Challenge/Experiment: Can You Turn off Aero in Windows 8?


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I recommend making a snapshot of the stable OS before experimenting. If something goes wrong, you can easily get back to the snapshot and a stable OS. This saves you the time to reinstall the entire OS.

vmware workstation FTW!!

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So, it seems that if you try to get rid of Aero, you break the entire OS and see nothing but black...hmm. So, does this mean there is absolutely no way to run "Windows Basic" mode on Windows 8? In other words, with Vista and 7, the OS would fall back to the basic mode, but in 8, the OS doesn't have anything to fall back to and just dies.

I said this above: NO. The code for it is literally gone. Impossible to trigger something that's not there anymore.

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I recommend making a snapshot of the stable OS before experimenting. If something goes wrong, you can easily get back to the snapshot and a stable OS. This saves you the time to reinstall the entire OS.

Good plan :D Reinstalled 8, can experiment again now

EDIT - Installing vmware tools kills the display again... not sure whats going on this is a clean install

EDIT - Fixed, I had unchecked accelerate 3D Graphics in vmware settings

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why would vmware do that to you???

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Win8 includes a software DWM that is used when the GPU is not powerful enough, that's all.

It's obviously not as good as dedicated hardware, but it does the job.

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why would vmware do that to you???

It hates me

I gave up lastnight, all I can think is I need to install 8 when 3D Accelerate is already checked, I`ll have another play around tonight

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I have been using High Contrast theme. Not because I am blind but because I find the Aero themes are too bright when using my laptop at night (My screen's brightness is still pretty bright on the lowest setting) and also to save battery power from the display.

It is pretty annoying some of the High Contrast colours are Butt Ugly and even in Aero if I change the border colour to be completely black, the title bar is also black (black on black)

High Contrast is not perfect either with the Run/Save/Cancel popup in IE being white text on light yellow so you can't read it.

From what I can tell from the Registry, everything is locked in the msstyles file and even High Contrast is a variation on this.

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I'm telling you guys, you can't. No one is listening though. :argh:

I am listening! You did make valid points. It makes sense that the code itself is removed. However, the Windows Basic theme's code is still somewhat present on Windows 8. In the screenshot below, you can see that the MDI window in visual studio is drawn using Windows Basic theme. So, the code must be there in some form. What do you think?

Windows%208%20Basic%20Window.png

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What if you do something that forces Aero off in Windows 7 like run an old Java VM, or share a single application in Lync? If you connect through RDP with composition turned off, what does it do?

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I did some more testing and it looks like everything is handled in msstyles, Aero Basic and High Constrast go through AeroLite.msstyle.

Good news is that the colours can be changed in .theme files.

Helpful link: http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/windows/desktop/bb773190(v=vs.85).aspx

Here is a test file I made to bring Windows Classic colour scheme to Windows 8. You can play with the .theme file to change colours

Just double click the .theme file to install

Some tricks:

Set HighContrast=0 to turn it into an Aero theme to have a Windows Classic coloured Aero theme.

Change Window=255 255 255 to another colour to change the Metro background colour

Change Transparency=0 to turn transparency on or off

Windows Classic for Windows 8.zip

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So, Microsoft's claim that Aero has to run on advanced graphics hardware during the vista days was a lie? Sinofsky has disproven Vista dev team.

It's a new system they are using to render graphics.. I believe it's because Windows 8 is now running Hardware Acceleration at Native level. No need for advanced graphic drivers for Animations/Aero etc.

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It hates me

I gave up lastnight, all I can think is I need to install 8 when 3D Accelerate is already checked, I`ll have another play around tonight

I'll see if I can get Vmware to make up with you... they don't hate you though but apparently didn't like something..I'll look into it.

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I said this above: NO. The code for it is literally gone. Impossible to trigger something that's not there anymore.

The code is still there, if you break the msstyles in a specific way it'll drop back to Classic (Still composited though). I even got it to drop back into Aero Basic. Though only half the windows were in Basic the other were in Aero. I can't explain what happened but it did.

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The code is still there, if you break the msstyles in a specific way it'll drop back to Classic (Still composited though). I even got it to drop back into Aero Basic. Though only half the windows were in Basic the other were in Aero. I can't explain what happened but it did.

That code is still there, but if you're talking about the old, gray bars and blue titlebars from Windows 95, those are gone. There's no getting that on Windows 8.

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That code is still there, but if you're talking about the old, gray bars and blue titlebars from Windows 95, those are gone. There's no getting that on Windows 8.

I think the point of this is not to get the old classic explorer back, but to disable the fancy transitions and live thumbnails etc that aero creates, disabling aero in 7 results in the old solid explorer that does not fade in and out and no smooth transitions etc, just solid either there or not there windows etc

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What if you do something that forces Aero off in Windows 7 like run an old Java VM, or share a single application in Lync? If you connect through RDP with composition turned off, what does it do?

Short answer: It still keeps Aero running on Windows 8.

As I stated on the main thread, in Windows 7, running certain old apps or games forces Aero to be off. However, this is not the case with Windows 8. Aero remains enabled.

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Aero is not anything you said it was in your first post. Those are just features, features that by third party have been emulated on older OSs (like XP) thru software rendering which is what Windows 8 problably does with all these feature: Software renders them.

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I am listening! You did make valid points. It makes sense that the code itself is removed. However, the Windows Basic theme's code is still somewhat present on Windows 8. In the screenshot below, you can see that the MDI window in visual studio is drawn using Windows Basic theme. So, the code must be there in some form. What do you think?

Windows%208%20Basic%20Window.png

That is a graphical representation, different than the actual program when you comply it and run it.

Would you say that IE is only a e with a yellow line? No. Thats the graphical representation of it in a icon.

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I am listening! You did make valid points. It makes sense that the code itself is removed. However, the Windows Basic theme's code is still somewhat present on Windows 8. In the screenshot below, you can see that the MDI window in visual studio is drawn using Windows Basic theme. So, the code must be there in some form. What do you think?

Windows%208%20Basic%20Window.png

That is a graphical representation, different than the actual program when you comply it and run it.

Would you say that IE is only a e with a yellow line? No. Thats the graphical representation of it in a icon.

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I think the point of this is not to get the old classic explorer back, but to disable the fancy transitions and live thumbnails etc that aero creates, disabling aero in 7 results in the old solid explorer that does not fade in and out and no smooth transitions etc, just solid either there or not there windows etc

So wouldn't it then be easier to go into the performance options and under visual effects disable animations, transparency, aero peek, fade and slide menus and tooltips, fade out menus, shadows and all that stuff ?

You don't have to disable aero to disable that stuff, you just have to turn the effects off individually in the proper settings dialog. you people really over complicate stuff :)

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So wouldn't it then be easier to go into the performance options and under visual effects disable animations, transparency, aero peek, fade and slide menus and tooltips, fade out menus, shadows and all that stuff ?

You don't have to disable aero to disable that stuff, you just have to turn the effects off individually in the proper settings dialog. you people really over complicate stuff :)

haha, totally forgot about those settings, I think its the flaw in the tech heads wiring to look for the most complicated solution first.

A prime example, we have small florescent lamps under the units in the kitchen to light up the benches, one of them wasn't working, so I took out the starter cap and changed it, nothing, swapped the actual tube, still nothing, took the metal chassis apart to see if anything had burned out or come loose, still nothing.

My gf's non-tech brother came over to see her for a while and I was telling him about it the lamp, he walked over to it and said, "Have you changed the fuse in the plug ? "

yea... was the fuse :D

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