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Author Topic: Hiding Windows 7 Completely - DONE (new video added 22/8)  (Read 74970 times)

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wweumina

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Hiding Windows 7 Completely - DONE (new video added 22/8)
« on: August 20, 2011, 01:15:17 am »
Since moving to Windows 7 from XP I've been a bit frustrated by the inability to hide some of it's elements.  After a bit of time spent last night I've finally got Windows 7 completely hidden.  I used Win 7 Premium 64-bit with SP1 but other versions should work fine with the tools I used.

Here's a video showing it:


Instructions below.
« Last Edit: August 22, 2011, 09:08:18 am by wweumina »

wweumina

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Re: Hiding Windows 7 Completely - DONE
« Reply #1 on: August 20, 2011, 01:16:50 am »
The changes I made were done with Windows 7 Premium 64-bit with Service Pack 1 though most of the changes should work with any version of Windows 7.  Be sure to make a backup of everything before you progress as some of these steps can stop windows from working.

I'm writing this from memory so let me know if I've missed anything or it's not clear.

Things you'll need (details on where to get them below):
Resource Hacker
Linux live CD (recommend Linux Mint 11 though a smaller one will do).
Transparent cursor
Windows 7 Boot Updater
Windows 7 Logon Background Changer


1. Setup windows to log on automatically

Follow the instructions here:
http://www.sevenforums.com/tutorials/377-log-automatically-startup.html


2. Take Ownership of files
The first step is to give yourself a shortcut for taking ownership of files.  Technically you don't need to do this but it will save you time mucking around with file permissions etc.

There are instructions on doing this here:

http://www.sevenforums.com/tutorials/1911-take-ownership-shortcut.html


3. Hack the resource files

For the next couple of steps you'll need a program called Resource Hacker.  Make sure you get the latest beta version.  You can get it from here:

http://www.angusj.com/resourcehacker/

When running the program be sure to 'Run as Administrator' (right click on the shortcut and choose 'Run as Administrator').


4. Backup Windows Files

Make a copy of the following files and put the copy on the Desktop

C:\Windows\System32\imageres.dll
C:\Windows\System32\en-US\winlogon.exe.mui   (the directory may be different if you didn't install as English-US (en-US - get it?)
C:\Windows\Branding\Basebrd\basebrd.dll

Right-click on each file and 'Take Ownership' of them.


5. Remove the Windows Branding
Right click on the shortcut to Resource Hacker (either on the desktop or the start menu) and 'Run as Administrator'.

Now, File-Open and select the basebrd.dll file on the desktop and delete each bitmap resource (click on the bitmap folder on the left, open each item, right click on the numbered file and choose delete).

Save the file.

Detailed instructions for this step are here:

http://www.sevenforums.com/tutorials/31916-log-screen-change-remove-text-branding.html


6. Remove 'Welcome Screen' text
Run Resource Hacker as administrator.  Open the winlogo.exe.mui file that is on the desktop.  Once in the file, choose String from the left menu and delete the text from items 63 and 64.

Save the file.

More details on this step are here:
http://www.ec-tech.info/how-to-change-logon-screen-text-in-windows-seven/


7. Remove Welcome Screen spinning circle

Run Resource Hacker as administrator and open the imageres.dll that is on the desktop. Go to the bitmaps section on the left menu and delete each one.

Save the file.


8. Remove other windows cursors that show up.

Download a transparent windows cursor here:

http://www.mp3car.com/software-faqs-solutions-tutorials/122408-tutorial-hide-windows-cursor-transparent.html

Save it to C:\Windows\Cursors

Open Regedit (Click on the windows button to bring up the start menu and type regedit into the search box at the bottom).

Navigate to HKEY_USERS\.DEFAULT\Control Panel\Cursors

For each of the entries (you only really need to do the arrow and waiting ones) change the icon to the icon you just downloaded.  You may also need to add an extra key (as extended string) for 'Busy'.


9. Copy the hacked resources back in to windows.

For this step you need to copy the updated files from the desktop back to their original locations.  It seems it is sometimes possible to do this inside Windows but I kept getting file protection errors so the easy way is to get a live linux cd and reboot your computer from this.  (I recommend Linux Mint if you are unfamiliar with Linux).  Go to the file explorer in linux and copy the new verison of the file to the original location.  Make a backup of the original file first and call it something that you'll remember (eg. imageres_BACK.dll).


10. Change the Windows Logon Screen

You can change the logon screen for Windows 7 using the following program.  Be sure to change the text to be 'no shadow' in the settings. 

http://www.julien-manici.com/windows_7_logon_background_changer/

More details on this step here:

http://www.sevenforums.com/tutorials/5382-log-screen-change.html

You would also want to set the desktop background to be the same image you set the logon screen to.


11. Change the boot animation

Grab the Windows 7 Boot Updater from here:

http://www.coderforlife.com/projects/win7boot/

Be sure to change the settings to 'No messages'.

You can set a single image or a number of images as an animation.


12. Change windows cursors

This step may or may not be neccessary depending on whether you set your frontend as the Windows shell.  Save your current theme and name it 'visible cursors' or something equally obvious.  Change the windows cursors to be the same transaprent cursor you used for the system cursors.  You can do this by right-clicking on the desktop, choosing personalise and then 'Change Mouse Pointers'.  Save the theme to be 'Invisible cursors' or something equally obvious.  This will be helpful in case you want to make future system changes.  You can get back to a visible cursor just by right clicking the desktop, choosing personalise and switching back to the 'visible cursor' theme.  Even though you can't see the cursor you should still be able to work it out.

13. Set Hyperspin as the shell for windows

This step will prevent the taskbar etc showing up at all.  I wouldn't do it until you have the rest of your system set up the way you want it.  It can be worked around easily enough but it's more convenient to save it until last.

Open up Regedit again.  Navigate to: HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\Winlogon

If there is no 'Shell' key then create one and set the value to be the path to your frontend.  In my case it's: "C:\Emulate\Hyperspin\Hyperspin.exe"

CHANGING THE SHELL BACK: If you need to reverse the above step to get back to normal windows functions, hit Ctrl-Alt-Del in your front end and choose 'New Task' (this might be difficult with invisible cursors but it's doable).  Then type c:\Windows\explorer.exe into the box and hit enter.  You now have windows back.  If you want to change it back permanently, go into regedit and change the shell value above to 'c:\Wiindows\explorer.exe'

That's about it.  Good luck.

Knightlore

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Re: Hiding Windows 7 Completely - DONE
« Reply #2 on: August 20, 2011, 04:45:36 am »
This is brilliant, thanks.  I'm about to do this using Hyperspin as my front end.

I've previously shelled XP but wondered if Win 7 was the same procedure.

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Re: Hiding Windows 7 Completely - DONE
« Reply #3 on: August 20, 2011, 05:28:19 am »
Thank You!!! Have been waiting for this!

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Re: Hiding Windows 7 Completely - DONE
« Reply #4 on: August 20, 2011, 07:00:16 am »
Now we need some EFI machines to get rid of that 1977 BIOS screen. It still not as smooth as booting a mac-based mame machine.

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Re: Hiding Windows 7 Completely - DONE
« Reply #5 on: August 20, 2011, 07:14:58 am »
nice i was just about to start researching how to do this and i woke up and it was done for me! WOW What away to start my vacation you the man! :cheers:

wweumina

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Re: Hiding Windows 7 Completely - DONE
« Reply #6 on: August 20, 2011, 07:25:39 am »
Now we need some EFI machines to get rid of that 1977 BIOS screen. It still not as smooth as booting a mac-based mame machine.

Actually I've just found that my motherboard can change the bios splash screen so I'll be updating once I get that done.

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Re: Hiding Windows 7 Completely - DONE
« Reply #7 on: August 20, 2011, 08:41:31 am »
Now we need some EFI machines to get rid of that 1977 BIOS screen. It still not as smooth as booting a mac-based mame machine.

Actually I've just found that my motherboard can change the bios splash screen so I'll be updating once I get that done.
If you correct this issue let me know. IM ready to buy a new system and would like to get a MB that will be able to do the same

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Re: Hiding Windows 7 Completely - DONE
« Reply #8 on: August 21, 2011, 04:11:23 pm »
***great*** post / info amigo, thanks! I definitely want to run Win7 in my future cab...and this info will come in very very handy.   :afro:

Blanka

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Re: Hiding Windows 7 Completely - DONE
« Reply #9 on: August 22, 2011, 08:29:11 am »
Changing the splash screen is far from EFI capabilities. With EFI you can just start at your native resolution with any image you like. With a Bios you still start at VGA resolution, and you still have the text screens in between. Changing the first image does not help much there.

wweumina

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Re: Hiding Windows 7 Completely - DONE
« Reply #10 on: August 22, 2011, 08:56:42 am »
OK.  Here's an update with the BIOS screen replaced.  I agree it's not absolutely perfect, but I think it's a big improvement.


wweumina

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Re: Hiding Windows 7 Completely - DONE
« Reply #11 on: August 22, 2011, 09:06:34 am »
If you correct this issue let me know. IM ready to buy a new system and would like to get a MB that will be able to do the same

I've used an Asus M4A78LT-M LE, but I think most (all?) Asus boards have the option.  It was the cheapest AM3 motherboard I could find at the time. The good news is that it also let me unlock all 4 cores on my Phenom II X2 555 BE CPU.  I've currently got all 4 cores overclocked up to a stable 3.7Ghz without much tweaking.  Not bad for a $90 CPU and a $55 motherboard (aussie dollars).

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Re: Hiding Windows 7 Completely - DONE (new video added 22/8)
« Reply #12 on: August 22, 2011, 01:09:04 pm »
thanks for the awesome info. where are you getting the bootscreens from?

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Re: Hiding Windows 7 Completely - DONE (new video added 22/8)
« Reply #13 on: August 22, 2011, 01:26:34 pm »
Cool video.   :applaud:

I liked the Space Invader animations too.
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First off, Hoopz is right.

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Re: Hiding Windows 7 Completely - DONE (new video added 22/8)
« Reply #14 on: August 22, 2011, 08:51:44 pm »
thanks for the awesome info. where are you getting the bootscreens from?

Do you mean the animations?  I've made those myself.  It's pretty easy with the old games to whip them up.  I'll put them up somewhere if you want to download.  I was thinking of doing a pacman and galaga one as well.

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Re: Hiding Windows 7 Completely - DONE (new video added 22/8)
« Reply #15 on: August 22, 2011, 10:05:46 pm »
thanks for the awesome info. where are you getting the bootscreens from?

Do you mean the animations?  I've made those myself.  It's pretty easy with the old games to whip them up.  I'll put them up somewhere if you want to download.  I was thinking of doing a pacman and galaga one as well.
You the man pacman galaga how about Robotron and defender awsome work

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Re: Hiding Windows 7 Completely - DONE (new video added 22/8)
« Reply #16 on: August 23, 2011, 12:43:52 am »
thanks for the awesome info. where are you getting the bootscreens from?

Do you mean the animations?  I've made those myself.  It's pretty easy with the old games to whip them up.  I'll put them up somewhere if you want to download.  I was thinking of doing a pacman and galaga one as well.
yes, thats what i mean. that would awesome if you'd be willing to share those.

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Re: Hiding Windows 7 Completely - DONE (new video added 22/8)
« Reply #17 on: August 23, 2011, 01:48:19 am »
Here's the Space Invaders one. 
To use:
1. Unzip the folder
2. Open Boot Updater
3. Choose animation as the type and point to the extracted folder. 
4. Remember to choose 'No messages'

I haven't got the Donkey Kong one on this computer but I will upload when I get a chance.

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Re: Hiding Windows 7 Completely - DONE (new video added 22/8)
« Reply #18 on: January 28, 2012, 12:39:26 pm »
I just completed these steps but I was unable to get rid of my "Welcome" text and also my "Shutting Down..." text.  To fix it:

WELCOME TEXT - After following the instructions above to edit and replace winlogo.exe.mui you need to do the following.
1) Open a elevated command prompt.
2) In the command prompt, type mcbuilder and press Enter.
3) When the command window closes, restart the computer.

SHUTTING DOWN TEXT - The "Shutting Down..." text is in a different file called "wininit.exe.mui".  After modifying you need to run mcbuilder as well.
1) Open a elevated command prompt.
2) In the command prompt, type mcbuilder and press Enter.
3) When the command window closes, restart the computer.


Also, HUGE thanks to wweumina!  I found you on YouTube first but there was no instructions.  Thankfully I found your post here, worked great!

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Re: Hiding Windows 7 Completely - DONE
« Reply #19 on: January 28, 2012, 12:50:22 pm »
10. Change the Windows Logon Screen

You can change the logon screen for Windows 7 using the following program.

I managed to change my logon screen without installing any special software. I did it shortly after receiving my brand new computer. The problem is that I don't know how I did it :embarassed:. If I figure it out, I'll post here.

Mario

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Re: Hiding Windows 7 Completely - DONE (new video added 22/8)
« Reply #20 on: January 28, 2012, 01:34:21 pm »
Maybe I am asking the wrong question here, but if you are booting from a PC why do you not just delay the monitor from starting up or even easier add a switch near your CP.

Also you can boot your PC in Barts PE it really isn't that difficult.
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Re: Hiding Windows 7 Completely - DONE (new video added 22/8)
« Reply #21 on: January 28, 2012, 02:05:56 pm »
Taken directly from the arcadecontrols wiki:

http://wiki.arcadecontrols.com/wiki/Hiding_Windows

Quote from: arcadecontrols wiki
Introduction

To create the illusion that your home arcade machine is a 'real' arcade machine, it would be nice to be able to hide the familiar Windows PC look and feel. Nobody wants to see the Windows logo when your cabinet is turned on; it's kind of like being caught with your pants down. There are several ways of achieving this, let's have a look at your options...

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Re: Hiding Windows 7 Completely - DONE (new video added 22/8)
« Reply #22 on: January 28, 2012, 06:44:33 pm »
what hyperspin theme are you using?  I like the images for classic/fighters ..

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Re: Hiding Windows 7 Completely - DONE (new video added 22/8)
« Reply #23 on: January 28, 2012, 08:14:34 pm »
Bookmarked
I've been waiting for this too
Thanks for the documentation :applaud: :applaud: :applaud:

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Re: Hiding Windows 7 Completely - DONE (new video added 22/8)
« Reply #24 on: January 30, 2012, 12:07:06 pm »
Slightly off topic, but how did you get to go vertical?

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Re: Hiding Windows 7 Completely - DONE (new video added 22/8)
« Reply #25 on: February 10, 2012, 05:10:47 am »
what hyperspin theme are you using?  I like the images for classic/fighters ..


Sorry, missed these questions. I made a lot of the hyperspin genre backgrounds. I'll put them up somewhere in case anyone wants them.

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Re: Hiding Windows 7 Completely - DONE (new video added 22/8)
« Reply #26 on: February 10, 2012, 05:15:23 am »
Slightly off topic, but how did you get to go vertical?

The desktop has been set as vertical (resolution 768x1024) in windows so hyperspin should just work (though it does look a bit squished - the next version is supposed to support vertical natively). The boot screen is just an animation flipped 90 degrees (ie the computer is in horizontal mode but the image itself was designed to be sideways).

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Re: Hiding Windows 7 Completely - DONE (new video added 22/8)
« Reply #27 on: February 10, 2012, 08:56:34 am »
Very nice.

One bit of caution.  Completing changes like this to the OS makes it more difficult to troubleshoot when something goes wrong.  Not impossible, just more difficult.  If you're ever created a Kiosk computer with AD you'll know exactly what I mean.  Once you lock it down it is a beast to get back in and put yourself to a useable position.  Just something to consider.

For me, I've had too many situations where I go out of my way to hide the OS only to get burned when I have to troubleshoot something and find out I've disabled everything useful lol.

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Re: Hiding Windows 7 Completely - DONE (new video added 22/8)
« Reply #28 on: February 10, 2012, 10:11:17 am »
Very nice.

One bit of caution.  Completing changes like this to the OS makes it more difficult to troubleshoot when something goes wrong.  Not impossible, just more difficult.  If you're ever created a Kiosk computer with AD you'll know exactly what I mean.  Once you lock it down it is a beast to get back in and put yourself to a useable position.  Just something to consider.

For me, I've had too many situations where I go out of my way to hide the OS only to get burned when I have to troubleshoot something and find out I've disabled everything useful lol.

Good point but as long as the computer is strictly for cabinet use you won't run into too many issues once it's set up as it's only running the frontend, MAME and maybe a couple of other emulators and/or background programs (depending on your needs). Plus it's easy enough to wipe and reinstall the OS when something goes wrong (assuming you keep you software on another drive/partition and/or backed-up, which you should). 

This is definitely not intended for everyday computing.

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Re: Hiding Windows 7 Completely - DONE (new video added 22/8)
« Reply #29 on: February 10, 2012, 07:25:13 pm »
Very nice.

One bit of caution.  Completing changes like this to the OS makes it more difficult to troubleshoot when something goes wrong.  Not impossible, just more difficult.  If you're ever created a Kiosk computer with AD you'll know exactly what I mean.  Once you lock it down it is a beast to get back in and put yourself to a useable position.  Just something to consider.

For me, I've had too many situations where I go out of my way to hide the OS only to get burned when I have to troubleshoot something and find out I've disabled everything useful lol.

Agree, though it is pretty easy to get back to 'normal' by entering task manager and starting a new task c:\windows\explorer.exe 

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Re: Hiding Windows 7 Completely - DONE (new video added 22/8)
« Reply #30 on: February 24, 2012, 01:08:53 pm »
thanks for the tips  :cheers:
....

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Re: Hiding Windows 7 Completely - DONE (new video added 22/8)
« Reply #31 on: February 24, 2012, 01:54:46 pm »
Nice Job!  Thanks for sharing.
I had this working for my XP PC, but getting ready to throw my new Win7 box in this weekend.

btw, what monitor are you using? Looks very good. Can you tell me the screen Height & Width too?

Thanks Again!  :applaud:
MPTech
   Better living thru technology!   ;-)

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Re: Hiding Windows 7 Completely - DONE (new video added 22/8)
« Reply #32 on: August 26, 2012, 11:38:32 pm »
Can anyone tell me how to shell cabvol.exe so that it starts up without explorer.exe being loaded (ie dropping into startup directory).

I know I need to write a batch file and shell it somehow in the registry. Can someone give me a quick tutorial? Thanks!
« Last Edit: August 27, 2012, 01:49:50 am by golden_35 »

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Re: Hiding Windows 7 Completely - DONE (new video added 22/8)
« Reply #33 on: August 27, 2012, 12:17:18 pm »
Can anyone tell me how to shell cabvol.exe so that it starts up without explorer.exe being loaded (ie dropping into startup directory).

I know I need to write a batch file and shell it somehow in the registry. Can someone give me a quick tutorial? Thanks!

The Windows 7 Task Scheduler can be a good way to launch things at boot/shutdown/etc without depending on explorer.exe. Here is a pretty good tutorial on how it works:

http://www.7tutorials.com/first-steps-working-task-scheduler


Acids

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Re: Hiding Windows 7 Completely - DONE
« Reply #34 on: September 12, 2012, 06:35:20 am »
OK.  Here's an update with the BIOS screen replaced.  I agree it's not absolutely perfect, but I think it's a big improvement.

Some motherboards support removing all txt at boot  "boot messages"  on/off

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Re: Hiding Windows 7 Completely - DONE (new video added 22/8)
« Reply #35 on: October 03, 2012, 08:55:54 pm »
Would love to get that space invaders backdrop for my cabinet.  Would you mind sharing?  (Not the animation you already posted.  I mean the other one with the space invader tilted)

Thanks in advance!

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Re: Hiding Windows 7 Completely - DONE (new video added 22/8)
« Reply #36 on: October 28, 2012, 01:06:42 pm »
yo that's pretty sweet

I've just converted my xp x64 machine to 7 x64

Final Fight arcade machine conversion

PC; Asus P5W Motherboard + Q6700 clocked at 3.2GHz + 4GB + Nvidia 8800GTS
Custom Final Fight BIOS image
Windows 7 x64 tweaked with Mala Frontend
Custom Mala layouts per menu
MAME
ZSNES
Daphne
Crazy Taxi PC
Out Run 2 PC



« Last Edit: October 28, 2012, 01:09:06 pm by dosmame »

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Re: Hiding Windows 7 Completely - DONE (new video added 22/8)
« Reply #37 on: October 31, 2012, 02:03:07 pm »
Just one n00b question. If you do remove all traces of windows and make the arcade the shell.... what happens when you want to update/tweak anything? e.g with no cursors etc?

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Re: Hiding Windows 7 Completely - DONE (new video added 22/8)
« Reply #38 on: October 31, 2012, 02:09:44 pm »
Yes the arcade menu becomes the shell.

I have UltraVNC server installed so I can remote to the cabinet over WIFI - just a CTRL-ALT-DEL and run Explorer will get you the desktop back.
With VNC, your clear mouse becomes a DOT, so it is useable.


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Re: Hiding Windows 7 Completely - DONE (new video added 22/8)
« Reply #39 on: October 31, 2012, 02:18:30 pm »
brill thanks