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Customize Windows XP Start Button


Contents :-

Step-by-Step Process

This is a simple Easy to do Introduction on how to change your start button text,image, and hover text. This is a fun way to Spruce up your computer to your special touch!


1. First of all, make sure you download Resource Hacker. () You'll need this little utility application to edit resources inside your Windows shell.

2. Locate explorer.exe in your c:\Windows directory. Make a copy of the file in the same directory and rename it explorer.bak.

3. Unzip the Resource Hacker.

4. Now launch Resource Hacker. In the File menu, open explorer.exe.


You'll now see a bunch of collapsed folders.


5. Expand the String Table folder and then find folder No. 37 (folder No. 38 if you're in Windows Classic mode).

6. Click on resource 1033 and locate the text that says "Start". This is your Start button, and now you've got control over what it says! Change the "Start" text to your text of choice.


You don't have a character limit, but the text takes up valuable taskbar space, so don't make it too long.


7. Click on the button labeled Compile Script. This updates the settings for your Start button. But nothing will happen until you complete through step #20, so keep going!


9. While you're here, why not also change the text that pops up when your mouse hovers over your Start button?

10. Right now it says “Click here to begin”.

11. Open folder No. 34 and click on resource 1033.

12. Find the text that says "Click here to begin" and change it to something else.

13. Click on the Compile Script button to update this resource.


15. For an added bonus, you can also change the Windows icon to the left of the text, too.

16. Collapse the String Table folder and expand the Bitmap folder at the top of your folder list.

17. Click on folder No. 143 and click on resource 1033. You should see that familiar Windows icon.


18. Go to the Action Menu and select "Replace bitmap." Select "Open file with new bitmap", and locate the replacement image on your machine.

Note: The image must have a .bmp extension and a size of 30 pixels by 30 pixels. Then click the Replace button.

19. Now that you've made your changes, save the file in your Windows folder with another name, such as New_Explorer.exe. Don't name it Explorer.exe, because that file is already being used by your system.



Close all open programs and restart your system.

20. Boot into Safe Mode With Command Prompt by pressing F8 on startup. Then choose Safe Mode in the command prompt.

21. Log on as administrator and enter your password.

22. When the command prompt comes up, make sure you're in the right directory by typing "cd c:\windows" (without the quotes).

23. Now type copy c:\New_Explorer.exe c:\windows\explorer.exe" (no quotes). Type "yes" (no quotes) to overwrite the existing file, then restart your system by typing "shutdown -r" (no quotes).

24. When Windows re-launches, you'll see your new Start button in all its glory!


Tips, Tricks & Warning

• An easier way to enable the new settings is to open task manager and end all instances of "explorer.exe" then click "save" in the Resource Hacker menu.

At this point you might see a "Windows File Protection" popup. this is just telling you that the file was modified (which it was, by you)just click "cancel" then "ok". the final step is to open up task manager then click on "new task" then enter "explorer" or "explorer.exe" (all without quotes) and you should see your changes.

• Be sure when you are ready to save your new start button to the windows folder in (step 16) that you name it "newstartbutton.exe" - (without the quotes) as this will be a lot easier to remember and won't require remembering - but write it down on the printed paper of this page if you can't remember it.

Things You'll Need

Resource Hacker (to edit system kernel files and edit resources within the system shell)

• Approximately 5-15 minutes of your time

• Download Resource Hacker from this Website



• Don't forget. You are playing with System Critical files here. So backup important data first in case something goes wrong.

• Backup your [C:\Windows\explorer.exe] before you the begin experiment.

• If you run into problem by doing this don’t send your “Please help me” queries at support.

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