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Windows Server 2008: Install Desktop Experience to Utilize Vista Theme

If you are tired of using the Windows Classic theme on your Server 2008, you can install Desktop Experience so that you can enjoy the eye candy goodness of the Vista theme. Desktop Experience will also install Windows Media Player, Windows Sidebar and photo gallery. Follow these steps to install Desktop Experience and liven up your server:


1. Click Start and select Server Manager

2. When the Server Manager window appears, go to the left pane and select Features.

3. On the right, click the Add Features link.

4. Check the Desktop Experience checkbox

5. Click Next.

6. Click Install

7. When the installation is complete, Windows will notify you that you must restart your server to complete the process.

After you have rebooted, go to Services and make sure that the Themes service is started and set to Automatically Start (thanks DTron!). After that, you are ready to change the theme on your server.

1. Right-click the desktop and select Personalize.

2. Select Theme.

3. From the Theme Settings window, use the Theme dropdown and select the Windows Vista theme.

4. Click OK.

So you go from a boring look like this:

To a much better visual experience:

Rob Rogers
Rob Rogers
Once a prolific author here on Tech-Recipes, Rob has moved on to greener pastures.
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