk failures) you can back-up to a second hard disk (e.g. an external drive).

TI (IMHO) works even better if you partition your disk so that only OS & progs on C: and all your data on D:, E: etc. That way the image of C: is kept down to a manageble size (mine is currently less than 2GB and takes about 3 to 4 minutes to create or restore), whereas if you have all the data on C: as well, the image could be humungous as well as take a long time to create / restore.

  new214 10:25 22 Feb 2007

Is Acronis True Image (TI) a free software??
Can i burn it to cd?? Also whats a disk image- a option on nero when burning a cd? Would burning a image of my c: be a good solution in relation to Acronis True Image (TI).

  Ho-Lin-Sok 10:30 22 Feb 2007

you can make a registry backup. Open regedit(START/RUN/REGEDIT) click FILE/EXPORT make sure the "all" box is checked give it a location and then SAVE

  new214 10:36 22 Feb 2007

Is it safe to do that- and will it affect my registry if i back it up??

Also whats a disk image- a option on nero when burning a cd?

  Batch 10:44 22 Feb 2007

An disk image is (for all practical purposes) a complete copy of a disk (or disk partition).

TI isn't free. The current version (10) is about £23 on amazon. V8 (which I use) is about £13. If you shop around you might get it cheaper.

See the Acronis click here web site for more details.

You can burn the resulting image to CD (I think V10 even supports doing it directly to CD / DVD). The big problem with CDs is that it could take rather a lot of them to hold a complete image. Much better of you can use DVD. Also CDs / DVDs are reckoned to be the most reliable back-up medium (although I've never had problems).

To be quite honest, using TI with an external USB disk is probably the easiest, albeit with an initial cost (what price peace of mind?).

  new214 11:01 22 Feb 2007

Ok thanks, i think im gona create a registry backup on a dvd using nero disk image.

However i have 1 final question- are the vista skins/themes free and are they safe to install- in terms of security, visuses, spyware etc??

  Shortstop 11:45 22 Feb 2007

All these 2 programs do is to change the appearance of XP to look like Vista. Functionality/safety/etc. will be no different to your set up before.

If you choose to use my link, the program is free [but quite large] and requires clicking on the install button when downloaded. There are some choices to make as to what options you do [or do not] want installed, but I selected all the options - and is working very well indeed!



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