Running WinXP in the Adobe RGB Color Space!

Started Sep 28, 2007 | Discussions thread
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Running WinXP in the Adobe RGB Color Space!
Sep 28, 2007

If you have one of those lucky new wide gamut LCD monitors, you are eligible to try changing the Windows XP to the Adobe RGB (1998) color space to better utilize monitor's capabilities.

Those wide gamut LCD monitors, such as the Dell 3007WFP-HC, have been a nightmare for many folks who tried to calibrate it. After calibration, images were fine in PhotoShop and color managed applications but looked really oversaturated for non-color managed image applications such as browsers and Windows Picture and Fax Viewer. If you are a portrait photographer, the skin tones would look way too red when viewed by non-color managed applications.

If you bring up the new Windows XP Color applet and look at the calibrator generated .icc profile or the one shipped by Dell, you will see the monitor profile has a much wider gamut than the sRGB profile does. If you compare the monitor profile to the Adobe RGB (1998), you will find they are pretty close. That means, the monitor can pretty much display all the colors in the Adobe RGB color space.

The following steps should be taken carefully and proceed with your own risk!
I will not be responsible for your system and data loss. You have been warned.

1. Go to the directory, C:\WINDOWS\system32\spool\drivers\color.
2. Make a backup copy of "sRGB Color Space Profile.icm".
3. Make a backup copy of "Adobe RGB (1998).icm".

4. Make a copy of "Adobe RGB (1998).icm" and name it "aRGB Color Space Profile.icm".
5. Bring up Windows Color applet and go to the Profiles page.
6. Find the new profile with the Filename of "aRGB Color Space Profile.icm".
7. Right mouse click on it and select "Edit Internal Name".
8. Chanage its internal name from "Adobe RGB (1998)" to "sRGB IEC61966-2.1".
9. Shutdown XP and boot up in the Safe Mode.

10. In the Safe Mode, go to the directory, C:\WINDOWS\system32\spool\drivers\color.

11. Rename the file "sRGB Color Space Profile.icm" to "sRGB Color Space Profile-save.icm".

12. Rename the file "aRGB Color Space Profile.icm" to "sRGB Color Space Profile.icm".

13. Make sure the file name is absolutely correct. I am not sure what will happen if the Windows cannot find "sRGB Color Space Profile.icm".
14. Reboot Windows XP and enjoy the new and bigger color space!

P.S. You may need to rerun calibration. I did and found setting the 3007WFP-HC to 6000K produced the closest match between color managed and non-color managed applications. The default white point can vary from 5700 to 5900.

I guess if it does not work, you can always reboot back to the Safe Mode and restore the previous sRGB profile, "sRGB Color Space Profile.icm".

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Nelson Chen
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