Customizing the Start Button Text of the Windows XP

Most computer users who have long been utilizing the Windows XP Home and Professional operating system suite versions are so sick and tired of that green conventional button on the bottom left-most portion of their desktop. The perpetual "Start" has been on this button since time immemorial or since Microsoft released the first of the Windows operating system suite version.

This is why most intermediate to highly skilled Windows XP users are tweaking the system registry so as to fully customize the look and feel of the Windows XP desktop that they have on their computers. Some people turn to the familiar faces for computer help, while other people turn to experts and technical support professionals for their computer issues. Among the concerns, the deemed most troubling thing to do is to actually change the unblinking and equally unchanging "Start."

Fortunately, there are steps you can take to impose a different kind of change in this area on your Windows desktop. But do take note of the fact that the computer help steps that follow below are applicable only to the Windows XP desktop, both Professional and Home versions, and not the prior and latest versions from the Windows Operating System suite.

These steps may not require professional computer help or technical support. The first thing you should undertake is to identify and determine a program, which could decompile and modify 32bit Windows EXE files. Such a program should also have the function to compile and save Windows executable files, which all have the .exe extension. This is because in order for you to change the information on the Windows XP Start button, you need to decompile and modify the explorer.exe file. It is in the C:\Windows folder that the executable file is located. Use the program to enhance the Start button of your computer. This is achieved by compiling and saving the changed explorer.exe file.

You can do a search on Google or any search engine for such a program. But if ever you have difficulty searching, one recommendation is to utilize The Resource Hackerâ„¢. This is one tool that provides functions and features to decompile and modify 32bit Windows EXE files. This application can also compile and save the functionally modified Windows executable files. This program is freeware, which means that you could freely download and subsequently use it without costs.

When you have downloaded this application, there isn't a need to install it on your computer system since it is a 32bit Windows application. But before you modify the explorer.exe file found in the C:\Windows folder, you should make a back-up and save the file in a different folder or disk partition.

Backing up the explorer.exe file can be done by copying and pasting the file on a different location. It can be pasted anywhere on your computer other than the C:\Windows folder. You should consider pasting it on an entirely different location from the system partition of Windows XP. Doing so would provide you the flexibility of reversing your computer system to its original Explorer default settings, if ever you do something harmful to both the file and the system registry.

Using the Resource Hackerâ„¢'s program, open the explorer.exe file located in the C:\Windows folder. Pressing the Tab key on your keyboard would put you in the actual right pane window of the application. Navigate to the String Table option by using the arrow keys. After doing so, expand the selection by again pressing the Tab key. Highlight the option string 37 within the String Table option, and press the right key so as to expand it again. Navigate to the 1033 option or to the 38 option, in case you are actually using the functional Classic desktop layout instead of the Windows XP desktop layout.

After doing so, press the Tab key again; this would take you to the right window pane of the program. This contains the scripts and codes of the String Table 1033 or 38 of the explorer.exe file. Item number 578 contains the quoted text Start, which is what you are looking for. Carefully leaving out the quotes, delete the boring word Start. Then, type in the word of your choice, but ensure that it is inside the quotes you have left out.

Now press the Tab key repeatedly until it takes you to the Compile Script button. Press the Enter key that you'll find in it. After you have compiled the functionally modified explorer.exe file, navigate to the File menu of the program and choose Save as option. Save it with another filename different from the explorer.exe, but use the .exe extension for the tweaked file. Save it in the C:\Windows folder of your computer.

You should then modify the system registry of your Windows XP Operating System. Press the keystroke Windows key plus R, and type in "regedit" in the edit box supplied by the Run Command window. This would take you to a dialogue box with functions and features in editing the system registry.

Navigate to the HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\Winlogon item, and carefully go through options one after the other. Navigate to the Shell option, and right click on it so as for a menu box to appear. Select the Edit String menu item on the dialogue box. This would take you to a new area in the window where the string values and other codes are to be found.

In the text field entitled "Value data:", key in the filename of the functionally modified explorer.exe you have saved in the C:\Windows folder. Press the Tab key repeatedly until it takes you to the OK button of the window. Press the Enter key on it.

You have now successfully modified the explorer.exe file, as well as the system registry of your Windows XP operating system. The latter computer help procedure is important since the operating system needs to keep track and adjust to the changes made to the registry. Afterwards, the desktop will now contain and display the new word you have keyed in on the modified explorer.exe file, but only after you have restarted your computer.

Article Source: http://www.kokkada.com

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