Joe Levi:
a cross-discipline, multi-dimensional problem solver who thinks outside the box – but within reality™

Zune Theme for Windows: Broken out of the Box

Microsoft, trying to stir up enthusiasm for their upcoming Zune Portable Media Player, recently released a Windows theme (free for all “Genuine” copies of Windows XP out there). It looks pretty cool, and kinda “autumnish” what with the orange and black coloring, so I thought I’d give it a try. (You can download it here.)

It looks good, but the “Common Tasks” pane in the Explorer View didn’t get styled… “Odd,” I thought. So I did some digging.

It turns out that the style properties of the Common Tasks pane is controlled by a file called shellstyle.dll that is supposed to live in the Theme’s /Shell/NormalColor/ folder. Oddly enough, the Zune theme doesn’t have a /shell/ folder; that’s why the Common Tasks pane reverts to the default style.

So what is it supposed to look like?

One would assume it would carry the orange and black coloring across to the pane. “So, what happens if I try to fix it,” I thought. Lo, and behold! It worked!

How can you fix your Zune Theme?

Open up your favorite File Explorer and navigate to C:WindowsResourcesThemesZuneC:Windows represents the drive and directory into which you have your copy of Windows installed). Create a folder called Shell then create a folder inside Shell called NormalColor, then copy shellstyle.dll from the Zune folder into the Zune/Shell/NormalColor folder. Press F5 to refresh the folder view and there ya go! Orange and Black like it’s supposed to be.

You Can Thank me Later

Or you can use Paypal to make a donation now… up to you. 😉


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7 Responses

  1. mohammed says:

    thanxXx alot the theme is very kooool

  2. Morean says:

    Oh, my God! You’re right. I fixed it. Thank you.

  3. Joe says:


    I have absolutely no idea what your post has to do with Iran, Iraq, current military policy, or the price of tea in China, but that’s definitely one idea. I don’t know how much stock I’d personally put in it, but I won’t belittle your opinion. 😉

  4. Steve says:

    Hey, I just got that same nemoforone spammy looking comment. I think someone’s trying to create a “google bomb” with one of these phrases, but I’m not sure which. Try googling for “What about the possibility of pulling out of Iraq” (all in quotes).

  5. Joe says:


    I think you’re right, a Google Search on “What about the possibility of pulling out of Iraq” turns up a few posts by Nemoforone, so I’m with you, I think it may be a Google-Bomb tactic and I’ve modified his post so as not to be contributory.

    Thanks for the heads up!!

  6. 6666 says:

    I’ve got this zune from my about a year ago,and I drop it, what should I do with it,and will not come on, and I’ve tried charging but it want cut on.

  7. Obviously it's fixed now! says:

    I just installed it and the Common Tasks pane is definitely styled.

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