How To Make Your XP Machine Look Like Vista For FREE




Vista Transformation Pack 4.0 was just released and it does a great job of giving your XP machine the Vista look. In December last year Windows Blinds released a new version of their software that was designed to provide Windows XP with transparent effects, however, it wasn’t free. That is where the Vista Transformation Pack comes into play. It is free and does a great job of giving my machine a look similar to Vista. It doesn’t have the powerful transparency effects for every window (as seen on the window to the right in the screenshot above) but does have enough transparency to make me happy. The greatest thing is that it is free!

It does have uninstallation options in case you decide you want to get rid of it, so there really isn’t anything to lose. However, when you install the software it has to overwrite some system files (it modifies things like the boot screen) so Windows will prompt you stating that your system files have been changed. It will ask whether you want to change them back or leave them, so just leave them if you want the system to function properly.

The software is also nice because it allows you to choose what you want it to change. If you don’t want it to alter the boot screen then you just have to uncheck the “Boot Screen” box during installation (the boot screen is kinda ugly, see the screenshots link below). This is a very nice piece of software.

Update: Here are the steps you need to take to adjust the transparency of the windows:

  1. Right-click on the Glass2K icon in your system tray and select “Settings”. Now check to see what your keyboard shortcut is (I changed mine to be Ctrl + Shift).
  2. Open the window that you want to adjust the transparency of, like Windows Explorer or Notepad for example.
  3. Use the shortcut above in conjunction with a 0-9 number key. 0 means you want no transparency where 9 means you want the most transparency. If I wanted a window with no transparency I would press Ctrl+Shift+0.
  4. That’s all! I don’t believe there is a way you can do this for every application at one time so you will have to perform this for each application individually.

Download The Vista Transformation Pack (14.61MB via RapidShare)
Nice Screenshots
Forum Discussion

Update:
There is a newer version of the Vista Transformation Pack available here.

Update 2:
The newest WindowBlinds, version 6, will be making XP look eve more like Vista. While it does cost a little money the big benefit is that it supports blurring much like Vista’s Aero.