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    Windows 7 Visual Style

This theme was created for Windows 7, I have no idea if it would work on Vista so if someone want to try I’d like to know the result. I spent about 3 months working on it.

Making a theme for Win7 takes a really long time since you have to extract and edit all single graphic elements one by one (I created about 300 png files for this theme so far).

I used Windows 7 Style Builder. This program is a bit complicated to use at first because it doesn’t have much buttons or controls and when you go and make modifications, you can’t really see what you’re doing until you apply the theme with the preview button. Most of the time, you find an element that you modify, then you have to try to open the right window on the computer to check if your modification works. Sometimes, the parameter you want to change isn’t even available, so you have to add it but since you don’t know where it’s supposed to be added you just have to try different things until it works and sometimes it never works like text that you can’t change color. Once you know how the program works, you can do pretty much anything you want with the theme : adjust margins, change pictures, colors, fonts, sizes, etc…

Sounds come from Wipeout HD Fury with some extra distortion and stereo effects.

If there are some stuff that you want to change in this theme, you can use Win7 Style Builder to edit the Sulaco.msstyles file. You can extract pictures and edit them. If you need some help to find specific parameters, leave a comment.

1. Windows 7 doesn’t accept the use of themes created with Win7 Style Builder unless you patch some system files. To support 3rd party desktop msstyle themes, you need to get Universal Theme Patcher [mirror] (available for 32 and 64 bits) and patch 3 files. It requires administrator rights to work (Right-click the exe file, select Run as Administrator). Note: you might need to re-patch after some Windows updates.

2. Reboot.

3. Download the latest version of Sulaco Visual Style and extract it in the following folder:

4. Copy fonts from the Fonts folder to the following folder:

5. Open the Personalization window (Right click on desktop, Personalize) and select Sulaco Visual Style.

6. Get Se7en Copy Animation Modder to set custom color to Copy, Move, Delete window.

7. Use my Dexpot Tutorial to get roll-up and default transparency on Explorer windows.

v0.1 – 26/02/2011 : first release, still a lot of stuff to complete but the basic design is there

v0.11 – 14/05/2011 : added Windows sounds

v0.12 – 21/03/2012 : Explorer toolbar fix

v0.13 – 10/06/2013 : Button text color fix (Firefox, Gimp, …)

v0.14 – 22/06/2013 : Tooltip text color fix and copy/move/delete custom color tuto

v0.14 r+b – 09/08/2013 : Blue version (special thx to Masanovx who did most of the work)

v0.15 – 04/09/2013 : fix taskbar combined buttons and small font option (includes blue version)

Join the Conversation


  1. To correctly install the theme in windows 7 if you use an “areo” theme, first you have to switch the “areo” theme to a BASIC THEME then you can apply the Sulaco theme and all should work fine.

  2. Awesome!!!
    Everything worked fine excepted the titlebar and the taskbar. So I have asked for some help to Nostromo. He told me to repatch by making the “repair” option, then restart, patch again, and then restart.
    No changes here, so I have tried windows 7 basic theme and give another try for Sulaco. The thème was refresh and works fine now!

    Tout a marché excepté la barre de titre et la barre des tâches, j’ai alors demandé conseil à Nostromo.
    Il m’a conseillé de repatcher en faisant “réparer”, redémarrer, repatcher, et redémarrer. Ne voyant rien qui avait changé j’ai essayé le thème classique de windows avant de réessayer celui de Sulaco. Et tout marche parfaitement maintenant.

  3. hey Nostromo your theme is awesome, but you need to add a little bit of modification to it for example, you can add or create another explorer frame and change the default shell icons to some thing more cool, and change the start orb and the icons to a dark red icons
    make the size of the text menu a little bit smaller
    and remove the account picture in the start menu

    i can help you if you want .

    1. I already have some stuff that I need to change and other that I didn’t have time to work on.
      I put a big text size for the menu cause I’m a bit far from my screen. If you want it smaller, you can change it or If I get many requests, maybe I’ll make different versions of the theme.

      1. her is a a set of icons that go well withe your them

        and a start orb you may like it

        use this program to change the Windows 7 User Picture Frame

        and this is for changing the explorerframe to anything you want

  4. Hi,
    first: really nice theme, it looks good 😀

    But I have a problem, if I use the theme i can’t restart my pc. I do the same like Overdrive said, and it works fine till I want to restart my pc. When i restart it, i comes only to the”Please wait” screen, then my screen becomes black. After that it goes back to the login screen(for the useracc). If i click on my acc, my screen becomes black again, the login screen appears again(and so on). I have to restart my pc in the safe mode and use the system recovery.
    First i tought my virus scanner would block the theme, so I deinstalled it, but the problem does still exists.
    I use Win7 SP1 (perhaps it’s because of the sevice pack?)
    Sorry for my englisch, i’m from germany, but I hope it’s good enough to understand my problem^^)

      1. If I only patch the files the restart works without problems.
        The midnight-theme also works without problems, i’ve restarted my pc 3 times to test and I had no problems. Then I installed the sulaco-theme and I had the same problems like I wrote. If I restart the pc in the safe mode i can see that the theme works(not correct because of the safe mode, but the colours/fonts are like the theme), but in the normal mode it doesnt work.
        I have Win7 Home Premium 32 Bit

          1. I tried it, but it still doesn’t work. First I used the midnight theme to test the tut, and it works. Then i used it with Sulaco and I had the same problems again.
            Then I’ve tested some other ways: I chose the normal aero theme, then sulaco(fonts and wallpaper changed to sulaco, the rest looks like the aero theme), then restart the pc.
            It works, but the colours/menu were still wrong. Then I made the same with the basic theme, restart, same result like with aero. Then I changed to basic->sulaco->basic->sulaco, then the colours/menues were displayed correct. But after the restart i had the problem again. Could it be that it has to do with my screen solution?(the highest i can choose is 1680×1050)

          2. I don’t think screen resolution has anything to do with your problem. If the midnight theme works it means there’s problem with Sulaco. I’ll try to fix it in the next version but I have no idea what to do for now. Sorry.

          3. No problem, I will wait for the next version.In the meantime I will try some other things(perhaps my graphik settings are wrong or it have problems with my graphikcard/ graphikdriver). Today I will not have the time to test, but tomorrow or monday I should have time. If I found the reason of the problem I will write to you. Thanks for the help so far.

          4. Ok, I’ve found out the reason why it doesn’t work: I’ve unlocked my cpu (Phenom X2 550 to X4 B50).
            If it runs as a quadcore it has the problem with the theme,if it runs as a dualcore the theme works. I hope this will help you to fix it.

          5. Wow ! How the fuck did you come up with that ? I have no idea what the CPU has to do with windows theme. So it all works fine with dual core ?

          6. Yes it all works fine, I don’t know what the theme has to do with the CPU. I wanted to try every way, and it was easier than changing the graphikcard etc^^ Otherwise it was logically to me, it has to be something what i’d done with my pc what other people wouldn’t to with their. And to unlock his CPU is something what not many people could do (I think)^^

          7. Hm I can’t find anything about it in google. I’ve tested now some other ways(I wanted to if one of the unlocked cores is defect). Result: the cores are fine, the problem is only the option to unlock the cores. As X2 the theme works, as X3/X4 it doesn’t(no matter which cores were unlocked). Perhaps this will help you^^

  5. Something that I noticed and that is confirmed on forums :
    sfc /scannow unpatches the 3 theme files.

    If you run a scan, you have to repatch.

  6. I still love how you take a lot of names from WipEout.

    WipEout is awesome btw.

    Theme is pretty well done, though I wouldn’t use it. I almost get the feel that it’s trying to fit too much, in a small amount of space, though, I do prefer simplicity. Nice job either way, can’t wait to see it finished,

  7. Awesome theme! 😀 2 questions tho xd how did you get your sidebar like that, with the mutliple icons packed together + hard drives that show ? the mp3 player is a windows 7 app ? srry I’m pretty new to windows 7…

      1. Thanks ! The skin for winamp goes great with your theme ! Although I can’t seem to get the font of the song titles in the same font as your theme’s… It doesn’t really matter that much anywayz 🙂

      1. Alright, thanks for responding! First release is awesome btw… Keep us posted. ^^

  8. Works 100% on windows 7
    – Patch
    -Copy Sulaco.theme + Sulaco foder + fonts
    at first time i just copy Sulaco.theme without folder, but now it works.
    Thnx a lot awesome skin nice colors <3

  9. Est ce que si vous faites une version avec des modifications , je pourrais en faire de même sans que je modifie certaines choses comme l’orbe windows ?

    1. hm.. pas compris.
      L’orb ne peut pas etre modifiée par le theme, il faut utiliser un petit programme spécialement pour ca.

  10. Ah d’accord , c’est que j’avais utiliser un programme comme vous l’avez dit je pensais juste que si vous aviez ajouter d’une certaine façon le truc de l’orbe à votre thème .. mais apparemment c’est impossible ^^’ donc ça va faites comme si j’ai rien dit xD dsl pour ce flood 😡

  11. Do you perhaps use any software to change the start button from SULACO like you did with AURIGA ?

  12. uueee 😀 verrryyyy goood 😀 i searched something like that for yeaaaars 😀 ure a god thx 😀 btw its awesome 😉

  13. well i did smth wrong yet i dont know what 🙁 patched..rebooted ..extacted them files in c:/windows/resources/themes …copyed fonts into c:/windows/fonts….when i tried aplying…nothing..it just changed to basic aero them….restored from universal theme patcher reboot–>re-patched–>reboot–>applied a basic windows them—>applied sulaco theme–>graphic turned to basic aero theme…. :(…i cant figure out where i did wrong since ive done all thos steps twice..any ideea on the cause? :((

  14. i do use win 7 32 bit service pack1..yes the theme appears in personalise menu…with black bg…even tho the baackground actual file is in the theme folder…and basically if i apply it…nothing changes..just noticed..the sound of regular windows theme change appears screen kinda turns grey for a second or so…and when it regains colour…no new theme applied…i used universal theme patcher x86 (considering i read right and thats the one for 32 bit),anyways…nothing changes not colours..not fonts…not the desktop….im just courious since its most probably on my side..and it could indicate a problem…also unpatched–>rebooted–>installed UX Style…rebooted….tried applying the them…..same result 🙁

    if u read my problem above u know wut i did and incase ur having similar problems..i somehow fixed mine :
    1. tried applying a new themeso i got this http://mrgrim01.deviantart.com/art/Midnight-152853809

    the rar also includes a number of extra applications..

    1st make sure that where u extracted sulaco…u dont need a new folder in the c:/windows/resources/themes named as the archive..thats wut u get if u extract dirrectly to that folder..just drag the files in the archive str8 into the windows/themes one…dont stack em by making a new one…afterr u did the patching and rebooting with the universal theme patcher…try applying your sulaco them now…if it doesnt work..in the midnight theme i mentioned above..as an extra theme application comes a program named Vistaglazz…run it….patch it….reboot….now here i had a problem……after reboot the whole desktop wouldnt show :P..remained black..and coursor blinking like once every 10 seconds….rebooted in safemode…unpatched the VistaGlass rebooted..went to personalize–>themes and tryed applying SULACO theme…through my amazement..it worked like a charm..also in the midnight theme extra’s folder u have a lil soft called full glass.just run it once…thats the thing that makes your windows background transparent..overall everything works charming now..its not a profesional explanation/fix…but it worked for me so if u experiencing problems..u could try take notes and follow those steps…dont know the cause of the initial fail yet..but ill let u know..anyway i highly doubt it has anything to do with ….eeerm unlocking cpu’s and stuff…theme is really cool btw ^^

  16. Very futuristic, I love it!
    Definitely gonna install this when I build my own pc. I’ll wait till this is fully finished.

  17. I gave up trying to get this to work a long time ago. For a start, it’s a torrent file and they’re always bad news. It wouldn’t let me extract it, so I got stuck there. Would you mind telling us exactly how to get it on? Because I’m not very good with computers.

    1. Torrent file what ?
      Links are rar files that you have to extract. Then you can follow the step by step guide I wrote.

  18. I love the way the theme looks except for the toolbar it should be a red or black to match the rest of the theme. the sounds are cool too.

    1. Yeah, I made it big cause I use a 40″ tv and i’m a bit far from it to read standard size text. I might make a smaller font version.

  19. Hey there.
    Anyone using Firefox with this mod? I tried this on two machines one 7 and one Vista and on both of them the style works nice with a few exeptions.

    1. The Firefox right click menu takes up the hole screen and the Text is in dark red instead of bright read. Hardly readable.
    2. Some buttons in Firefox are black Text and black Background. For example the one I will press to post this comment in a minute.
    3. I don’t have the same transparancy for the whole window that you can see on the screenshot.

    Here’s a few screenshot that shows all the first two mistakes at the same time.

    I don’t mind the last one the first two hamper the handling of my maschines and are often the cause of me having to switch back into windows style to read something in that drop down menu. For example when my Notebook is in a bright envirmoment.

    Otherwise really awsome style. I’m a big fan of the bigger font. My screen on the desktop is a bit further away as well.

    Grüße aus Deutschland 😀

    1. Thx for the comment.
      I never use Firefox and you’re the first one reporting problems with it. I’ll try to have a look at that for the next version.
      Transparency is set by Dexpot. I talked about it on my Sulaco System post but I also have to make a post about programs I use, other that theme, to customize my windows.

      1. Hi there.
        I wanned to see how other browsers handle this and downloaded a few. It seems like Crome and Safari work fine, while IE and Firefox both have the black on black problem. Firefox is the only one that makes this weird drop down menu. Opera is just plain weird.


        I’ll try out dexpot, thanks.

  20. I did as the tutorial Nostromo over there, here it is not transparent or does not work as I expected. But the sound works, it looks like a modified Windows XP theme.

  21. Merci beaucoup pour le thème!
    Je l’ai installé par curiosité et malgré quelques soucis qui peuvent être gênant avec la fenêtre du clic droit sur firefox je le trouve magnifique!
    Il m’a beaucoup fait penser au jeu frozen synapse.
    Bravo vraiment!
    Et puis tant que je suis là bravo pour tes amvs!
    Vive genius party!

  22. incredible!
    I installed it on my win 7 and stay cool.
    but I wonder, if you order the same for winXP

  23. Hey iv seen this theme on deviantart today.
    Unfortunately this theme contains few problems.
    Firefox got issues whit it, same as Gimp.
    Some buttons dont show text on them.
    This is real sad since this is one of 2 best themes i ever saw.

    Also Excel cell color changes whit this, any way to make excel stop changing its colors based on windows theme ??

    1. I don’t use FF so it’s never been a problem for me but I think I already been noticed about this issue.
      I’ll try to come up with a fix asap.

          1. Wee gimp black text thingy is fixed ;D

            As to FF problem, i think its about how you present menu window.
            You make window background as image, and that image needs value that informs how to open it.
            I would assume its similar to that of Desktop Backgrounds Picture Position choice, something like “Tile”, “Stretch”, “center” or something like that.
            Im not sure what choice it given to it now, but try to play whit it and see what happens.

            One way to fix it would be to set smaller image as background.

        1. Yeah it actually must be because of the size of the background image.
          Since it only affects FF and doesn’t have any impact on the usability, I think I’ll leave it as it is though.

      1. No problem.
        “Work so how you are say nit here.”
        Typefailure: nit=it
        My right litte finger is broken, i hate typefailures^^

  24. ITS AWSOME dude it looks great
    it works great without problems…
    okey i have one problem… hope anyone can help me…:
    if i move the tasklist at the right or left side of my screen i have Big Yellow stripes threw the tasklist
    maybe you can help me?

        1. Perfect, I’ll have a look at that, come back in a few days for the updated version. Thx for noticing me about this problem.

    1. I had a quick look at the theme file and I actually don’t see anything wrong with it. Since you’re the first one the report this problem I’d like to try the red theme and tell me if it has problems too. Did you reboot ? did you check that all 3 theme files are patched ?
      Just to try, I made you test version without the buggy yellow graphic : https://www.nostro.fr/Download/Sulaco_blue_.msstyles
      Rename the current theme file to “Sulaco_blue_old” and put this new one in it’s place and remove the “_” at the end then reload the theme.

      1. J’ai eu ce problème et corrigé now.*
        A faire:
        1)Click droit sur la barre d’outils.
        3)Dans: Boutons de la barre des taches ajuster sur (Conbiner lorsque la barre de taches est pleine.
        4)Click sur appliquer et ok.
        End voila.

        1. Effectivement il y a donc un problème dans les graphiques lorsque les boutons sont combinés.
          Je vais corriger ca, merci.
          There’s a problem on the graphics of combined taskbar buttons. The quick fix is to set them to combine when taskbar is full.
          I’ll fix this issue in the next version.

  25. thank you very much for the windows theme, must have been difficult to complete. greetings from Argentina.

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