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Aston Menu Giveaway

Giveaway of the day — Aston Menu

Aston Menu is Windows start menu replacement with the enhanced functionality.
$19.95 EXPIRED
User rating: 460 (57%) 344 (43%) 51 comments

Aston Menu was available as a giveaway on May 3, 2010!

Today Giveaway of the Day
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Aston Menu is a feature-rich Windows start menu replacement with the enhanced functionality. Absolutely all Aston Menu elements are skinnable and can be animated, which makes it yet more attractive. It supports animation and sound effects.

Aston Menu increases productivity, it is easy to use and safe to remove. It can be populated with many useful widgets like Clock, Calendar, Recycle bin, Disks, Search, Top Programs, Weather, RSS and other. Aston Menu provides fast and convenient search for files on local disks and for information in the Internet. It is resource-friendly and supports many languages, Unicode, XML and drag'n'drop operation.

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System Requirements:

Windows XP/2003/Vista/7 (x32 and x64)


Gladiators Software



File Size:

11.4 MB



Comments on Aston Menu

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Aston menu v2.0 is good, I'm very like it, but I don't have a license key to activated. I have register at http://www.aston2menu.com/freekey.htm but I wasn't given key, Can you help me???

Reply   |   Comment by 60801876info  –  8 years ago  –  Did you find this comment useful? yes | no (0)

#48 when you go to switch skins and have highlighted a selection there is a drop down list to the right and if there are any optional widgets or color schemes to choose from they will be there. As to what buttons and widgets are available to the skin makers, look in the aston folder in the program files .. there is a folder in there with the available options ...
C:\Program Files\AstonMenu 2\Icons
C:\Program Files\AstonMenu 2\Icons\Widgets

then you have to find a pleasing skin that also offers the option you are looking for ... (assuming the options actually work in that skin) ... you can quickly switch over to the skin with that feature and execute/employ it. For example I have started with the _default (option)max skin has the full complement of power control options, analog-digital clock, big calendar and the weather, nice contrast, good opacity, a hard drive selection window that is easier-faster than most file managers except that you have to start fresh to renavigate to the same folder twice - but --- don't actually see the start menu. So you have to shop around the skins to get the featuire(s) what you want. I downloaded about 20 more skins from the 7 pages of selections
--- save the ones you want to
C:\Program Files\AstonMenu 2\Template\Skins\Menu (or equivalent on your system), then kill the aston2.exe process and restart it and you will have them to use.

Reply   |   Comment by Frank  –  8 years ago  –  Did you find this comment useful? yes | no (+2)

#45 right-click on either 'log off' or 'turn off' and all the options are there including switch user, hibernate, standby, restart, etc.

Installed fine on Win 7 32-bit home premium. The default configuration has weather and a calendar at the top of the menu - a nice touch. I like it. A keeper. Thanks GAOTD!

Reply   |   Comment by shegeek72  –  8 years ago  –  Did you find this comment useful? yes | no (+2)

where do you get the widgets, i see with a number of the skins it has a clock, calendar, weather etc but when i actually run the skin those things arent there.
also something about panels is mentioned in the above comments but i dont seem to see that either.
on the preferences menu the "substitute explorer task bar with aston" is greyed out, am i doing something wrong?

even when i look in the help file and find what i am looking for when i try to follow the steps things seem to be missing.

its a cool program but i dont think this actually the full version

Reply   |   Comment by chris  –  8 years ago  –  Did you find this comment useful? yes | no (0)

I like this giveaway so much. I had Vista laptop previously and missed the searchbar of the start menu. I've tried Vista Start Menu and and Start Menu 7 to have the searchbar in my current XP netbook. But I return to the original start menu because I lose the "most used programs" display function with both. Now that I've tried Aston Menu, I won't go back to the original start menu anytime soon. The search function is fast too, unlike my previous Vista laptop which is slow. There are a lot of skins for Aston Menu. I only hope there'll be more skins for it in the future. Some of the skins come with widgets like weather, clock, calendar, etc.

Now, for the negatives, some of the skins are too big for my netbook screen. This causes some part of the menu to be truncated. Also, the skins are not customizable. I tried to increase the number of displayed top programs to 20, expecting I can scroll if the the space is not enough for 20 entries. To my disappointment, the menu element, namely the All Programs entry was truncated. I have to decrease the number of entries to 12. I also can't adjust the height of the menu to suit my taste.

Although there are some downsides of this program, I still recommend this program to anyone who are tired of the same start menu they have for years. Thanks GAOTD for today's giveaway.

Reply   |   Comment by Shafina  –  8 years ago  –  Did you find this comment useful? yes | no (+6)

I used to be into shells and themes, but now I'd rather stay away from anything that is too different from standard Windows. It's just something to worry about having after you get used to it, and it tends to defamiliarize you with the default menu. If you use shells too long, and you don't constantly work on other machines, you may find that you eventually forget what it used to be like, and I found that rather crippling in the long run, actually...having to talk people through processes on the phone for tech support, etc.

Now, if you're not in the computer support business and you don't have to worry about this, then it doesn't really matter. Go ahead and trick it out to your hearts content.
I do like the looks of this menu shell, but I'm not going to install it just because I fear it might make a mess of my currently sorted menu. I do use Classic Shell, because I hate the new style Vista/Win7 menu and I like to be able to sort my start menu any way I want it, via explorer. The old classic menu is all I ever wanted back and Classic Shell does just that.

Reply   |   Comment by SloppyGoat  –  8 years ago  –  Did you find this comment useful? yes | no (+5)

The Shutdown / Sleep function is not available. I use that a lot during the day as I don't want to leave the PC running unattended, nor switch it off completely.
So this app is pretty, but no good for me.

Reply   |   Comment by Simon  –  8 years ago  –  Did you find this comment useful? yes | no (+5)

XP users should try the Windows 7 start menu skin (available at their website)!
Not the real thing -but very close...with the fast search bar.
Here's the preview:
www dot planetaston.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2009/07/a2menuwin7shot-big.jpg

To download look for "Windows 7 clone".

Reply   |   Comment by StrayCat  –  8 years ago  –  Did you find this comment useful? yes | no (+4)

oops forgot to say, click on Download then click on run, unless you want the fun of looking on your comp for them, they then install straight away on the start menu, can change them everyday if wanted

Reply   |   Comment by Pop  –  8 years ago  –  Did you find this comment useful? yes | no (+2)

downloaded fine on Vista 32, visited the Aston2menu site, there you can download loads of skins, there is some great ones, so far I have downloaded about 20, give it a visit see what you think.

Reply   |   Comment by Pop  –  8 years ago  –  Did you find this comment useful? yes | no (+1)

Can you nminimizethe program window to the taskbar so it's not covering up other things that I need to see and work on? I didn't see any icon either for minimizing or closing the program

Reply   |   Comment by Reality Check  –  8 years ago  –  Did you find this comment useful? yes | no (+2)

I have just downloaded and installed ... almost expecting to be unable to run it with games/browsers etc. Imagine my suprise and joy at how easily my ancient PC (XP SP2) can run it with little RAM being used.

Thanks so much GOTD :)

Reply   |   Comment by mlg  –  8 years ago  –  Did you find this comment useful? yes | no (+1)

The offered program has its good use. But you can freely add, remove, or make individual and grouping rearrangements to files and directories within XP's Start Menu yourself, its already there.

Simply go to C:\Documents and Settings\All Users\Start Menu\Programs and work like you would in regular explorer environment. Just for fun, pick any file in this directory, rename it by adding "x" at the end and see what happen, then go back and remove the "x" the same way.

There is also no limit to create new directories/categories using the drag@drop function. For example, try to put a new "AAA" folder to the same "Programs" directory (right click), and you will see the new directory with an (empty) indicator. Its that simple.

Reply   |   Comment by Waldemar  –  8 years ago  –  Did you find this comment useful? yes | no (+7)

Installed this and it looks really cool. The search function also supports google search. Thanks for this software offer...

Reply   |   Comment by agip  –  8 years ago  –  Did you find this comment useful? yes | no (0)

Guys, so what does this program do. Customize the start menu, make it fancy, is that all. Computer is to do some work not to play with Start menu, start menu is just a medium to get to various programs, i guess the standard windows start menu is good enough to do the job.

This program also adds clock etc to start menu, buy guys what will that do, slow the computer down by using extra memory and CPU resources.

May be useful to others, not to me.

Reply   |   Comment by PY  –  8 years ago  –  Did you find this comment useful? yes | no (+3)

anyone else have problems using Vista 32 bit? Could not load any skins, and it finally crashed the computer. Had to log on, again. The desktop shortcut never worked, had to open the program from the start menu. Decided to try one of the others mentioned.

Reply   |   Comment by newguy  –  8 years ago  –  Did you find this comment useful? yes | no (+1)

Installed on Windows 7 Ultimate very easily.
This program is fantastic !!! I've tried many others but this one is THE real thing !

Reply   |   Comment by Sylvia  –  8 years ago  –  Did you find this comment useful? yes | no (0)

If you like to fool around with the appearance of your desktop...THIS IS A MUST HAVE.......I installed in Windows 7 - 32 with no problems at all.I find it easier to use than Windows 7 version. I went to the web site and downloaded quite a few skins (they're great) now all I have to do is figure out how to add and remove items...........THANKS

Reply   |   Comment by Gene  –  8 years ago  –  Did you find this comment useful? yes | no (0)

I see now from looking at various skins that certain features like restart depend on the skin - so I guess this Crystal Breeze skin that loaded by default has no restart

Reply   |   Comment by Frank  –  8 years ago  –  Did you find this comment useful? yes | no (+2)

Update: After manually registering all DLLs (regsvr32) in C:\Program Files\Aston2\DLL, program runs and icon appears in the tray. However, it doesn't seem to have done anything else.

Reply   |   Comment by gmcdorman  –  8 years ago  –  Did you find this comment useful? yes | no (0)

Installer hangs near the end (XP SP3). Appears in installed programs ("Add or Remove Programs"), but uninstall also hangs. Last message "Unregistering: C:\Program Files\Aston2\a2inject.dll".

Conflict with something else I have? (No start menu customizers, though.)

Reply   |   Comment by gmcdorman  –  8 years ago  –  Did you find this comment useful? yes | no (+3)

Nevermind. I see if only occurs with certain poorly designed skins.

Reply   |   Comment by Jay  –  8 years ago  –  Did you find this comment useful? yes | no (0)

Well, Windows 7 was cool but kept locking up my computer when sitting idle in screensaver mode. This program seems okay so far but is there anyway to remove the transparency. It's REALLY annoying trying to look at the program files when the current web page is showing through from beneath. Not finding anything in the settings.

Reply   |   Comment by Jay  –  8 years ago  –  Did you find this comment useful? yes | no (0)

installs, registers and runs fine on win7 x32. nice menu program. easy to use. the different skins are nice. one quirk I noticed on my system if I click start, the menu pops up and clicking it again should make it go away but not in all cases.
It was easy changing to my city weather by right-clicking in the weather area and entering your zipcode.
works for me. keeper!

thanks GAOTD!

Reply   |   Comment by John  –  8 years ago  –  Did you find this comment useful? yes | no (+4)

Really enjoy the change in the menu appearance. I've been looking to enhance some downloaded themes or themes I make for myself and this is just perfect. They have about 80 themes on their site now, and I'm sure more will be submitted.

Had a small burp with the program start menu not opening up at one point, but seems to be gone. If it does it again it could just be a bug in the skin itself and not the program (it seems to work fine now with all the others I tried so far), so I'll watch which skin I have selected if it happens again.

Reply   |   Comment by Xanonite  –  8 years ago  –  Did you find this comment useful? yes | no (+3)

Installed fine on XP64

I see that there is an option NOT to replace the start menu - but haven't tested to see how the two work together

Does anyone know how to get to RESTART, i hit "turnoff" and that's what it does I can't see a reboot equivalent

Does anyone know how to make the menu less transparent, more solid ...too much bleed thru of underlying icons and text from desktop

First impression is that this is pretty nice - I have all my application icon shortcuts stored in various scenarios foldered strictly alphabetically, Foldered by subject matter of applications, Subject sort in the start menu and quick launch, on the desktop in Fences a more selective subset , and a few other Menu apps that I rarely invoke but are easy to update and use that hide-popup along the edges or sit right on the desktop. This seems to add some considerable speed to accessing anything buried in the start menu....and a bit less touchy than the start menu. But I haven't tried to do additions or reorganizations yet..so I can't comment on its tweakability.

Weather mate is perhaps a more useful weather interface (free, portable, multiple locations, various options on detail, startup, position, 7 day forcasts, radar, etc).

Nice calendar, double click it for a different look. right click and you have access to an events manager.

Reply   |   Comment by Frank  –  8 years ago  –  Did you find this comment useful? yes | no (+3)

Installed fine on XP SP3.
The only quirks I have for this software is that I'm using 1024x768 resolution and a lot of the themes are the same height as 768 which makes it appear beside the start button instead of on top leaving some gap at the left.

Lastly, hotkey support for switching the Google & files search would be great.

Reply   |   Comment by rikiki  –  8 years ago  –  Did you find this comment useful? yes | no (-3)

very nice program
i like it

only bad thing that some skins dont have all programs feature

Reply   |   Comment by pvplahing1993  –  8 years ago  –  Did you find this comment useful? yes | no (+2)

XP Pro SP3 32 bit. 1Gb RAM. Local time 16:16 Monday 3rd May. Computer clock is OK, region set to Greenwich Mean Time. Aston calendar says Monday 3rd correctly yet the weather widget, set to West Byfleet UK, says Tuesday!! Apart from that, a definite thumbs up from me. Thank you GOTD and Gladiators Software.

Reply   |   Comment by roj  –  8 years ago  –  Did you find this comment useful? yes | no (+3)

I received this message when I tried to enter the license key for the program:

Activation is not finished. Please contact support@astonshell.com.
Don't forget to include your activation code and order information in your message.
License Key: 9XQ5G-2268N-HXGHK-659S5
UserID: 83E9E3D1
Version: 2.00

Additional info:
Windows info:
version: 5.1.2600, platform = 2, suite = 0x00000100, type = 1, SP = 'Service Pack 3'
sizeof(void*) = 4

Reply   |   Comment by Kahi Govaki  –  8 years ago  –  Did you find this comment useful? yes | no (-1)

Activated perfectly. It keeps crashing on XP SP3. I would like it though if it didn't crash. It has a nice interface and I thought the weather and calender gadget was nice.

Reply   |   Comment by GAOTD Installer  –  8 years ago  –  Did you find this comment useful? yes | no (-1)

pros: changes the look of the start menu
widgets are nice, I guess, if you want weather on your start menu

cons: not really very customizable. For example, you can't move a non-service folder to the start menu;

For win7 users, at least, it doesn't add any significant customization features other than cosmetic (skin). (For example, choosing which service folders appear and how they act.. is available through the standard properties menu.)

Reply   |   Comment by friendinme  –  8 years ago  –  Did you find this comment useful? yes | no (+3)

I haven't tried today's startmenu yet, but did anyone else have loads of trouble with Startmenu7 in XPSP3? On two XP computers, I kept getting messages from Scotty , while using Firefox and having Startmenu7 active, that something was trying to change autoexec.bat, config.sys, and the hosts file. However, the files showed up as null. When I deactivated startmenu7, I ceased receiving the warnings.
Seems to work fine on my Vista computer.

Reply   |   Comment by Rich  –  8 years ago  –  Did you find this comment useful? yes | no (-9)

I could not find clock widget. How to find it (and adjust it too) ? Is there setup for calendar to start week with monday ?

Reply   |   Comment by jakovlevic  –  8 years ago  –  Did you find this comment useful? yes | no (-5)

To add a program to Top Programs list you can right-click on it in Start menu -> Programs list and choose 'Pin to Start menu'. Although there is no sorting available for Top Programs, you can choose the programs to be shown there by right-clicking on widget and entering Top Programs Setup.
PS: Aston Menu is not kinda shell replacement, it is only one component of Aston Shell. It does not replace shell separately. Aston Menu is safe to install, run and uninstall. It asks twice before uninstalling itself.

Reply   |   Comment by Author  –  8 years ago  –  Did you find this comment useful? yes | no (+7)

I have been using Start Menu 7 since it was offered here a few weeks ago, and after trying out this Aston Menu, I appreciate SM7 even more. If you missed it, even the free version is great.

Aston is a considerable improvement on the built-in start menus in Vista and XP, but it is big on skins and widgets, while SM7 is flat-out efficient and more customizable in function. For example, SM7 gives the option of true alphabetical sorting, which mixes the "naked" shortcut icons, and the folders containing shortcuts into one list. Also, the multi-panel list of All Programs comes up right off the bat. I couldn't make Aston do either of these tricks.

Big thanks to GAOTD and the developers for the exposure to all this great software

Reply   |   Comment by JohnPeter  –  8 years ago  –  Did you find this comment useful? yes | no (+9)

tried it...it was ok if you like that sort of thing but they all just felt too busy for me and found myself wanting my old menu back. uninstalled via the instructions but it has left a remnant and a dll file behind that it wont let me get rid of. Thats annoying!

If I want to uninstall something I want it gone.

Reply   |   Comment by Chris  –  8 years ago  –  Did you find this comment useful? yes | no (+6)

I'm surprised about this giveaway. I'm running on windows 7 32 bit, and I've tested many start menues, and they all STINK. Ashton seems to be a nice alternative with good graphics, and really different to the usual start menues. Definitely a keeper. Don't doubt about testing it.

Reply   |   Comment by Pablo  –  8 years ago  –  Did you find this comment useful? yes | no (+4)

#1 -* Users are limited to a select number of entries that can be added to the start menu – no custom entry option.*

According to Videos at homepage you can change/edit the name of a menu entry that you select from the given list - see video number 1 top left item at http://www.aston2menu.com/video.htm

* No hotkey support for switching between Google search and desktop search.*

According to video number 3 (Bottom left) the icon to the left of the search box is the toggle between desktop and google ... the magnifier icon is local, the "G" icon is google demonstrates... toggle the icon , enter the text, hit enter.

Reply   |   Comment by Frank  –  8 years ago  –  Did you find this comment useful? yes | no (+19)

Downloaded, installed, and activated very easily and with no problems on Win Vista 64 bit system. I've not had any issues with it running at all.

Easy to use and adds a different look and feel to the start menu. It also offers many different skins to pick and use. All in all I think it's a nice program for those that are tired of the same old look and feel of the Windows start menu.

Would also be nice if they would offer the full Aston to customize the rest of it. Something I hope to see in the near future here.

Thank you GOTD and Gladiators Software for today's giveaway!

Reply   |   Comment by Orchid  –  8 years ago  –  Did you find this comment useful? yes | no (+12)

I'm really shocked at how few people have commented - usually something from the "AshtonShell" guys is met with screaming hordes (who are usually screaming one of 2 things, wild accusations that the program blew up their machine (oh please), or that they can't live without it LOL-and sometimes both O.o) I love their products - dl'd AshtonShell and AltDesk from GOTD when they were offered some time ago, and wound up purchasing both. I found them very easy to use, and considering how inexperienced I was at that time, that's really saying something. And help was always to be found in their forum. So I'm going to try this...as an artist, I enjoy organizational programs that are aesthetically pleasing and keep my lazy butt, well - organized LOL. Maybe we'll see the newest version of AstonShell here soon? That would really make my little hamster toes curl!!

Reply   |   Comment by hamstergirl  –  8 years ago  –  Did you find this comment useful? yes | no (+7)

The selections in “Top Programs List” never change despite following the instruction to run wanted program several times (for example, Photoshop Elements, Powerpoint, etc. never show up).
Thanks GAOTD, but I'll choose to wait until it can add entries directly to the “Top Programs” list.

Reply   |   Comment by Iwatari Kai  –  8 years ago  –  Did you find this comment useful? yes | no (0)

Two excellent freeware options (that I use and love) are:


Start Menu Organizer

Reply   |   Comment by Inas  –  8 years ago  –  Did you find this comment useful? yes | no (+18)

Installed easily on XP Pro SP3. Interface appears clean and is pleasant on the eyes. Lots of downloadable skins available. The serial number went in automatically and the program was up and running in a matter of minutes. I think I will keep this for a while. Not to bothered about changing window sizes or adding any more to the program bar,but do like the scrolling on the program bar. It reduces the number of items to a readable amount. Similar to 'Object dock' which I have used in the past but without the enlargment feature which some of us old folk take a liking to. Maybe in the next update?

Reply   |   Comment by John  –  8 years ago  –  Did you find this comment useful? yes | no (+9)

Sorry for a second post but it is required to highlight the following: IT'S ONLINE ACTIVATED, YOU'LL HAVE TO INSTALL AND RUN ACTIVATION FROM INSIDE THE MAIN APP if you want it to be fully activated.

Be sure to check out the entire suite. Aston Desktop is: Aston Menu (this giveaway) plus Aston Panels. It seems that Aston Panels is no longer available to buy, but it is surely included in their Aston Desktop product. Check it out!

*Supports WIDGETS!*

Reply   |   Comment by The OTHER Secret  –  8 years ago  –  Did you find this comment useful? yes | no (+4)

#4 I had to close Aston down to remove them and open Aston again, they were gone. Why did I need to close it, though ?

Reply   |   Comment by Phil K  –  8 years ago  –  Did you find this comment useful? yes | no (+9)

Tried too UNpin a deleted prog from start menu - this said its unpinned, but its still there, and theres no way to remove it - two parts of it actually - (Nero 10 trial - what a bloated piece of...) and both are still there default icon, but where the old start menu would have no trouble, Aston HAS plenty of trouble removing them

Reply   |   Comment by Phil K  –  8 years ago  –  Did you find this comment useful? yes | no (+19)

Remember to check their themes at http://www.aston2menu.com/skins/. Expect some astonishing effects on your desktop.
On the downside of the hill, backup your system prior to dealing with this kind of stuff. It acts like a shell replacement, and not all systems out there will be fully compatible with it.
I experienced a strange side effect on one of my machines, that being the non-protected desktop asking for a non-existent password to go back to the desktop after changing users under Win XP - may or may not be a XP issue for itself, who knows...? Anyways, I was unable to enter desktop again except by using disk imaging tools to travel back in time prior to installing this. That was an issue I had 1 or 2 years ago, perhaps now fixed. Be aware but enjoy it if you know what you're doing.

Reply   |   Comment by The OTHER Secret  –  8 years ago  –  Did you find this comment useful? yes | no (+25)

Installed & ran OK in Win 7 x64 (I'm administrator). This definitely has possibilities but it will take some adjusting of it & me. See the videos on the manufacture's site for info.

Reply   |   Comment by Marshall  –  8 years ago  –  Did you find this comment useful? yes | no (+9)

Too tired to critique, but will say I like it. Running it in my XP VM. Just wish the shell skin option would have been included too, but I guess that the twist with this giveaway is: to get the user to "shell out" money for it. lol

Thanks again GAOTD for another cool (though not going to be liked by some) feature to add to an otherwise mundane XP startmenu. :)

Reply   |   Comment by Lyle  –  8 years ago  –  Did you find this comment useful? yes | no (+16)
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