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How To Install Blackbox


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#1 pitkon

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Posted 28 January 2014 - 11:46 AM

In most cases, Blackbox comes in zip files. You simply unzip the files and run blackbox.exe. This means Blackbox is running on top of Windows' native shell, explorer.exe. It's a fine way to get a first feel of the way Blackbox works and looks, but if you want to unleash its full power then you have to install Blackbox as shell (replacing explorer as shell), There is a number ways to do this, but the easiest one is to right click on the desktop. This pops up the Menu and you can look for the entry Install/Install. If you don't like what you see (unlikely... lol) then you go to Install/Uninstall. I personally strongly suggest a shell switcher/manager like ShellOn or Carapace (I use ShellOn v2 on Windows XP). This way you can catch crashes (in case something goes wrong) AND switch between shells, in case you want to use explorer from time to time (just to reassure yourself you did the right thing by using Blackbox... lol).

Sometimes, ShellOn or Carapace don't work on Windows 7 or 8 (though ShellOn did work for me on a Windows 7 environment). In such a case, you will have to manually edit the registry, using regedit.exe. But let's leave this for a future post, unless you are in a hurry - in which case I suggest you reply to this post...


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#2 thelamacmdr

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Posted 28 January 2014 - 08:54 PM

Just in case anyone has trouble finding ShellOn, some searching yielded 2 versions of it. http://www.dx13.co.u...rams/index.html

I haven't been able to find carapace yet but hopefully someone else has more luck finding a link for that, although I'm not sure how much it would be worth it considering there's no evidence of development for carapace since 2003 from what I saw O.O



#3 pitkon

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Posted 29 January 2014 - 08:01 AM

Just in case anyone has trouble finding ShellOn, some searching yielded 2 versions of it. http://www.dx13.co.u...rams/index.html

I haven't been able to find carapace yet but hopefully someone else has more luck finding a link for that, although I'm not sure how much it would be worth it considering there's no evidence of development for carapace since 2003 from what I saw O.O

Thanks for the link, thelamacmdr, I use version 2.0 of ShellOn. There is probably nothing wrong with 3.0, I just never felt the need to upgrade. As for carapace, this is the zip file from my archives. Never tested it, but most people liked its looks. And Blackbox4Windows seems to be the only place you can find it on the web nowadays...

 

Attached File  carapace.zip   2.33MB   95 downloads

 

And this is how to use it, from the good old Teknidermy web site...

 

Carapace 2.0 build 534 (beta)

 

Starting off with my favourite, Carapace is the only skinnable shell manager out there. Unfortunately, it does not seem to be that popular out there. But I think this has more to do with people not knowing it than with it being flawed.

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Carapace is a work in progress, therefore part of the configuration has to be done by altering its configuration file. Not too hard, but that's exactly what we're trying to get away from with shell managers. All the features are there though, it has support for multiple shells, provides crash protection and can auto-select a default shell at startup. The interface is fairly straight forward, although, as said, only partially functioning, so this concoction should hold no secrets for its users

Carapace consists of two programs, Carapace.exe, the shell manager andCPConfig.exe, the configuration app. In order to run Carapace, you first have to make sure it can find its skins. To do so open carapace.set in a text editor and change the line Theme_loc= to the directory of the theme you want to use. After that, run CPConfig and Carapace will install itself as the default shell. Now you can add shells to it, a process which is rather self guiding.

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After a reboot (or log out/in) Carapace will load and will wait for about five seconds (depending on how long you've set this period) to allow you to pick a predefined shell, configure it or pick a file to use as shell. If you do not pick a shell within these five seconds, it will automatically load the shell you've set as default and exit. If you've configured it to crash protect the shell it loaded it will not exit, but instead run hidden, monitoring your shell and will pop up again if your shell crashes.

The interesting bit is ofcourse its skinnability. Carapace is partially skinnable. You can skin the shell selection window you see at startup. The skinning format should be familiar to experienced skinners, it's a combination of a textfile and several bitmaps. As usual Magic Pink (255,0,255) is used a the transparent colour. An interesting bit is that Carapace can use a Flash movie as a splash screen.

 

And here is how to use ShellOn, again from Teknidermy:

 

ShellON 2.30

 

My first impression with ShellON was, "awmygawd, options everywhere". This beasty looks rather complex to the uninitiated. It literally has options everywhere. But heralded as the successor to the throne of LiteSpawn, that was to be expected.

 

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ShellON does a lot. Aside from dedicated shell managing functions like crash protection and multiple user profiles, it also sports features as wallpaper switching and scripting. This would be the perfect place for a corny "sadly it doesn't do the dishes" joke, but I'm not that sad. The wallpaper functions can fulfill your every wallpaper dream, keep a list of walls, monitor folders for auto-adding, change it every two minutes or at start up and more. Scripting is an interesting function. When using ShellON as your shell manager, you can let it run scripts before it loads your shell, meaning you could let it run programs and copy files before loading your shell. Okay, so I haven't figured out any use for it yet.

Like Carapace, ShellON consists of the shell loader, ShellON.exe, and a separate configuration program, config.exe. First thing to do when installing it is run this configuration program. It will then ask you to create a profile. If you name the profile the same as your login name, ShellON can autoload the shell you've picked as default whenever you log in without asking (if you've set it to do so ofcourse). Handy when multiple users share the same machine and use different shells. But unlike Carapace, you have to explicitely tell ShellON to install itself as shell manager (it's got a button to do so). Although, after running it, I noticed it did had changed the default shell without asking... Hmm, curious.

 

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After you've added some shells to it (all done through the GUI), reboot. Upon reboot you'll see ShellON's splash screen. Here you can hit [space] to load another profile. After a couple of seconds, the shell selection screen will popup and you can pick a shell to launch. You can also choose to browse for a file and load that as shell or load nothing. Whatever you pick, ShellON will then miminise to the tray, from which it can be accessed. Ofcourse, if you choose to load nothing, you'll be left shell-less.

In case you're wondering, this is just the default scenario. You can customise ShellON to behave just as you please. If options is your game, ShellON's the manager for you. Too bad it's not skinnable.

 

If no shell manager does the trick for you to install Blackbox as shell (sometimes it happens, especially on some 7 and 8 builds) then you will have to tweak the registry. Here's how: http://www.askvg.com...rer-in-windows/



#4 sed

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Posted 29 January 2014 - 02:43 PM

:wallbash: Do it on a Saturday afternoon!


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#5 HeavyAL

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Posted 23 June 2014 - 08:13 PM

Setting the shell isn't so tough, but what about keeping something like Windows DWM (explorer.exe) from kicking off when you open up a file managing window or other system tools? 



#6 pitkon

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Posted 24 June 2014 - 05:28 AM

Setting the shell isn't so tough, but what about keeping something like Windows DWM (explorer.exe) from kicking off when you open up a file managing window or other system tools? 

Once you set another shell, Windows can't kick off, no matter how you try. You have to switch shells to do that...



#7 fr0zensphere

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Posted 09 January 2015 - 12:54 AM

Hi!

 

I have not yet had a chance to try out BB. What would happen if I have SharpEnviro already running, and I download the zip file, and then run blackbox.exe? I do not have ShellOn or Carapace either. Would blackbox kill SharpEnviro as soon as I ran it? Or would it do something weird and crash?

 

I'm on Windows 7 Pro x64, btw.

 

Thanks.



#8 pitkon

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Posted 09 January 2015 - 08:42 AM

Hi!

 

I have not yet had a chance to try out BB. What would happen if I have SharpEnviro already running, and I download the zip file, and then run blackbox.exe? I do not have ShellOn or Carapace either. Would blackbox kill SharpEnviro as soon as I ran it? Or would it do something weird and crash?

 

I'm on Windows 7 Pro x64, btw.

 

Thanks.

If you don't install Blackbox as shell, Blackbox will simply run on top of SharpEnviro and a lot of its functions will be gone.

Try to use ShellOn, if you want to keep both shells (choose which one you want on startup) otherwise install Blackbox as shell. If SharpEnviro is set as shell and you don't want to use it anymore, then I suggest that you uninstall it.



#9 ojred

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Posted 14 April 2015 - 01:57 PM

In a far dark past I used a few batch files to install/uninstall Blackbox.

this was the code:

 

blackbox -install

 

Does this still work? and if it does then probably the other will also still work with the code:

 

blackbox -uninstall

 

I remember it did something in the registry. Can anyone let me know what exactly the change was? and where?

thnx!


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#10 pitkon

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Posted 14 April 2015 - 03:44 PM

Changes are in HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE/SOFTWARE/Microsoft/WindowsNT/Winlogon/Shell



#11 ojred

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Posted 15 April 2015 - 02:09 PM

For me it is: HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE/SOFTWARE/Microsoft/WindowsNT/CurrentVersion/Winlogon/Shell

 

Okay, so blackbox -install still works huh... cool :cool:

Wasn't it possible to launch blackbox from the installation folder without setting it as shell? When I do this I get an hourglass and then nothing... blackbox hangs, explorer shell crashes.

I thought maybe BB was missing a font like 'snap' or something but installing 'snap' didn't fix it.

 

I installed: http://blackbox4windows.com/index.php?/topic/123-mojmirs-build/

and then I took the bbZero_install_1.18.0rc5_mojmir.rar

 

Any recommendations where to start troubleshooting? Maybe I used the wrong build... :ohmy:

I use:

Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit
6.1.7601 Service Pack 1 Build 7601
 

thanks a lot guys! :laugh:


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#12 ojred

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Posted 16 April 2015 - 10:01 PM

For me it is: HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE/SOFTWARE/Microsoft/WindowsNT/CurrentVersion/Winlogon/Shell

 

Okay, so blackbox -install still works huh... cool :cool:

Wasn't it possible to launch blackbox from the installation folder without setting it as shell? When I do this I get an hourglass and then nothing... blackbox hangs, explorer shell crashes.

I thought maybe BB was missing a font like 'snap' or something but installing 'snap' didn't fix it.

 

I installed: http://blackbox4windows.com/index.php?/topic/123-mojmirs-build/

and then I took the bbZero_install_1.18.0rc5_mojmir.rar

 

Any recommendations where to start troubleshooting? Maybe I used the wrong build... :ohmy:

I use:

Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit
6.1.7601 Service Pack 1 Build 7601
 

thanks a lot guys! :laugh:

It seems this is a development build... I'm going to go first with one of the 'working' builds: bbclean-xzero-2012-02-02


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#13 pitkon

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Posted 17 April 2015 - 05:05 AM

It seems this is a development build... I'm going to go first with one of the 'working' builds: bbclean-xzero-2012-02-02

This may be a glitch that mojmir can look into. Truth is, since Blackbox is supposed to run as shell and not on top of explorer, only a few people notice such things and I am glad you did.






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