running winamp at start-up rather than explorer

By sandman0408
Dec 18, 2005
  1. Is there a way I can run winamp at start-up instead of having explorer load. I have a computer that is running windows XP with only winamp installed because i am using it as a digital jukebox. I have all my mp3's and cd's loaded onto the computer and have it connected to my 7.1 sony receiver. When I press the power button I want winamp to display and nothing else, but still have a way to start explorer if i need to.
  2. sandman0408

    sandman0408 TS Rookie Topic Starter

  3. agronick

    agronick TS Rookie Posts: 92

    Move the contents of the winamp program files folder to c:\windows.

    Go to start > run > and typed regedit

    A window will come up that looks like explorer. on the left side navigate to

    HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE / software / microsoft / windowsnt / currentversion / Then click the folder winlogon

    Double click the key called shell. Change explorer.exe to the exe that starts winamp

    This should work. If it does not I know other ways to do it.
  4. Tedster

    Tedster Techspot old timer..... Posts: 6,000   +15

    try apple itunes instead....
  5. sandman0408

    sandman0408 TS Rookie Topic Starter

    agronick, that didn't work, now the welcome screen shows and then goes to a blank desktop with nothing on it and no way for me to access the start menu. Any suggestions?
  6. agronick

    agronick TS Rookie Posts: 92

    Do control alt delete. Click file > run. Type regedit. Go back to that key and change to explorer.exe again. Make a sortcut to winamp. Put it in the start up folder in the start menu. Go back to that registry key and make it blank.
  7. sandman0408

    sandman0408 TS Rookie Topic Starter

    I was able to change the registry key back to Explorer.exe and then I made the shortcut like you said in the start menu, but when i changed the registry key to blank, the same thing happened (Welcome screen followed by a blank desktop).
  8. agronick

    agronick TS Rookie Posts: 92

    Make the key back to explorer.exe Go into the control panel. Go to scheduled tasks make it so it will launch on startup. Then make the registry key blank again.
  9. sandman0408

    sandman0408 TS Rookie Topic Starter

    no go, same thing. I think I am just gonna leave the shortcut in the startup folder so at least it runs without me having to open it. Thanks for the help.
  10. agronick

    agronick TS Rookie Posts: 92

    If you want to you could clear off your desktop and put the start menu so it does not show.
  11. Spike

    Spike TS Evangelist Posts: 2,168

    It won't work like that.

    It sounds like it's doing what you want in terms of not loading explorer, but it's not loading Winamp. It's not loading winamp because whaen you install a program it's files are registered and referenced in a specific location (C:/program files/winamp/ or similar in this case)

    Install Winamp with it's installer to "C:\windows" instead of the default program files location, and all will work well. Except for re-starting the explorer shell, which for some reason seems open an explorer window without restarting the shell itself.

    So, let us pretend you don't have Winamp installed at all for a moment, and start again from the beginning...

    Freshly install Winamp to "C:\windows" using the winamp installer

    open regedit.exe, and browse to the key HKLM\software\microsoft\windowsnt\currentversion\winlogon

    Change the value of "shell" to "winamp.exe". That's all there is to it, unless you are having problems with restoring the shell when you want to.

    I found that starting Explorer.exe didn't restart the shell untill the shell value was changed back to explorer.exe. This is a little bit of a pain in the backside to be doing all the time, and so what is required it to export the winlogon registry key (right click on the winlogon folder in regedit and select export), and save it as whatever you like in the windows directory. Then right click and edit that key, changing "winamp.exe" to "explorer.exe" on the shell value, and saving as a different file name.

    Double clicking on either of these files will modify the shell key in the registry to one way or the other, and because they were saved to the windows directory, you can start them from File -> run in task manager by typing their names in full (eg, type winamp.reg). You are then prompted to allow the information to be entered to the registry or not, where you can select yes or no. This however doesn't start explorer, and so after changing the shell value back to explorer.exe, you need to go back to file -> run on task manager and start explorer, which should then start the whole shell.

    This in theory can be reduced even further to one action on your part instead of two by writing a batch script in the windows directory that first restores the shell value to explorer, and then evokes explorer itself. If you want to do that and don't know how, just ask.

    The alternative that will allow you to run an application at startup as a serivice so that it will load before the explorer shell is loaded is to use "SRVANY" from Microsofts NT Resource Kit (instructions here) This would have the advantage of allowing you to open as many apps as you like before the shell, and in this situation, wou would simply leave the shell registry value blank instead of changing it. There may be other ways of doing it, but I personally don't know what they would be.

    I'm using XP Pro SP2, and I've tested this on my machine so I know it works. If any of the above doesn't make sense to you, just let us know.
  12. Spike

    Spike TS Evangelist Posts: 2,168

    OK, just a rare double post from me to alert anyone interested in this thread that I've edited (a fairly large edit) my post above with a solution, after previously getting something wrong (and editing to state as much). The above post should now read and work correctly.
  13. sandman0408

    sandman0408 TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Thanks a lot, I will give this a shot later on today and see what happens. Everything you said makes sense to me, so I don't think I will have any troubles. I will keep you posted on what happens.
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