How to customize Windows desktop using Rainmeter

Rainmeter is a desktop customization platform. It can customize your desktop skins, along with applications such as Windows Media Player. Rainmeter has thousands of skins which you can access via DeviantArt. There are all sorts of skins available, be it Jarvis or your favorite anime.

Installing skins via Rainmeter isn’t hard, but customizing skins according to your taste could prove to be a bit harder.

In this tutorial, we’ll be learning how to

  • Install Skins for Windows Media Player (WMP)
  • Install Desktop Skins
  • Customize Skins
  • Use Rainmeter Settings

 

Installing Skins via Rainmeter

  1. Click here to download Rainmeter + Alienware Invader (Skin)
  2. Install Rainmeter
  3. Opening Rainmeter now should open an information tablet in the middle and some widgets at the left side of the screen. Right Click and select “Unload Skins” on the tablets and widgets to make them disappear.
  4. Open Alienware Invader Skin
  5. Rainmeter should automatically detect the skin and install it for you.
  6. Once installed, open Windows Media Player.
  7. If the skin has been installed successfully, your windows media player should look like the picture below.

Installing Desktop Skins

Desktop skins are different from WMP skins because they can be customized.

  1. Click here to download NoName Skin
  2. Open the downloaded file
  3. Check Load Included Skins when installing.
  4. Your Desktop should now have a completely different interface than the previous one, unless you haven’t checked the “Load included skins” option
  5. Unload the skins that you do not need by right clicking and selecting “Unload Skin” option.
  6. You can also exit Rainmeter to return to your old desktop.

There are cases where checking “Load included skins” option doesn’t work, hence you will have to load the skins manually.

Loading skins manually

  1. Go to your system tray and double click Rainmeter
  2. Open NoName
  3. Open Clock
  4. Double click Analog
  5. Click on Analog Clock.ini
  6. On the right side of screen, click “Load”
  7. Go to your desktop and you’ll see a clock somewhere.

Load all the skins you’d like, you can also unload them if they’re not needed.

 

Customizing Skins

Customizing skins means setting the skin up depending on your needs or taste. For example, the NoName skin has launchers which will launch an application, but it won’t work unless you set it up.

NoName is a great skin that can be used as an example for those who are new to Rainmeter, since it contains a configuration menu by default.

Let’s say we’d like our launcher to open chrome when we click on “Google Chrome”

  1. Go to your system tray and double click Rainmeter
  2. Double click NoName
  3. Open the configuration drop down, click on configuration.ini and on the right side of the screen, click “Load”
  4. The configuration menu will contain Launcher 1 and 2 along with Mini Launcher and spectrum etc.
  5. Go to the launcher that you’ve loaded and change the name, App1, to “Google Chrome”
  6. Click on the folder icon located at the left of “Google Chrome”
  7. Go to C:\Program Files (x86)\Google\Chrome\Application and open “chrome”
  8. Go to desktop and refresh the launcher that you’ve just edited by right clicking and selecting “Refresh Skin”
  9.  Click on Google Chrome and it should open.

To sum it up :

All you have to do is to locate the file that you’d like to open via the launcher and then change the name of the launcher apps from “App1” to “Desired Application/File Name”. In case you do not know where your desired application is located, right click on the icon, open it’s properties and the location should be written in the general tab.

 

Themes like NoName already have a configuration menu, but there are many skins without the configuration menu. To edit such skins, you will have to right click on the skin and click on “Edit Skin”. That should open the skin in notepad and you’ll have to edit the name and location of the intended file manually.

Using Rainmeter Settings

Rainmeter has some settings which can be accessed by opening Rainmeter through the system tray. All of the settings are very important when you’re trying to customize your desktop. Features such as “Click-through” can turn skins that display information un-clickable unless you disable it from the Rainmeter interface.

  1. Load – It will load a skin on your desktop
  2. Refresh – It will refresh a skin, be sure to always refresh after editing a skin.
  3. Edit – It will open the skin in notepad for you to edit it manually.
  4. Coordinates – Enter the coordinates of where you want it to be placed, this feature is usually used when moving the skin a small distance
  5.  Position – Positions the skin automatically
  6. Load Order – It loads the skin after “x” number of skins have been loaded.
  7. Transparency – Turns the skin transparent depending on your percentage
  8. On hover – It will fade in or hide when your mouse cursor is on the skin. “Do nothing” is the default option.
  9. Draggable – If you uncheck this, the skin won’t be able to move when you click and drag.
  10.  Click through – Skin becomes click through
  11. Keep on screen – Keeps the skin on the screen all the time (except when you’re not on desktop)
  12.  Save position – It will save the position or coordinates of the skin so you don’t have to move it every time you restart Rainmeter
  13.  Snap to edges – Creates an outline so two skins cannot be on top of each other.
  14.  Favorite – Used to mark your favorite skins

Please comment below if you have any questions regarding this post

 

 

 

 

 

 

How to Turn Windows 7 Transparent

People who dabble into desktop customization have always wanted to try a transparent desktop at some point of time. Turning your desktop transparent hasn’t been a dream for several years now. Believe it or not, two files is all you need to acquire a completely transparent desktop.

Click here to download files

Steps:

  1. Extract the downloaded files to a folder
  2. Open and install Moo0 Transparent Menu, while you’re installing it you’re free to say no to the improved version
  3. Run Moo0 and BlackGlassEnhanced
  4. Make sure the BGE.ini file is in the same folder where BlackGlassEnhanced is located at.

Open “My Computer” and it should be transparent.

Things you need to know about Moo0 and BGE

  • Moo0 and BGE, when running, are located in the system tray.
  • You can change the transparency percent by going to the system tray and right clicking.
  • You can change your BGE settings from the system tray.
  • If you do not want your desktop transparent, press CTRL + SHIFT + ESC or open Task Manager and kill BlackGlassEnhanced.exe and TransparentMenu.exe
  • You can turn your desktop transparent again by running both the files.
  • BlackGlassEnhanced is a tool that adds shine to your windows themes.
  • Moo0 is an application that turns most of your windows 7 transparent.

 

 

How to Install Custom Themes on Windows 7

Windows 7 contains many themes, you can select the theme you prefer by right clicking anywhere on your desktop and opening the  “Personalize” menu.

The personalize menu mainly contains 3 types of themes, Basic, High Contrast and Aero themes. Aero themes are the ones that you’d want to pick if you’re trying to step-up the look of your desktop, but there’s also a wide range of themes available on the internet.

There are two types of available themes for Windows :

Official – These themes are provided by Microsoft Windows officially. You can download and use them from the official Microsoft website, or by clicking here. Once you’ve downloaded an official theme, they will appear in your personalize menu as “Installed Themes”

Third Party Themes (Unofficial) – Third party themes are unofficial themes provided by random creators from all around the world. Unfortunately, Windows does not allow the installation of third party themes by default. Hence, you’ll have to patch your system files to allow the use of third party themes.

Note – Patching system files in order to allow the use of third party themes isn’t all that risky, but we recommend creating a system restore point as a good practice.

To create a system restore point, type “create a restore point” in your start menu , hit enter and click on “Create”

(Always make sure to create a restore point before messing around with system files)

Download Required Apps

As we move further into this guide, we will have to download some required applications and a third party theme which will be used as an example here.

Click here to download all required apps + theme

(The file is in .rar format so be sure to extract it into a folder located in your desktop)

Patching System files

In order to patch the system files, we will be using VistaGlazz.

VistaGlazz is an application that patches your system files to allow the installation of third party themes. It also contains an “Unpatch files” button so that you can revert to your old system files anytime.

  • Open VistaGlazz Setup and install it
  • Run VistaGlazz as administrator
  • Click on the computer icon

  • Click on “Patch files” and leave the machine for a minute or two

  • Once it has patched your system files, you will have to restart your machine.

Installing Themes with ThemeManager

Theme Manager is an application that installs third party themes in your machine. Normally, after having your system files patched up, you should be able to install third party themes with the windows installer but there are some themes that cannot be installed. Theme Manager installs those themes for you and it also reduces risk of damaging system files with incompatible themes as the themes will be installed in theme manager.

  • Install Theme Manager
  • Run Theme Manager as administrator
  • Click on “Install a Theme” and “Browse” in theme section

 

  • Locate the folder where you extracted the downloaded files, open “Airlock Theme” and select “Airlock”
  • Give the theme a name and click install

  • Once the theme has been installed, you will be redirected back to the start menu.
  • Select “Apply a Theme”
  • Click on the right arrow and apply “Airlock”

(Please leave your machine for a minute after clicking “Apply”)

To switch back to your old theme, apply “Aero” via ThemeManager or open the personalize menu and select your basic theme.

You should also be able to install any third party themes now.

Note: If you’re having trouble installing VistaGlazz, Please disable your firewall and click here to download it separately. Allow executable file to be downloaded.

Let us know if you encounter any issues via the comments below.

How to Transfer Files between two PCs using LAN/Ethernet Cable?

Sharing large amounts of data with your friends can really be a hassle if you don’t know of efficient and easy ways to do it. One way is you can use an external storage medium such as an external HDD, USB, etc. This way is convenient for most of us, best for the average users, regardless of the fact that it drains 50% of our precious time in the process. Think about it. first you’ve to copy files to the external media and then copy it again from there to another computer. Isn’t that a waste of time clearly? Here’s when you’ve to look for alternatives if you treasure your time. The best way would be the one which would consume the least time, and must be easy to get along with. This is only possible when you directly transfer file to the another Computer, eliminating the need of a third media.

Windows comes along with built-in File Sharing feature that can be used to share data throughout your network. Don’t worry if you don’t have a network, you can use this feature even by easily linking two computers via a LAN cable, or in other words, by networking two Computers.

This tutorial is really easy to follow and will help you in getting started with LAN file transfers in no time.

Things You Will Require

  • Ethernet/LAN cable (technical name: RJ45/8P8C)

    LAN Cable RJ45/8P8C
    LAN Cable RJ45/8P8C

  • Two Computers with Ethernet/LAN ports.

    LAN Port
    LAN Port

How to get things done?

  • Start up both the computers. You know you have to do this.
  • Network two of them with the LAN Cable. I mean to say, insert the jack of one end into one of the Computers, and obviously, the other goes into the second Computer.

    Sharing Options
    Sharing Options
  • You will see that both the Computers will recognize an unknown LAN network. Go to “Network & Sharing Center” and Enable File Sharing.
  • Go to “Network” (or “View Network Connections” on older versions of Windows).

    Network
    Network
  • You’d find the networked PC listed over there. Open it, and enter the Username and Password of the other Computer you’re trying to connect to.

For you to be able to connect to another PC, it is necessary that the User Account on the other PC has a password set.

Now you can view the Shared Folders of that Computer to which you’re connected.

How to share Folders over the network?

  • Right-click on the Folder and open “Properties”, browse over to the “Sharing” tab and click on the “Advanced Sharing” button.

    Folder Properties
    Folder Properties
  • In the “Advanced Sharing” dialogue box, Check the “Share this folder” option. Click “Apply” and then “Ok”. This may take some time  if you have a large number of files in that folder, just be patient.

    Advanced Sharing
    Advanced Sharing

You now know how to share a Folder as well as how to connect two computers to a Network and enable sharing. This is how you can easily drag and drop files between two computers and save yourself from bugging data transfers. Hope you liked this tutorial, if you have any queries, don’t hesitate to drop comments below. Smile

Remark: It’s a good measure to disable sharing of folders once you’re done with your work. I once forgot to do this after returning from a friend’s house and realized that my neighbors at my local network had access to my files, which they shouldn’t.

How to prevent slowing down of Windows over time?

It’s not something new to say that the computers get slower over time, start hanging, and ultimately crash. You would have heard many people quoting the age of the computer (or the most recent OS reinstall) whenever you ask them WHY IS THIS RUNNING SO SLOW?

(more…)

Some Windows XP tips, that you may not know.

Windows XPNo doubt that Windows XP is one of the best Operating Systems, but there are still some who don’t know much about it; just as normal Window. I am going to tell you five awesome tips which Windows XP users can try on their Operating systems. These are some untold tips which are hard to find on internet. These are:

How do I get the “Administrator” name on Welcome Screen?

– To get Admin account on the “Welcome Screen” as well as the other usernames, make sure that there are no accounts logged in. Press “CTRL-ALT-DEL” twice and you should be able to login as administrator. It will work fine just remember all accounts have to be logged out first.

Create a Password Reset Disk

– If you’re running Windows XP Professional as a local user in some work group environment,
you can create a password reset disk to log onto your computer when you forget your
password. To create the disk just follow these simple steps:

  • Click Start, select Control Panel, and then click User Accounts.
  • Click your account name. Under related Tasks, click Prevent a forgotten password.
  • Follow the directions in the Forgotten Password Wizard to create a password reset disk.
  • Store the disk in a secure location because anyone using it can access your local user
    account.

Change Web Page Font Size on the Fly

– If your mouse contains a scrolling wheel, you can change font size of the web pages while
viewing them. To do so:

Press and hold CTRL. Scroll down to enlarge the font size and Scroll up to reduce the font
size.

Create a Shortcut to Lock your Computer

You can create a shortcut on your desktop to quickly lock the keyboard and display. To create a
shortcut on your desktop to lock your computer:

  • Right-click the desktop. Point to New, and then click Shortcut.
  • The Create Shortcut Wizard opens. In the text box, type the following: rundll32.exe user32.dll,LockWorkStation
  • Click Next.
  • Enter a name for the shortcut. You can call it Lock or choose any name you like.
  • Click Finish.
  • Now just double click this shortcut next time you want to lock your computer.

Instantly Activate a Screen saver
– Now you can activate a screen saver just by double clicking a shortcut on your desktop:

  • Click the Start button, and then click Search.
  • In the Search Companion window, click All file types.
  • In the file name box, type *.scr
  • In the Look in box, choose Local Hard Drives (C or the drive where you have system files stored).
  • Click Search. You will see a list of screen savers in the results. Pick a screen saver you want. You can preview it
    by double-clicking it.
  • Right click on the file, choose Send To, and then click Desktop (create shortcut).
  • To start the screen saver, double-click the icon on your desktop.

I hope you liked the tips. Do share your comments. :)

Tips by Arun, who works for Go-gulf.com, a web design Kuwait Company that provides web design solution in Qatar, Sharjah and Middle East.

Remove Internet Explorer from Windows 7

Let’s begin, though Internet Explorer is a good browser, but it’s not up to the mark of the current web standard requirements. Simply put, it’s outdated. Once while clicking a link somewhere, I realized it was being loaded on IE instead of the default browser Firefox (my favorite!) This pissed me off and I decided to completely get rid off it. :|

That annoying thing wasn’t enough that I realized there’s no Internet Explorer in the “Uninstall a Program” thing in the Control Panel. I was furious and what I wanted was to just get rid off IE and take revenge for taking place of my Firefox without my permission. :P (more…)

Send Messages to Other PCs over LAN on Windows

Long since I’ve posted any PC tips, so here we go. This post will introduce you to the net send and msg.exe and tell you how to use it to send messages to other PCs which are connected to your LAN. :)

The net send command works for most of the versions of Windows upto Windows XP SP 2. Due to the use of the command for spamming over the WWW, this command was replaced by msg.exe in Windows Vista and Windows 7. (more…)