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Monday, April 30, 2007

How to Hack the Windows Vista Aurora Screensaver easily?

Microsoft has for some reason stopped short of allowing users full control over the customization of the screensavers that ship with the Windows Vista .

One of the screensavers that is built in Windows Vista is the Aurora. If you right click on the desktop, choose Personalization, then Screen Saver, you will be able to select between a collection of screen savers - Among them, the Aurora. However, when you click the Settings button next to the screensaver, Vista displays the following message: “No options. This screensaver has no options that you can set.” I guess we might as well give up, right? Nopes. I have a trick under the sleeves for you.

Why? Because there's always the trusted registry hacks associated with it. But first please Backup the registry before applying any changes. And with this out of the way it is time to make up for the fact that Microsoft has overlooked to include option dialogs for the screensavers in Vista.

In the Search Box included in the Vista Start menu type regedit and hit enter. Now make your way via HKEY_CURRENT_USER > Software > Microsoft > Windows > CurrentVersion > Screensavers and Aurora. Here go ahead and right click the empty space and select New, DWORD (32-bit) Value. Name it NumLayers, then double click on it and select Decimal and then set a value. Be careful what value you give to Amplitude because you could end up with a dark screen for your screensaver.

For the Ribbons screensaver you can create two new keys dubbed NumRibbons and RibbonWidth, and set them just as the ones for Aurora. Again, the values are up to you. Simply experiment. It won't hurt, trust me!

For the Mystify screensaver there is only one DWORD (32-bit) Value named NumLines. Here, the bigger the value the more interesting the effect you will achieve. And last but not least, the Bubbles screensaver can receive four values MaterialGlass, Radius, ShowBubles, ShowShadows.

If at anytime you will whish to revert back to the original settings just delete the registry values that you have added.