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post #1 of 26 Old 04-13-2007, 02:40 AM Thread Starter
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Change The Text On XP Start Button

I’ve read a number of articles on the internet about changing the text on the Start button in XP. On more than one occasion I’ve seen references to a five (5) letter limitation when the button is renamed. I always wondered if this was true or just an assumption someone made because the default ‘start’ just happened to fit the button size. So, I decided to run a test and see if there really was a five character limit.



As you can see from the screen capture above it would seem that the five character limit isn’t etched in stone. The button expanded to accept the text I entered with no problem. I’ve been using the system for a few weeks now with no adverse effects. That’s not to say I won’t discover something down the road a bit, but for now I feel comfortable with the changes. If you’d like to try the procedure I used, the instructions follow.

Step 1 – Modify Explorer.exe File

In order to make the changes, the file explorer.exe located at C:\Windows needs to be edited. Since explorer.exe is a binary file it requires a special editor. For purposes of this article I have used Resource Hacker. Resource HackerTM is a freeware utility to view, modify, rename, add, delete and extract resources in 32bit Windows executables and resource files (*.res). It incorporates an internal resource script compiler and decompiler and works on Win95, Win98, WinME, WinNT, Win2000 and WinXP operating systems. Navigate here to download Resource Hacker.

The first step is to make a backup copy of the file explorer.exe located at C:\Windows\explorer. Place it in a folder somewhere on your hard drive where it will be safe. Start Resource Hacker and open explorer.exe located at C:\Windows\explorer.exe as shown in Fig. 01.



The category we are going to be using is String Table. Expand it by clicking the plus sign then navigate down to and expand string 37 followed by highlighting 1033. If you are using the Classic Layout rather than the XP Layout, use number 38. The right hand pane will display the stringtable as shown in Fig. 02. We’re going to modify item 578, currently showing the word “start” just as it displays on the current Start button.



There is no magic here. Just double click on the word “start” so that it’s highlighted, making sure the quotation marks are not part of the highlight. They need to remain in place, surrounding the new text that you’ll type. Go ahead and type your new entry. In my case I used ElderGeek as shown in Fig. 03.



Compare the screen captures in Fig. 02 and Fig. 03 and you’ll notice that after the new text string has been entered the Compile Script button that was grayed out in Fig. 02 is now active in Fig. 03. I won’t get into what’s involved in compiling a script, but suffice it to say it’s going to make this exercise worthwhile. Click Compile Script and then save the altered file using the Save As command on the File Menu. Do not use the Save command – Make sure to use the Save As command and choose a name for the file. See Fig. 04. Save the newly named file to C:\Windows.



Step 2 – Modify the Registry

Now that the modified explorer.exe has been created it’s necessary to modify the registry so the file will be recognized when the user logs on to the system. If you don’t know how to access the registry I’m not sure this article is for you, but just in case it’s a temporary memory lapse, go to Start (soon to be something else) Run and type regedit in the Open: field. Navigate to:

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\ SOFTWARE\ Microsoft\ Windows NT\ CurrentVersion\ Winlogon



In the right pane (Fig. 05), double click the Shell entry to open the Edit String dialog box as shown in Fig. 06. In Value data: line, enter the name that was used to save the modified explorer.exe file. Click OK.



Close Registry Editor and either log off the system and log back in, or reboot the entire system if that’s your preference. If all went as planned you should see your new Start button with the revised text.



i did not write this i got it from Change Text on XP Start Button


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post #2 of 26 Old 04-13-2007, 10:10 AM
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Re: Change The Text On XP Start Button

cool, that was easy

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post #3 of 26 Old 04-13-2007, 10:21 AM
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Re: Change The Text On XP Start Button

Yep I did this a while back on my old lappy. when I finnaly got to the place where you write the name my mind went blank so I just put nacho... Really it was the only thing I could think of. I think I was hungry. It dosen't matter with my new machine though because I run Blinds on it and it completely changes the apearance of the button so it has no text. But long story short I ran the Nacho Start button for years without issue. I also went threw all those different strings and changed all the messages just for fun. Also No Issues with that either, my old computer is just very confusing if you don't expect it.
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post #4 of 26 Old 04-13-2007, 11:23 AM
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Re: Change The Text On XP Start Button

reshacker is every customizer's friend.

Scott


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post #5 of 26 Old 04-13-2007, 05:31 PM
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Re: Change The Text On XP Start Button

won't work for me, after i follow all the steps and restart it brings up my background but doesn't load anything, no programs actually start


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post #6 of 26 Old 04-13-2007, 06:40 PM
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Re: Change The Text On XP Start Button

LOL. This was on the screensavers on Tech TV years ago b4 comcast destroyed the network. I remember changing it to "supercalifragilisticexpialidocious" on someones computer in school on time (part of it got cut off). I caught hell for that one but it was worth it

ALthough they way I did it, you made a backup, & a modded version of explorer.exe, restarted in safe mode w/ command prompt & just overwrote explorer.exe with your own modded version.

Also, if you ever have a problem were explorer.exe crashes, it will revert to a backup version & it will say start again.
But that was if you were overwriting the old one. since your modding the registry to use your custom named explorer.exe file, IDK what will happen

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Last edited by j894; 04-13-2007 at 06:47 PM.
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post #7 of 26 Old 04-13-2007, 06:52 PM
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Re: Change The Text On XP Start Button

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Originally Posted by grndscrpr03 View Post
won't work for me, after i follow all the steps and restart it brings up my background but doesn't load anything, no programs actually start
Explorer.exe or whatever you named it isnt starting. you sure you didn't misspell it in the registry?

To get into windows when it goes to the backround then stops... hit Alt+ctrl+del, go to file, New Task, Find Explorer.exe (should be in c:\windows) & run it. That should bring up mostly everything normally, then double check what you did in the registry is correct.

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post #8 of 26 Old 04-14-2007, 12:35 AM Thread Starter
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Re: Change The Text On XP Start Button

yea did u edit ur reg? u have to do that for it to work.

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post #9 of 26 Old 04-14-2007, 02:27 AM
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Re: Change The Text On XP Start Button

edited what i wrote i just got it to work. thats awesome. thanks. now i will sticky this. thanks monoxide for posting this up on here


Last edited by 2dxtreme; 04-14-2007 at 02:33 AM.
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post #10 of 26 Old 04-14-2007, 03:11 AM Thread Starter
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Re: Change The Text On XP Start Button

np.


kool my first post that has made it to sticky. lol

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post #11 of 26 Old 04-14-2007, 06:15 AM
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Re: Change The Text On XP Start Button

Quote:
Originally Posted by j894 View Post
Explorer.exe or whatever you named it isnt starting. you sure you didn't misspell it in the registry?

To get into windows when it goes to the backround then stops... hit Alt+ctrl+del, go to file, New Task, Find Explorer.exe (should be in c:\windows) & run it. That should bring up mostly everything normally, then double check what you did in the registry is correct.

yeah I know how to get back to it and restore it to the original file, which is why I was able to come on here and post and I double checked everything and it was all spelled correctly


Quote:
Originally Posted by monoxide_child
yea did u edit ur reg? u have to do that for it to work.

followed every step to a 'T', tried it 3 three times and got the same result Seen this on the link you posted though:

Hello,
I have found your site to be very informative and helpful. However, there is one thing that I believe needs mentioning. I had read before that it was possible to change the text that is displayed on your Start button. I followed your instructions and soon enough, the ‘Start’ button on my XP Pro SP1 said ‘stop’ instead (how clever, right???). All was well until I decided to download the network installer for MS’ new SP2. I ran the installer with all virus scanning software off and updated my machine to SP2. I did the initial Automatic Updates setup and prepared to boot into my desktop. It appeared to be working except my desktop never fully loaded. I got this message saying that Windows Explorer had encountered a problem and needed to close. Blah, blah, blah, you know the drill. So I restart. Same thing. I thought I was in big trouble until I tried ctrl-alt-del. Success! I was able to start a new task (regedit), point my Shell back to explorer.exe, and restart. Low and behold, after I entered my password, my desktop came up and everything was normal. SP2 has worked like a charm ever since.
I thought that maybe it was just something wrong with the update to SP2 and later tried to modify my Shell file again. I restarted and got the same error. I think it would be a very good idea to post an update to the text changing site telling users that if they run the update to SP2 with the modified Shell, their computer will become unusable. It’s really too bad – I enjoyed the heck out of telling Microsoft where to stick their ‘Start’ button…
Thanks for the great site and keep up the good work!!!
Adam


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post #12 of 26 Old 04-14-2007, 10:46 AM
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Re: Change The Text On XP Start Button

the part that makes this not work for most people is the fact that you can't save explorer.exe while you already have another running.

2 ways to do this.

1. boot into safe mode with command prompt only, then you can edit and save explorer.exe all you want. just use some basic msdos command to navigate to where you have reshacker stored, and run it. it'll run the exact same as it would if you launched it with explorer.

2. instead of saving the output file as explorer.exe, save it as something else, say xplorer.exe, then go edit your boot.ini, and change the path from explorer.exe to whatever you just saved your reshacked output file to.

hope those help you guys some.

Scott


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Re: Change The Text On XP Start Button

u dont edit ur boot.ini u edit the registry files.

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post #14 of 26 Old 04-14-2007, 11:41 AM
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Re: Change The Text On XP Start Button

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Originally Posted by monoxide_child View Post
u dont edit ur boot.ini u edit the registry files.
after messing with reshacker, if you save to a different file name other than explorer.exe, you HAVE TO CHANGE YOUR BOOT.INI or else windows will just keep loading explorer.exe. trust me.

Scott


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post #15 of 26 Old 04-15-2007, 04:54 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Change The Text On XP Start Button

i never edited boot.ini i always edit my registry and it always works. ony time i edit my boot.ini is for new boot screens.

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post #16 of 26 Old 04-17-2007, 06:10 PM
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Re: Change The Text On XP Start Button

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i never edited boot.ini i always edit my registry and it always works.

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post #17 of 26 Old 04-17-2007, 08:54 PM
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Re: Change The Text On XP Start Button

hey i got a problem with the new xp start button mod, my search button in the start menu doesn't work anymore. what should i look into?

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Re: Change The Text On XP Start Button

nvm read something wrong. . .

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Re: Change The Text On XP Start Button

yea search is checked its not from it not showing its there just when i click on it nothing happens but if i go into explore mode and do search it works

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post #20 of 26 Old 04-17-2007, 10:15 PM
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Re: Change The Text On XP Start Button

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yea search is checked its not from it not showing its there just when i click on it nothing happens but if i go into explore mode and do search it works
i realized that after i read it again





hmmm mine doesn't do anything either. . .strange lol

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post #21 of 26 Old 04-17-2007, 11:12 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Change The Text On XP Start Button

yea the search on the start dont work after. idk y but in the window the search works

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post #22 of 26 Old 04-18-2007, 07:40 AM
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Re: Change The Text On XP Start Button

very top of the article in the link:


Note: A number of users have written to say that when the text on the Start Button is changed, the Search function from the Start Button (right click) context menu ceases to function. That's true, it does, and if I ever used that particular function I'd have been aware of the problem. I don't use it, so I wasn't aware, but now you've been warned. As far as I know there are no other caveats associated with the modification.


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post #23 of 26 Old 04-18-2007, 07:54 AM
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Re: Change The Text On XP Start Button

missed that thanks

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post #24 of 26 Old 04-18-2007, 08:53 AM
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Re: Change The Text On XP Start Button

haha i'm like him i never use it

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post #25 of 26 Old 01-15-2008, 03:07 AM
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Re: Change The Text On XP Start Button

resource hacker works great for changin start color too, and all other theme colors, just pick a bitmap then photoshop it and save

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post #26 of 26 Old 09-06-2008, 09:54 PM
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Re: Change The Text On XP Start Button

nice i like it
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