The tiny software Vista Drive Icon changes the drive icons in My Computer to icons that resemble those that Microsoft introduced in its Windows Vista operating system.
What's is meant by that is that it has been designed for pre-Vista operating systems like Windows XP, Windows 2000 or even Windows 95.
If you compare the icons to those that ship with Vista you will notice right away that they are not identical. Instead of just displaying drive icons and nothing else, the Vista icons do display free and used space on the other hand in form of a horizontal bar that is shown underneath the drive icons.
Note that the program works only on versions of Windows that predate Windows Vista.
To use the program, download the most recent version of it from the developer website and run it afterwards.
All that is left to do is select the right language and the destination folder for the program files during installation. When you run the program afterwards, it replaces existing drive icons with those Vista look-a-like icons.
It needs to be noted that the icons are only visible in Windows Explorer if you enable thumbnail view in the View menu. If you don't see that menu, tap on the Alt-key on your computer keyboard to bring it up.
Color indicates how full a drive is. Red indicates for instance that a drive is nearly full while blue that there is plenty of space left on it. This gives you a quick overview of storage capacities of all connected drives.
It needs to be noted though that the size of the actual drive is not shown in this view. Still, this could be very handy for users who use Windows Explorer regularly as it reveals how full a drive is at that point in time.
Update: Vista Drive Icon is still available on the developer website. Compatibility lists only pre-Vista operating systems though which means that you should not run it in newer versions of Windows.
While you may find that unfortunate, it is not really necessary anymore as new versions show the same storage space information and similar drive icons natively.
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Ghacks is a technology news blog that was founded in 2005 by Martin Brinkmann. It has since then become one of the most popular tech news sites on the Internet with five authors and regular contributions from freelance writers.