Tweak Windows Server 2008 R2 into Windows 7 Look and Feel

Use Themes on Windows Server 2008 R2;

Like Windows 7 its also possible to use the Aero theme including 3d flip or at least the Windows 7 Basic theme without transparency nor 3d flip on Windows Server 2008 R2. Note that following this tutorial and installing the “Desktop Experience” Feature also installs Windows Mail, Windows Media Player, Video for Windows (AVI support), Windows Photo Gallery, Windows SideShow, Windows Defender, Disk Cleanup, Sync Center, Sound Recorder and Character Map.

1. Start the Server Manager and click below the category Features Summary at Add Features.

Click Add Features in the Server Manager

2. In the Add Features Wizard window check Desktop Experience and also accept to install the Ink and Handwriting Services when asked. Then click Next.

Check the Desktop Experience Feature and click Next

3. Review the Installation Selections and click Install to start the installation of the selected Features.

Confirm Installation Selections and click Install

4. After the installation has finished, click the Close button and click Yes when asked if you want to restart your computer

Click Yes to restart the computer to complete the installation of the Desktop Experience Feature

5. After the computer has restarted, review and close the Installation Results window and go to Administrative Tools in the Start menu and click Services.

Review the Installation Results and click Close Open the Services link in the Start menu

6. Double click on the service named Themes, set Startup type to Automatic and click Apply. After the Startup type is set to Automatic click Start to start the Themes service whereafter you can close the Services Manager.

Open the Themes service, set the Startup type to Automatic and Start the service

7. Download themes.zip (38,5MB) from Rapidshare, Megaupload or 4Shared, extract it and run install(.cmd) to install the Windows 7 Default Themes. This step is optional as you can also download the themes you want from http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkId=109286
Extract themes.zip and run install.cmd to get the default Windows 7 Themes

8. Right click at an empty spot of your desktop and choose Personalize. In the Personalization window click a theme or get a nice theme via the Get more themes online link. If you have installed drivers for your videocard you will now have transparent windows and you are able to use 3D Flip (Windowskey + Tab)!

Set the theme to Windows 7 Basic/Aero

Use Windows 7 Bootscreen on Windows Server 2008 R2;

In stead of the default Windows Server 2008 R2 boot screen you can also use the one of Windows 7. This is done by just extracting the bootres.dll and bootres.dll.mui from the Windows 7 x64 Retail MSDN dvd and placing them in respectively the System32 and System32\en-US folder.

1. Download bootres.zip (2.10MB) from Rapidshare, Megaupload or 4Shared.

2. Extract the .zip to a folder and run install(.cmd)
Extract the archive and install using install.cmd

3. Enjoy your Windows 7 boot screen!
Windows 7 logo boot screen on Windows Server 2008 R2

And use the Windows 7 Bootscreen on Windows Server 2008 R2;

If you don’t like the default gray Windows Server 2008 R2 logon screen, it is also possible to use the colorful Windows 7 one.

1. Download logonscreen.7z (11,7MB) from Rapidshare, Megaupload or 4Shared or logonscreen.zip (29,9MB) from Rapidshare, Megaupload or 4Shared.

2. Extract the .zip or the .7z using 7-Zip to a folder and run install(.cmd).
Extract archive and install the Windows 7 logon screen using install.cmd

3. Enjoy your new logon screen!
Windows 7 logon screen for Windows Server 2008 R2

Manually you do it like this;

The files in this patch are the original ones from Windows Server 2008 R2 which are edited. You can edit them by opening the imageres.dll file with a Resource Editor like Restorator 2007, expanding the IMAGE resource and replacing all gray logon screens with the Windows 7 equivalent. Do this as follows (read as: copy … to …): 5031 -> 5044, 5032 -> 5045, 5033 -> 5046, 5034 -> 5047, 5035 -> 5048, 5036 -> 5049, 5037 -> 5050, 5038 -> 5051, 5039 -> 5052, 5040 -> 5053, 5041 -> 5054, 5042 -> 5055, 5043 -> 5056.

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