Windows 7 Classic Start Menu

Dkperez, Here's an alternative to the Win7 Start menu. Vista Start Menu does it all. It's free and you can uninstall it if you don't like it.

Vista Start Menu – Convenient alternative to Start menu
Just had to sign up to comment about this. This is what I'm talking about!! I love this menu! I prefer the classic but this is a nice mix between classic and new. This is the way it should have been, Microsuck... This just may be worth the $20 for the "pro version" to me.


Yeah, I broke down and got the Vista Start Menu. I like it, although it means when I'm confronted by a W7 system without it, it'll be more difficult to find things in the start menu because I'll be less familiar with it... BUT, improved productivity mandates that I use it for my primary machine...

So far I think Windows 7 works ok, but to a large extent I don't see people jumping on the bandwagon to upgrade from XP. As a photographer, and member of a couple photography clubs, I've asked people whether or not they plan to move. In most cases the answer was "no" because "XP works extremely well", "MS has priced W7 Pro at a ridiculously high price", and in some cases because "they weren't impressed with the silliness and eye candy of Vista when they've seen it".

In some cases they're likely not to change because mfr's of hardware or software they're using have chosen not to support Windows 7. Dell, for example, appears to have no drivers for their 2405fpw or 2407fpw monitors, which many photographers use. Without good drivers, the calibration tools may not work - specifically the Spyder 2, which again many photographers use, has problems calibrating the monitors...

Another problem I've heard is that the machines won't run W7. I tried the beta on my laptop, which is 3 years old, and works perfectly for managing images when on the road, didn't work well with W7. There weren't any drivers so my video would work correctly, and since it only has 2GB of memory W7 was problematic. So, that machine as well as the two other desktops I run at home will likely stay on XP.

So even though XP is ancient, I have a feeling that a lot of the people I know won't be changing any time soon. Of course, these are like me, old fuddys.

I sure wish XP worked well on my laptop. First thing I did when I got it was try to put XP on it. Had problems with my SATA drive driver installation. (No floppy drive). Also when I set it to legacy XP just ran like crap. But Win7 seems to be okay. Had some problems I couldn't figure out so I bit the bullet after much trial and error and reinstalled and made a complete system backup once I had everything set to the way I like it. :p

Edit:: Also I broke down when I first got my laptop and Toshiba does not support XP. Pffffttttttt... What a crock.

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Drew, I don't disagree with anything you've said. But I believe the reality is there are a lot of people out there with 3 - 5 year old machines that aren't going to spend the money to upgrade to an O/S that may not work well (or not at all) on their systems, COSTS significantly more than most of the systems are worth, would require a significant learning curve, and has crappy or no support from their peripheral manufacturers.

I suspect businesses are going to be even more reluctant to change because of the cost and the learning curve for their staff. I don't know of a single company I've consulted with since Vista came out that jumped on Vista. I suspect there'll be a similar amount of resistance to this significantly more expensive upgrade. For the vast majority of employees in the vast majority of companies, the computers aren't running anything new, doing anything heavy duty, and don't warrant the upgrade in horsepower or memory or peripherals needed to run Windows 7. I believe it'll slowly happen as new machines get bought, but there are a HUGE number of people out there with machines that work fine the way they are.

Enthusiasts will jump on W7, gamers will probably jump on it, people that see some benefit that outweighs the pain and hassle of changing from their current O/S will go to Windows 7.

1. Windows 7 is far better in many ways on several levels

No argument. It also has a learning curve and many people don't want to deal with another learning curve.

2. Mainstream Support for XP is over.

Agreed. But so what? Other than occasional minor updates from MS, the overwhelming vast majority of users gets no support from MS, and hasn't for years.

3. The technology is 10yrs. old

So what? If it still does the job, people won't feel compelled to change.

4.And sooner or later for whatever reason folks will have to go w/ the flow & w/ Windows 7 or whatever OS as time & IT march onward. Less & less will be made for XP.

Again, unless they're buying new software or doing new tasks, they don't need to change... I went to Office 2007 with Windows 7, but I"m not doing anything new with it and I could just as easily have stayed with Office 2003.

5. I liked XP, lots nice about it, still run it virtually for client support but, see #1.
6. After everything refer back to #1

I agree... But, I think you're looking at this from a technologist perspective. "Normal" humans (those that just want to have a brown box that lets them get on the Internet and read email) have huge avoidance curves. Companies are even more averse to change. Windows 7 will be adopted, but the baby boomers and over 40s will be slow.

Windows 7 is extremely good. The only serious drawback is the lack of classic menu. I tried all the classic menu addons but none work properly. I am still struggling with the new menu after one months use. It seems that I will never come to grips with the new menu. It takes me forever to navigate and find things. It is trully a damn shame that such a good OS has been downgraded in such a way!
I truly pray that someone will finally come up with a PROPERLY WORKING classic menu add on for w7. Microsoft may have listened to users demands but they caved in to the executives who said "Cut all ties with XP and Vista". I seriously doubt if those executives can even use a calculator let alone a pc!

I am also contemplating going back to XP for when I need to use the pc for work. I am an industrial designer and the pros of W7 are just not enough to overcome the time I loose trying to find and do things in W7.

Damn shame really!


Oh, my..... Prepare youself for the gates of hell to open and fire and brimstone to rain down upon you.... You have blasphemed and the zealots will now call you......... AN OLD FUDDY

and tell you to "suck it up and learn the new way"...........

But, I have to agree..... So far, I'm using it, but I don't find it as productive as the classic menu. And there are other oddities, like the whole thing with having a half dozen different things to select to set up a display... Why couldn't everything have been kept in the "display" tabs as they previously were? I eventually get things set up, but it takes a lot longer to wade through all the links/menus, figure out which one does what I want, and get it down...

I have to say, however, that Windows 7 is better than Office 2007. Somebody went crazy there with the ribbon bar and all sorts of "aids to productivity".....

But then, I'm one of those old fuddies...

Virtual machine will only run light software like office. You cannot run demanding progs like solid modeling etc. Sorry but W7 is excellent but it matters not when one has to spend so much time clicking the mouse and constantly typing just to find something. Its back to XP for me and W7 to the Rubbish bin!

I have tried for one month to learn to use the damn new start menus but it is a waste of time.

Damn shame! I knew it was too good to be true with W7. Microsoft is a monopoly and as a monopoly they do not listen to the end users. They discarded the Classic menu option as a way to break from XP and Vista so people will think that W7 is a totally new OS! They are idiots to say the least.
Seriously now; dont you all think it a little suspicious why they totally removed the option of classic menus?
W7 may be fast but with classic menus I use XP faster.
Oh well now to reinstall XP and when progs no longer run with it I shall buy a MAC!
I know MS couldn't give a damn if they lost half their clients. They as a monopoly think that we will return. Not me!:mad:

Dont mean to be RUDE but......

What happens when a company has Standardised on the "CLASSIC" for
1) Compability between Users and Systems we can move users around and it is as the had at the other system.
2) Support, our tech's dont have to spend hours trying to find out what the user changed in an effort to help.
All our users are happy and abide by the Standard.
Also the connectivity between the test systems (WIN7 3 months) had problems saving and file management.

IT would appers that MS has broken our standards hence WIN7 will be a NO GO their loss.

We will be staying with XP and Vista (pro and ultimate).
As a side NOTE we are usiinf Office 2003 PRO again no one likes the RIBBON interface.

We have a saying in my country: "On the Deaf man's door you can knock all you want"! Microsoft does not care what we think! Office 2003 was and is the best Office!


Essential Member
If you want customizable classic start menu (just like in 95, 2000, XP and Vista) try mine: ANN: Classic Shell - start menu and other features

It is still in beta and there are few glitches, but I hope to address them in the next week or 2.

Check out the screenshots.

It is free and open source. I just added it to Source Forge:
and Code Project:

The project is still in beta, so glitches and compatibility problems are expected.

Please, give it a try. If you find a problem you can report it here or on the Source Forge help forum.

Ivo Beltchev
Attached Thumbnails


Senior Member
Ohhh - I like that. Good little tool. :eek: Not sure yet if its going to be deployed in our environment, but it could beneficial for some people.

Nice find!

Well, after several weeks, I've largely gotten used to Windows 7. Some things work well, others not so much... Setting up a network drive so I can access it from an XP machine is a LOT more painful. Office 2007 and 2010 are much more difficult to use, but I figure eventually I'll get used to all the ribbon silliness and be able to get around. Unfortunately, everything I do that has to communicate with my clients has to go in 2003 because NONE OF THEM have gone to 2007 or 2010. When I checked I found that they'd tried 2007 and their users hated the interface so much, and found it so unproductive that they didn't roll out 2007. Since 2010 is even worse...

Most recently (and I put a note in here trying to get help - UNSUCCESSFULLY so far), I hit a major annoyance with the Windows Explorer throwing away the number of files and size of directory in the status bar... I use it extensively to know whether I'm getting close to the size of directory needed to burn a DVD and now I have no easy way to tell.

This week I was at a meeting of nature photographers and the subject came around to computers for post-processing. I asserted the it is my belief that Windows 7 works better than XP with Lightroom and Photoshop. Now this is an older group so they (and I) can safely be labeled "fuddies", but the overwhelming response was that they are NOT going to upgrade until forced by some future computer purchase. I suspect MS may have an uphill battle to get universal acceptance of Windows 7 - yes, the teenage and 20-something crowd will go, and IT people that enjoy playing with toys will embrace it (at least those that don't have a pathological hatred of Microsoft), and in general technologists will move as well as people willing to pay the higher prices for computers with W7 instead of XP or Vista, but that leaves a gigantic, entrenched base of people that run XP, like XP, and aren't going to change any time soon, as well as a few that run Vista and haven't had the problems it's supposedly plagued by and also have no intention of upgrading.

We'll undoubtedly be treated to frequent glowing reports of Windows 7 sales by Microsoft, just as we were with Vista, but it would be interesting to know the REAL percentage of people, and even better, COMPANIES, that upgrade from earlier operating systems specifically to get the benefits of Windows 7. So far in my circle of "fuddies", and the client companies with which I consult, it's miniscule.

I don't think anybody is questioning the qualities of Windows 7. It is superior in many aspects. But there are areas where it drops the ball (the missing file sizes for example). In other areas there are changes for the sake of change - like "you don't need a button to go to the parent folder, reach for the keyboard and press Alt+Up". Sure, but my hand is on the mouse now. It's not like going from rotary to buttons, it's like rearranging the numbers upside down so they are the same as on the calculator. Sure, there's logic behind it but will piss off too many people.

As for the new start menu, it solves a different problem than the old one. With the classic menu the problem is "how do I run a program if I know where it is?". The new menu solves "how do I run a program if I know its name?".

You know how the modern phones can dial a number if you just say the name? Right now you can do both. The "classic" way is to type the number. The "new" way is to say the name. Now imagine if they drop support for the "classic" dialing next year. What happens if you have to call and you only have the number? Or if you have 2 John Smiths in your address book? Or if you are calling somebody from India and you can't pronounce the name? You're screwed :)

I understand that there is an exe file to change to classic menus called CSMENU.exe. Does anyone know where I can get this from please?

I understand there is an excellent application called CSMENU.exe which gives you back your classic start menu. Any ideas on how to obtain it?

Ok that is another 115 users that MS has just lost.
We use the "Classic" on XP and VISTA for ease of support and everyone has the same interface.
If this is how MS treats it users the we will NO longer support MS.
Sorry but this is NON negociate for us.

Dude, it's about the USERS experience. WHAT THE USERS wants to experience. If I, as a user want to have the classic start menu, I should have the opportunity to have the classic. I should not be FORCED to use something I don't like.
You are so right about this. The start menu in Windows 7 is certainly not the best solution. What Microsoft thinks is not relevant here, they are known to not take an interest in what most users want, but rather go their own way: Vista was the OS most people wanted according to Microsoft, right? Not.
I remember with the introduction of Windows Vista I red a large study in a specialized magazine about a French 4000 hour test to test the efficiency of the Xp/Vista Start Menu. How fast would different users activate certain programs using the Vista start menu compared to a Windows 98/Windows2000 menu? How many clicks would they have to perform? The old Classic menu scored far better than the XP/Vista (now Windows 7) Start menu.

It is also not just something to get used to, I train beginners and I know for a fact that the old menu was easier to grasp and to learn than the XP/Vista/7 menu.

But, Microsoft has decided that this is the way to go, like a lot of other things. By the way: Microsoft has a lot of strange ideas about the future too, not often in the interrest of the user. Like the idea to abandon distributing software (office) in a shop, but to use the software online and let the custromer pay each time they use it. Certainly NOT efficient.

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