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[Project] Windows 8 Pro with Windows 7 Shell

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[PROJECT] Windows 8 Pro with Windows 7 Shell

In windows 8, Microsoft pushes all uses to login using a Microsoft Account, use the new modern user interface called Metro UI and the native Windows apps (Metro Apps). From Windows 7 to windows 8, this huge change in interface made the vast majority of people disapproving Windows 8 as they finds it extremely unfamiliar to use. You can easily find all sorts of workarounds on the internet to help you to stay as far as possible away from Metro UI, however the Metro UI was embedded so deeply into Windows 8 that its nearly impossible to avoid and Start menu was REMOVED (Not just hidden, can't be enabled).

So I started working on a project where it will produce a clean copy of Windows 8 with the good old Windows 7 Shell (with Start menu, no Charm Bar and no Metro apps).

I can promise that it is virus free and everything works the Microsoft way and you can activate this copy of windows using a genuine key.

If anyone want to try my customized build, please reply below and I will give you a download link of my latest work. If you find any bugs or have any thoughts, suggestions or ideas, please post below.

Screen Shots:








- Metro programs won't run. Metro UI screens won't show as it's not loaded, cannot and won't be.

- You may get more UAC prompts since explorer.exe is not in Windows 8 UAC-approved white-list.

- You can't add new user. Run netplwiz.exe for that.

- File explorer icon won't show on Taskber. Pin it to Taskber by creating a shortcut and right click>Pin to Taskbar.

- No default language input indicator. Enable language bar via Control Panel->Language->Advanced Settings->Use desktop language bar.

- No multi-monitor Taskbars. Maybe more multimon issues.

- Future update might overwrite the Windows 7 Shell. Disable Updates recommended.

- A full online System Scan or Repair might overwrite the Windows 7 Shell.

Several UI bits missing:

- "You have new program to handle this stuff" toasts won't show. You need to use Default programs to change associations



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  • 4 weeks later...

Hi Nirav, you are the first person to be interested in my project. Do you want to create an ISO file with the windows 7 shell integrated or just replace your VM's Windows 8 shell with the Windows 7 one? Anyway, they are basically the same thing, you will have to download the windows 7 ISO file from https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/software-download/windows7 or using the Windows ISO Downloader (Edition doesn't matter but architecture and language does) . After its done, find install.wim , go to your Windows 8 edition, find .\Windows\explorer.exe, .\Windows\en-us\shell32.dll.mui, .\Windows\en-us\explorer.exe.mui and copy them into a spare folder. The next step is to download Windows Explorer Wrapper file (wrp.dll) from here: https://tinyurl.com/ycc7okgw and place it with explorer.exe, now you have all files collected and you can replace the Windows 8 ones with those files and restart Windows Explorer. If you wanted to integrate it into an ISO, it would be extremely hard as its nearly impossible to find or download Windows 8 Disk Images from Microsoft, so go to torrents, warez websites and other places to find a copy then VERIFY the checksum to make sure it hasn't been modified. Then mount install.wim, replace files and unmount the wim file. Test your ISO file to be sure that is working.

This is very brief and if you don't under anything, comment below.




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Hi Nirav,

On 10/29/2018 at 4:43 PM, Nirav Narang said:

one thing is the dl for wrp.dll was bad,

Hi, for the link of wrp.dll, there were some copyright issues, so I took it down. 

On 10/29/2018 at 4:43 PM, Nirav Narang said:

also, what do you use to create the iso file and how do you make it bootable?

I would suggest using CDIMAGE 2.53 - CD-ROM and DVD-ROM Premastering Utility by Microsoft. That is the tool which Microsoft uses to create CDs, DVDs and ISOs.

Here is the command for creating Windows 8 images if you never used it before:

CDIMAGE -b"*PATH*\boot\etfsboot.com" -h -u2 -m -o -l"HRM_CCSA_X64FRE_EN-US_DV5" -t"07/26/2012,18:23:07" "*PATH*" "*PATH*\Win8_Pro_English_x64.iso"

*PATH* is the path of your project and normally setup.exe is inside that directory.



Edited by SnowBall
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