- Install SP3 UXTheme Patcher; this will enable you to apply third party visual styles like the following;
- Download Vista Live pack for Windows XP blue version and apply the Visual Style by clicking on the VistaLive Blue.mysstyles file; ViStart (mentioned below) comes in grey, but I like this color combination. Anyway, I guess you can change the color of ViStart, or you can downoad this Live pack in grey.
- Install ViStart. Configuration is accessed from the shutdown menu, next to the lock button.
- Install QTAddressBar and you will have breadcrumbs in you address bar, but better than Vista.
- Install QTTabBar, apply some skin available from the site (the tabas will look much better). I recommend to install the Folder Tree Button and View Mode Button plugins and set the ButtonBar to display small icons. Warning: if you hide the TabBar and leave the ButtonBar open, this will display no buttons when you open Explorer; this is a bug and so far can only be avoided by displaying both bars. Tip: the language files included in the plugins are useless, just ignore them.
- Download archives with Vista cursors and sounds from here. Paste the sounds in Windows/media and the cursors you know where ;-)
You just have to take a while to check all their cool customization options, you won't want to return to your original XP :)