Adding Windows 7 Home Premium features to Windows 7 Starter – for free!

Do you own a netbook or something similar and it only came with a Windows 7 starter license?

Don’t want to spend the bucks for upgrading for a customized look & feel of your Windows 7 installation?

Did you use some tools and they do not work anymore after updating to the Service Pack 1 final?

Then this blog post is for you and you read on!

As we all know Aero isn’t there in the STARTER edition of Windows 7 but we still want a customizable Windows 7 but we are cheap and don’t want to spend any buck!

I have spent hours installing and uninstalling many tools (as some are not intended for Windows 7 or simply got broken in Service Pack 1).

Changing Windows logon screen (source: intowindows blog).

I was tired of being welcomed by the Acer background everytime!

No problem! Just use the Logon Changer! It works lovely, you can even restore it to the default wallpaper it should usually have!

Flip 3D (Task switching with thumbnails) (source: blog).

Nothing easier than that! Use the tool WinFlip for that! It works perfect! Just one little disadvantage: The autostart function doesn’t work so be sure to create a shortcut in the Windows startup folder by yourself! Also set the hotkey for the flip 3d function to Windows & TAB so it will override the one coming with Windows 7 starter!

Changing Desktop background / taskbar skin (source: blog).

In contrast to most tools who only allow you to change the desktop wallpaper, Stardock MyColors’s theme manager also changes the taskbar’s look! (But you can also use it to let the taskbar remain by its default and only change the desktop wallpaper). On the same page you get the Diamond Theme for it (free!) to make it look more to how Windows 7 usually looks.

Thumbnail previews in taskbar!!!

I found this hint nowhere. I found this possibility by pure accident when fooling around with different dock applications for Windows.

Use Stardock’s ObjectDock 2.0 FREE for this!

You have to set it up this way:

right click on the the ObjectDock –> View –> Show minimized windows. If you minimize an open application widndows then, a screenshot is made and put as thumbnail in the stardock!!!

We learn from this that most cosmetic functions and features they have ripped off, can be put back in using freeware tools!

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