Got some progress but will look into it deeper as soon as I have time. Here is the method to have the Vista Basic theme in Remote Desktop in Windows Server 2008 x64 SP1 without having to interrupt your connection or use an other trick. I couldn’t get Aero via Remote Desktop working yet.
1. Go to %windir%System32 and make a backup of tstheme.exe (e.g. tstheme.exe.bak).
2. Copy tstheme.exe to an other directory (e.g. your Desktop) and open it in an Hex Editor like Hex Workshop.
3. At offset 0x00006B7A replace the hex values “8D 15 80 A7 FF FF” with “C7 C2 01 00 00 00”.
4. At offset 0x00007324 replace the hex values “75 0D” with “90 90”.
5. Save the file and copy it back to %windir%System32 overwriting the existing one. (Check this page if you can’t overwrite it)
6. Delete the registry key HKCUSoftwareMicrosoftWindowsCurrentVersionThemeManagerRemote.
7. Log in using Remote Desktop and enjoy the Vista Basic theme! 😉
I’m not sure if this is the most elegant way but at least it works. Maybe it’s also possible with just a reghack… Will look for x86/x64 SP1 and SP2 patches later.