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Customize Explorer.exe


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14 replies to this topic

#1 Andrew

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Posted 25 June 2007 - 10:40 AM

First Off, a warning:

WARNING:
All that follows should only be attempted on non-mission critical machines. Incorrectly (and even correctly) performing these actions can make your computer unresponsive or may damage the operating system beyond repair. These actions have been tested by me on Windows XP Professional Service Pack 2 and may or may not work on other versions. These actions involve editing the explorer.exe file and the registry, you NEED to make backups before proceeding.

OK, you have been warned.

For these "hacks" you will need a program that can access and edit executables. I use the XN Resource Editor.

Hack #1: Changing the "Start" in "Start menu"

This will change the Start Button to show any text you desire instead of simply "Start"
Example: I changed my Start Button to "Override":
Posted Image

How to do it:
Open your resource editor and find explorer.exe in you main Windows folder.
In the editor, expand String Table followed by 37 (see fig 1)
Fig 1:
Posted Image


On the line labeled 578 enter what word (or short phrase) you want on the start button.

If that's all you want to do today, skip to the end of this post for instructions on how to implement this new shell. Otherwise, read on:

Hack #2, Changing what the little popup tooltips say on the Start Menu:

In the resource editor, with your file still loaded, go to String Table->19.
Edit the lines there to reflect your weird tastes.
Key:
Line 300 is the My Documents tooltip
Line 301 is the recent documents tooltip
Line 302 is the My Music tooltip
Line 303 is the My Pictures tooltip.


How To Implement Your Changes:
now that you've edited the shell a bit, you need to save it. Save it as an exe file to your Windows folder. Give it a unique name, DO NOT OVERWRITE EXPLORER.EXE!!
Now, open the registry and navigate to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\Winlogon and change the shell value to the name of your custom shell. Don't give the path (that's why we saved it in the Windows folder). For example, C:\Windows\MyShell.exe would be entered as MyShell.exe.
Close the registry and reboot, your new shell is now in effect!.


Troubleshooting, or WTF happened?!
As with all hacks, there is the chance that the new shell just won't load. No desktop, no start menu, nothing. So, what do you do? Press Ctrl+Shift+Esc to launch the task manager. Click on File->New Task and enter regedit to launch the registry editor and revert the change you made. Reboot.

PS
I noticed that the shell takes a little longer to load after this. I don't know why, but be patient if it's not as spry as normal. You can always change it back.

Edited by Andrew, 24 September 2010 - 12:44 PM.
Fixed broken images


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#2 mme

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Posted 18 July 2007 - 12:33 AM

this so called tip or trick will crash your computer
it should not be allowed to be posted
people have enough problems with their computers
we should not be creating them

changing start menu will crash your computer
do not mess with explorer


Edited by mme, 18 July 2007 - 12:33 AM.


#3 Andrew

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Posted 18 July 2007 - 04:48 AM

this so called tip or trick will crash your computer
it should not be allowed to be posted
people have enough problems with their computers
we should not be creating them

changing start menu will crash your computer
do not mess with explorer

:thumbsup:
What are you basing that on? I've done it successfully on my computer with no adverse effects whatsoever. Please reply back with more info!

#4 mme

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Posted 18 July 2007 - 01:04 PM

i just think messing with registry and especially to EXPLORER you asking for trouble
but if you feel comfortable about then ...you decide..GOOD LUCK
you can go here and see what happen to cranky

http://www.bleepingcomputer.com/forums/t/21233/change-the-start-button-text-in-winxp/

CRANKY
Well I did it (tim723) way and crashed my computer. Got blue screen, No errors no nothing just blue. Hit reset and couldnt even go into any type of safe mode.
So I put in my CD to repair and it couldnt repair it, tried 3 times. I ended up doing a clean install. OOPs
Nobodys fault but mine.
Running again.
I'll use the zip file if I want to do it again.
It only last until you restart computer.

#5 tg1911

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Posted 18 July 2007 - 01:17 PM

Amazing Andrew's warning, in the beginning of his post covers the possibility of damage to your system.
If someone chooses to ignore the warning, then they take responsibility for their actions.
The only thing I would have added to the warning is; If you are not an experienced user, who is not able to recover from a system failure, you should not attempt this procedure.

The instance you linked to, mme, isn't the only instance of this procedure causing problems.
Here's a couple of others:
1. Start button, Renaming "start"
2. change start buton ate my computer!, help
3. Safe Mode --missing--, What happened

If you want more instances of problems, search the Internet, there's plenty of them.

.
.

Edited by tg1911, 18 July 2007 - 01:20 PM.

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#6 jjt3135

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Posted 28 July 2007 - 05:32 AM

If you really want to change the way things look, I'd recommend WindowBlinds from StarDock. http://www.stardock.com

Much safer than doing things this way, and http://www.deviantart.com has an entire category devoted to skins.


Personally though, I think everything works better the way it is.

#7 sparkyuiop

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Posted 29 July 2007 - 10:48 AM

Yeah great. I did this and the search function in the start menu no longer works.

#8 need TOS

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Posted 29 July 2007 - 12:25 PM

Well he did warn that it could ruin your computer. Have you tried redirecting it to explorer.exe?

-Steve
Forgiveness is forgetting about a past that could have been

#9 sparkyuiop

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Posted 09 August 2007 - 04:20 PM

Yeah, thanks Steve, did that and it works again. I do now get shed loads of internet explorer errors and keeps closing my web pages though. Well going to install Linux anyway! I suggest if anyone wants to try this, then do it on another computer that you've nothing to loose on.

#10 mme

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Posted 10 August 2007 - 06:10 PM

warning or not its a shame so many computers are being damaged with this tip on how to crash your computer

#11 usasma

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Posted 11 August 2007 - 06:24 AM

FWIW - this is how I learned about computers.
-I messed with things like explorer.exe
-I broke my system
-A nice tech spent the time to show me what I'd messed up.

That's the spirit of the online communities! :thumbsup:
My browser caused a flood of traffic, sio my IP address was banned. Hope to fix it soon. Will get back to posting as soon as Im able.

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#12 nucleusfermi

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Posted 18 August 2007 - 02:30 PM

Come on "mme" Andrew's thread are not so new tricks, you're over reacting to all that; XN, resource hacker, FlexHack and many of these kinds of binary file editing programmes are working well everywhere, I thing Andrew has done remarkably great job and he shuld be praised, he has been stuck with those "Warnings" too in the beginning.

#13 mme

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Posted 20 August 2007 - 06:09 PM

nothing wrong with andrew

fior me its not a good thing to mess with explorer
but if it works and your prepared for the consequences
remember to create a backup and mess with explorer all you want

Good Luck To You All

#14 acklan

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Posted 21 August 2007 - 02:36 PM

warning or not its a shame so many computers are being damaged with this tip on how to crash your computer

Like it or not there are only two types of computer users (Just like motocycle riders). The ones who have crashed and those who will crash.

Be ready.
"2007 & 2008 Windows Shell/User Award"

#15 mme

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Posted 21 August 2007 - 03:02 PM

oh well let them

im not one of the 2
i follow rules of the road and nothing to gain by changing explorer

this my last entry on this topic




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