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Windows 8.1 no DWM (aka Aero, aka desktop composition)

Discussion in 'Operating Systems' started by Cyberdyne, Nov 12, 2013.

  1. Cyberdyne

    Cyberdyne Ancient Guru

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    Seems silly to want this off right? Two main reasons why you would want it
    off. The important instructions are between the lines, but do yourself a favor and read the whole thing.

    1. The most useful reason, windowed 3D application are forced to use vsync.
    Absolutely no way around this. Emulators and games that feature borderless
    window options are annoying. Before you could use a compatibility shim for these
    types of programs, but that is no longer the case.

    2. Some complain about laggy window movements.

    3. It's fun to mess with windows, and I spent a lot of time on making this
    work rather nicely.

    Googleing will give you a few solutions using way too many steps and 3rd
    party apps, and the results are annoying and non permanent. Some solutions
    make the desktop unusable which is silly.

    I'll show you a much better way to turn off DWM, as long as you understand a
    few things.

    A. You should be proficient with Windows. I'm not going to explain every little
    detail.

    B. You understand that the Start screen will break, and other parts of
    windows will be inaccessible. You lose the login screen as a result, so
    you need to either remove your password or set up windows to
    automatically login
    (google it). If you need to lock your computer, a good
    replacement is ClearLock. Set it up, and launch to lock. Add a shortcut to it in your startup folder to lock on startup.
    Make sure windows is set to login to the desktop (google it, classicshell also
    has an option for this)

    C. Make sure you use something like classicshell to have a way to use
    Windows. Wireless connections will also be unchangeable, use something like PE Network Manager as a replacement,
    it's also a lot better anyway.

    The bold part is important because this is really the only 'bad' thing that can
    go wrong if you try this. Otherwise you risk locking yourself out of windows.

    __________________________________________________________________

    Download this http://www.eightforums.com/attachments/tutorials/2309d1317449691-take-ownership-add-context-menu-windows-8-add_take_ownership.reg
    And this http://www.mediafire.com/download/llvplxlrtlu917x/NODWM8.1.7z

    The first thing you should already have if you are a poweruser. It adds a
    rightclick option to files to forceown files.
    The second thing is a 7z file I put togther with a batchfile and an exe named
    dwm.exe, it's 3kb, and it does absolutely nothing. Seriously, just enough code
    to make it immediately close. I hope you see where I am going with this.

    Navigate to your system32, find dwm.exe, rightclick, take ownership.
    Now, you can either run my batchfile, or replace it manually...
    Rename dwm.exe in system32 to dwm.exe.old
    Copy the 'new' dwm.exe to system32.
    Restart, or logoff (click the center of the screen), or open task manager and
    end dwm.exe and restart explorer.exe.

    It's now off, to reverse it should be obvious, re-replace dwm.exe with the
    original one, then restart or logoff. You can also use my batchfile and after it
    turns off DWM, it will allow you to press any key to turn it back on.
    __________________________________________________________________

    If you use the programs I tell you about in my directions and the explanation before it, you pretty much find yourself in a metroless windows.
    The advantage of doing it this way is it's very easy to reverse, and it's permanent.
    If you want to limit the risk of opening the new metro CP, you can navigate to C:\Windows\ImmersiveControlPanel and rename SystemSettings.exe to SystemSettings.exes.old.

    Just something interesting to try, I thought it was fun. Also useful for my emulators and a handful of games. I don't give two shiets about any apps.
     
    Last edited: Nov 12, 2013
  2. dsbig

    dsbig Ancient Guru

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    I love you
     
    Last edited: Nov 12, 2013
  3. jesteves

    jesteves Member Guru

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    Sorry if i'm understanding this wrong, but with this "trick" can we save the almost 200mb of vram that DWM/metro always uses ?
    Anyway i will test it when i back home.

    Thanks.
     
  4. dsbig

    dsbig Ancient Guru

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    wasnt working until I reboot and removed windowblinds.


    but now the games I was having problems with. start but only show a black screen.
     
    Last edited: Nov 12, 2013

  5. dsbig

    dsbig Ancient Guru

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    but how do I get rid of full screen 30fps cap for games that dont like vsync
     
  6. mbk1969

    mbk1969 Ancient Guru

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    There is registry key
    Code:
    HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\App Paths
    In this key you can create sub-key "dwm.exe" and set default value "(Default)" to any exe full path. I don`t know about load (boot) time, but after load (boot) is completed any attempt to start dwm.exe will start the specified there app instead.

    Also this can be done on per-user basis through key
    Code:
    HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\App Paths
    http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/windows/desktop/ee872121(v=vs.85).aspx
     
    Last edited: Nov 12, 2013
  7. dsbig

    dsbig Ancient Guru

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    eh...

    I managed to get it working in 8.0 and unlock the 30fps limit in fullscreen for some games. but the games now go from 11-60fps. back and forth


    tried it with blood 2. but theres a glitch for some reason the hud will disappear..
     
    Last edited: Nov 12, 2013
  8. Cyberdyne

    Cyberdyne Ancient Guru

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    @jesteves, yes, desktop composition will not run and so you will save some vram.

    @dsbig, the 'limit' is your refresh rate. Doing turning off DWM like I describe makes games preform like they did when you were able to use the disable desktop composition shim, so I'm not sure what you are having issues with.
    It could be an unrelated compatibility problem.

    @mbk1969, are you saying that rather then replacing the exe, you can edit a reg key, point it say at the exe in my 7z file, and effectively disable DWM that way? I'm not sure I understand.
     
  9. jesteves

    jesteves Member Guru

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    Ok, thanks.
    I will test it to see how much memory it will save.
    In my system, with everything closed (at the desktop), msi afterburner shows always 150-200mb vram is used.
     
  10. mbk1969

    mbk1969 Ancient Guru

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    Exactly. But check is needed, because I don`t know at what stage of boot process OS starts dwm.exe, and I don`t know whether mentioned registry key would be used when OS starts dwm.exe. Mentioned registry key is working when you start app without full path. So the question is how OS starts dwm.exe.
     

  11. Cyberdyne

    Cyberdyne Ancient Guru

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    Without DWM in windows 7 put vram at about 50mb constant.
    With DWM off in Windows 8.1 it seems to put it around 70mb constant.
    The difference is probably WDDM 1.3.

    @mbk1969, I think DWM.exe is started and maintained by winlogon.exe, since disabling dwm from the windows task manager gives problems from that process.
    Other methods of turning off dwm include killing explorer.exe and then suspending winlogon.exe- then removing permission from dwm.exe, then restarting explorer. It's a mess.
     
    Last edited: Nov 12, 2013
  12. mbk1969

    mbk1969 Ancient Guru

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    You can check whether registry method does the trick.
     
  13. Ibxoful

    Ibxoful New Member

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    doesn't work
     
  14. wazer

    wazer Member

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    you got fixes for my problem?, Latest windows 8.1 April iso releases, does this to my desktop when i try to use your file, i could not takwownership via bat file you made, so i had to reboot into dos/offline win explorer to change filename from the original and put your file it, this is the result, with your file dwm.exe or without any file called dwm.exe in system32.

    http://i.imgur.com/YB1XJEy.png


    I would really be happy get this shutted down since it takes a lot of resources from gaming...
     
  15. pjokerxp

    pjokerxp Banned

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    me too
     

  16. Cyberdyne

    Cyberdyne Ancient Guru

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    I'm confused. Your screenshot shows you were able to replace it. I'm not sure what you issue is exactly.

    If you mean you simply want another way to take ownership of the file so you can avoid using safemode try Unlocker. It's a pretty heavy handed approach but it should work. Just make sure you back up the original exe.


    EDIT: ohh, do you mean how your theme is all messed up in that screenshot? The window is all messy looking? You could try to use the high contrast themes (which is probably your best bet, you can change the colors of the high contrast theme to whatever you want, kinda like the Classic theme), or download a new one. Also you can try Ribbon Disabler, that might also fix your issue.
     
    Last edited: May 2, 2014
  17. MasterBash

    MasterBash Master Guru

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    Does that apply to old games only? Cause I am 110% sure that the games I run in borderless window (D3, LoL) do not use vsync.
     
  18. IcE

    IcE Don Snow Staff Member

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    Why are games that feature borderless window mode "annoying" exactly? I tested, and Vsync isn't forced in CS:GO in borderless window mode.
     
  19. Cyberdyne

    Cyberdyne Ancient Guru

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    When a game already supports the option ingame vsync is avoided. But when forcing it in games that do not offer that option in my experience you are forced to use vsync (like skyrim for example).

    I'm not aware of an emulator that has borderless fullscreen built in, but I would love that.
     
  20. wazer

    wazer Member

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    No I'm taking about the black thing over to the right, it even is like that when in games, cant see clock cant see nothing over there, even moue disappears :p
     

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