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


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Nazmus Shakib Khandaker

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.

Incorrect. That's is NOT just a graphical representation. If you know how Visual Studio works, you KNOW those window and button renderings are real. If you still don't believe me, run Visual Basic 6 and you will see MDI window running with the basic them within the main IDE, which is still running in Aero.

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Nazmus Shakib Khandaker

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 :)

Yes, you can turn off all those stuff, but it still DOES NOT turn of Aero like it did with Windows 7. The point of this post is to see if Aero could or could not be turned off.

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HawkMan

Yes, you can turn off all those stuff, but it still DOES NOT turn of Aero like it did with Windows 7. The point of this post is to see if Aero could or could not be turned off.

why would you disable aero then ? with all the effects off it's what you want, faster than basic rendered in software like basic if no hw is available. so why ?

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Nazmus Shakib Khandaker

why would you disable aero then ? with all the effects off it's what you want, faster than basic rendered in software like basic if no hw is available. so why ?

I don't WANT to disable Aero. I already answered this question to the very first reply. I love using Aero and it makes no sense to not use it. The reason for this thread is an experimental one. We are trying to learn how Windows 8 is designed in the back-end. Specifically, we want to see if Windows 8 truly is 100% Aero or not. Windows Vista and 7 was far from 100% Aero; so, if Windows 8 is 100% aero, it is a great achievement for Microsoft.

If, however, we do figure out a way to turn off Aero on Windows 8, we will know that even Windows 8 isn't able to run Aero all the time. But so far, it seems that Windows 8 is 100 percent Aero. But there may be more tests we can do to see how far we can push Aero.

Personally, I keep all animations and effects ENABLED. Again, I DON'T want to disable effects. This is for experimental purposes only.

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Ambroos

I think the simple reason for keeping things like Aero enabled at all times is just that new Metro-style apps rely on the same API stuff. They require hardware acceleration. If the hardware acceleration is not present, Windows emulates it completely in order to still provide a usable system.

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Nazmus Shakib Khandaker

I think the simple reason for keeping things like Aero enabled at all times is just that new Metro-style apps rely on the same API stuff. They require hardware acceleration. If the hardware acceleration is not present, Windows emulates it completely in order to still provide a usable system.

That's a very excellent point. Windows 8's metro environment includes features that describe Aero, including app thumbnails, animations for closing apps, etc. Hardware acceleration also play a key role on the WinRT environment.

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remixedcat

anymore luck with vmware? I had a talk with them and they want you to like them

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Brandon Live

Windows now requires the Desktop Window Manager to be running at all times, and much of what's new in Window 8 depends on it being there.

Windows 8 only supports WDDM drivers, which are a requirement for the DWM. If you don't have one, the Microsoft Basic Display Driver kicks in. This is a new-for-Win8 WDDM driver which uses software rendering. This replace the old "Standard VGA" driver from prior releases.

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Nazmus Shakib Khandaker

Windows now requires the Desktop Window Manager to be running at all times, and much of what's new in Window 8 depends on it being there.

Windows 8 only supports WDDM drivers, which are a requirement for the DWM. If you don't have one, the Microsoft Basic Display Driver kicks in. This is a new-for-Win8 WDDM driver which uses software rendering. This replace the old "Standard VGA" driver from prior releases.

Thanks for the short, yet concise, answer! I am curious; did you learn about it from a documentation about this from Microsoft. If so, can you give us a link? I would love to learn more about this in detail. If not, then did you discover this by exploring the operating system?

Oh, you might also be a MS employee working on building Windows 8. Since I am new to this forum, I don't many members. If so, it is very nice to see you here. :)

UPDATE: I visited your profile. It seems that you work on the Windows User Experience team.

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Panda X

What's my prize? I should note it looks fine when using it, Win+PrintScreen removed everything though so now almost everything is transparent. Pretty neat. I'll go take a shot using ShareX so it looks better.

http://i.cubeupload.com/djED8M.png

Win+PrintScreen made this really neat: http://i.cubeupload.com/bur2xF.png

Edit:

Here's a proper screenshot taken by ShareX: http://i.imgur.com/YeizP.jpg

I should note this only works if you have 2 or more monitors as the start screen will just be a black rectangle overlaying everything on the primary monitor, and it won't go away.

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Nazmus Shakib Khandaker

Wow! How did you manage to break DWM? What were the steps?

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Panda X

Theoretically you could just start deleting properties in the DWMWindow class of the msstyles and it should break, (you'd have to have UxTheme patch in order to apply the broken msstyles) but the way I did it was try to port a 7 theme to 8 using a new internal version of windows style builder.

Though it's completely unusable, and I had to run the Refresh function to get 8 working again because I forgot to apply Aero before logging off. Nothing really works with it off. You can't even view images on account of the fact a dialog pops up saying "{Desktop composition disabled}".

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  • 1 month later...
Yuhong Bao

Thanks for the short, yet concise, answer! I am curious; did you learn about it from a documentation about this from Microsoft. If so, can you give us a link? I would love to learn more about this in detail. If not, then did you discover this by exploring the operating system?

Oh, you might also be a MS employee working on building Windows 8. Since I am new to this forum, I don't many members. If so, it is very nice to see you here. :)

UPDATE: I visited your profile. It seems that you work on the Windows User Experience team.

For more details: http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/windows/hardware/br259098.aspx

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Noir Angel

My guess would be that they have designed it so that the GUI is always GPU accelerated. And unless your hardware is absolutely ancient (literally any video card made within the last 6 years can run aero very comfortably) you have absolutely no reason to need to turn it off. Using GPU acceleration is far more efficient than software UI rendering. Just bite the bullet and leave it turned on.

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FloatingFatMan

Incorrect. That's is NOT just a graphical representation. If you know how Visual Studio works, you KNOW those window and button renderings are real. If you still don't believe me, run Visual Basic 6 and you will see MDI window running with the basic them within the main IDE, which is still running in Aero.

Interesting thread. One correction, however... VB6 does not, and never ever HAS, used "standard" windows forms for anything. It uses custom forms for everything, called "Thunder Forms". They just LOOK like Windows forms.

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  • 3 weeks later...
Ronald Parkhurst

Yes you can! REAL EASY. Right click on you desktop. select "personalization" from the drop down menu that appears. Click on PERSONALIZATION. Then, when the next window opens, look at the bottom section and click on "window color." After clicking on that, you'll open another window and....there IS A BOX that has enable transparency. Just simply click that box to UNCHECK it, and you will no longer have aero, unless you choose to "re-check" it.

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Panda X

Yes you can! REAL EASY. Right click on you desktop. select "personalization" from the drop down menu that appears. Click on PERSONALIZATION. Then, when the next window opens, look at the bottom section and click on "window color." After clicking on that, you'll open another window and....there IS A BOX that has enable transparency. Just simply click that box to UNCHECK it, and you will no longer have aero, unless you choose to "re-check" it.

It's still Aero, it's just not transparent.

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siah1214
Yes you can! REAL EASY. Right click on you desktop. select "personalization" from the drop down menu that appears. Click on PERSONALIZATION. Then, when the next window opens, look at the bottom section and click on "window color." After clicking on that, you'll open another window and....there IS A BOX that has enable transparency. Just simply click that box to UNCHECK it, and you will no longer have aero, unless you choose to "re-check" it.

Bad first post, BAD!

Aero includes stuff like taskbar thumbnail previews and Peek. And apparently darn near impossible to disable in Win8

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Aethec

Theoretically you could just start deleting properties in the DWMWindow class of the msstyles and it should break, (you'd have to have UxTheme patch in order to apply the broken msstyles) but the way I did it was try to port a 7 theme to 8 using a new internal version of windows style builder.

Though it's completely unusable, and I had to run the Refresh function to get 8 working again because I forgot to apply Aero before logging off. Nothing really works with it off. You can't even view images on account of the fact a dialog pops up saying "{Desktop composition disabled}".

Interesting. Any idea of what is actually happening when you do that? I wonder what happens if you break that thing :p

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mzta cody

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.

It isn't gone, they've put in programmatical shims to redirect any calls to the old GDI system. It's there, sometimes you can see the old controls/buttons within some applications, they've tried to sweep it under the rug.

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Nazmus Shakib Khandaker

It isn't gone, they've put in programmatical shims to redirect any calls to the old GDI system. It's there, sometimes you can see the old controls/buttons within some applications, they've tried to sweep it under the rug.

Yes, I have noticed some of the legacy GUI items pop up in various old program, including old buttons/scrollbars, and even the blue/grey Windows 98 title bar.

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Panda X

Interesting. Any idea of what is actually happening when you do that? I wonder what happens if you break that thing :p

DWM has an error and crashes silently or simply doesn't continue. Aero Basic is there as a fallback in case something goes wrong. They even changed the taskbar to be gray and flat and not the blue taskbar, for whatever reason: http://thepanda-x.deviantart.com/#/d5acifj

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theyarecomingforyou

Yes you can! REAL EASY. Right click on you desktop. select "personalization" from the drop down menu that appears. Click on PERSONALIZATION. Then, when the next window opens, look at the bottom section and click on "window color." After clicking on that, you'll open another window and....there IS A BOX that has enable transparency. Just simply click that box to UNCHECK it, and you will no longer have aero, unless you choose to "re-check" it.

There is no transparency option:

colourse.png

Even so, that's not what people are trying to achieve by disabling Aero.

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i_was_here

At least on Windows 7 (and possibly Vista too), running the game Combat Arms causes the theme to switch to Aero Basic. Maybe someone would be willing to test that?

Edit: I?m reading mixed messages about the game?s compatibility with Windows 8. Apologies if the game doesn?t run or gives an error message.

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PmRd

This is as stupid as disabling the radiator in a car. And nothing will work to completly disable it... it's the only thing available.

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