Porting Windows XP Screen Savers to Windows 7 and 10

June 22, 2017

An old friend of Computerforumz finally let go his aging Windows XP machine and purchased a refurbished computer running Windows 10 (1703) Creators Update…  Once he finished installing all the other updates.

His first question was, “Where are the screen savers?”

Okay, to get to the screen savers control panel go to:  All settings > Personalization > Lock Screen > Screen saver settings.

His second question was, “Where are my Windows XP screen savers?  I want my 3D Pipes back!”

Not a problem.

Screensaver files extracted from Windows XP

The default screen savers in Windows XP can be easily extracted by coping these files from the c:/WINDOWS/system32 folder.

There are, however, three screen saver files that you will not need.  One because it won’t run and the other two are already in newer versions of Windows.

Rejected screensavers

Note:  This same method can be employed for Windows 7 users as well.

Windows 7 personalization panel

Windows 7 main screensaver settings

Windows 7 Pipes settings

To install the extracted screen savers, simply reverse the process.  Drag and drop or copy the screen saver files to the c:/WINDOWS/system32 folder in Windows 10 (or Windows 7).


Windows 10 main screensaver settings

Windows 10 Pipes screensaver settings

The screen savers are restored just like they were in Windows XP.

Windows XP main screensaver settings

Windows XP Pipes screensaver settings

Can you take the screen savers out of Windows ME or earlier and do the same thing?

Windows Me main screensaver settings

Windows Me Pipes screensaver settings

Yes and no.  Yes, you could; no, it may not work.

The screen savers in earlier versions of Windows were coded for much slower CPUs.  Those screen savers might run but at a faster, indiscernible speed.

But if you really want the 3D Pipes screen saver, you could switch to Linux instead.

Linux XScreensavers

Just saying.

Fully Autonomous Self-Driving Cars Will Be The Weapon Of Choice For Terrorists

February 23, 2017


Fully autonomous self-driving cars, loaded with explosives, will be the number one weapon of choice for terrorists worldwide.  There will be no need for suicide bombers to risk their own lives.

You have been warned.  On your own heads be it.


[Solved] Windows 10 Anniversary Update Epic FAIL

November 26, 2016

Windows Refresh Tool IconI bought a computer,
It cost a thousand pound;
But every time I switch it on
It keeps on falling down.

I used to think it was my friend
But now it drives me ’round the bend;
You’d be surprised the time I spend
Reinstalling Windows.
— Les Barker

OMG!  After twenty-five previous versions of Microsoft Windows, still the only way to fix a Windows error problem is to reinstall the operating system.  Seriously?

Well, at least it’s much easier than it used to be.

Starting with Windows 10, Microsoft offers full-install disc images available for download.  You can burn the image to a single-layer blank DVD or load the image on a USB flash drive.  Or simply use the Microsoft media creation tool.

Or you could do what I did and download and run the Microsoft Refresh Windows Tool.

Windows Refresh Tool (License Terms)

Click “Accept” to continue.

Windows Refresh Tool (Choose what you want to keep)

You have two options.  You can lose everything or almost everything.  That’s like asking someone, “Would you like to be shot in the head or the heart?”  What difference does it make?  Dead is dead.

All of my data files are always backed up, so I opted to keep nothing.  I wanted a complete clean install.

Click “Start” and pray.

The program downloads the latest version of Windows 10 that matches your system before installing.  Depending on the speed of your Internet access, this process can take some time.

From this point on, you don’t need to do anything until the installation is done.

If everything goes right, you will not need your Windows license key code.  Windows will automatically activate the new install.

You will need to supply some information about settings options, Cortana options and your Microsoft account (if you have one or if you wish to create one).  I don’t use a Microsoft account on this machine, so I just skipped it.

Success!  I went from 1511 to 1607.  The Anniversary Update is now up and running.  Yay.

The solution is the ultimate solution.  Wipe it all and start again.  Thanks, Microsoft.  Thanks a lot.

Running Classic MS Paint On Windows 7/10

October 27, 2016

Classic Microsoft Piant Icon from Windows XP

Here we go again!

Microsoft announced that Paint, a program that has been around since 1985, is finally getting a major overhaul.  But not everyone is thrilled with the new changes.

Many were not too happy when Microsoft altered the user interface in Paint in Windows 7 by replacing the classic menu bar with a “Ribbon” style GUI (graphical user interface).

Default MS Paint running on Windows 7 (click to enlarge)

Default MS Paint running on Windows 7 (click to enlarge)

However, just like Classic Solitaire and Spider, we can extract the classic version of MS Paint from any Windows XP installation and run it on Windows 7 or 10.

Copy the file mspaint.exe found in the C:\WINDOWS\System32 folder and transfer it to any Windows 7 or 10 computer. No installation is required. Just double-click on the EXE file and it launches.

This method does not replace the existing MS Paint program.

Classic MS Paint running on Windows 7 (click to enlarge)

Classic MS Paint running on Windows 7 (click to enlarge)

Classic MS Paint running on Windows 10 (click to enlarge)

Classic MS Paint running on Windows 10 (click to enlarge)

It’s just that easy!

Windows 10 Anniversary Update Epic FAIL

August 3, 2016
Windows 10 Anniversary Update Epic FAIL

Windows 10 Anniversary Update Epic FAIL (Click to enlarge)

Several months ago, I cloned my Windows 7 installation to another hard drive and then upgraded that installation using the free Windows 10 upgrade offer.  That went fine.

The one-year anniversary update, however, was a monumental and epic failure.

Pressing the reset switch on my computer and rebooting three or four times after the failed upgrade finally managed to get Windows to roll back to its previous installation version.  I then went back to using the Windows 7 hard drive on that computer.

This is exactly why I use and recommend Linux.