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Windows Explorer background bitmaps

By Spike
Feb 1, 2004
  1. I'm in the process of experimenting and tweaking XPs user interface. I've changed the boot screen by modifying ntoskrnl.exe with Resource Hacker, If modified the explorer.exe file to change the start button text, and performed a simple registry hack to change te name of "My Computer".

    Now I'm looking at changing the white Backgrounds and little colour bars between types of storage in my computer/explorer, and the text it gives for each drive etc, (such as the recycle bin, where it says that it's where all your deleted files go, and click here to empty, etc.)

    I remember that in 98, the text and background of the my computer pages were built using Hypertext template files (.htt) and bitmap files. You could change the text in the .htt, and change the backgrounds for various pages by changing the bitmaps. This seems to have changed in WinXP. I've tried and tried to find the files I need to modify in the form of xml scripts, win32 executables, bitmaps etc. I just haven't been able to locate what I need to perform this hack.

    Does anyone know or have any idea where I need to go to change what I'm looking to change. Or for that matter, another thing I'm looking for, which is where to change the 'system grey' color of toolbars etc.
     
  2. Jaguarist

    Jaguarist TS Rookie Posts: 30

    >>>Does anyone know or have any idea where I need to go to change what I'm looking to change. Or for that matter, another thing I'm looking for, which is where to change the 'system grey' color of toolbars etc.


    I can answer this part for ya... Right click on an empty part of the desktop, and go down and choose Properties. Go to the Appearance tab, then go down and click the Advanced button. Once into that dialog box, you'll see the pics up in the window. Just click on whatever you want to change, and then go down and select the color you want. Bingo !!

    As far as your other questions, I would think there is a reg hack already made for doing what you want. Maybe do a search on XP reg hacks for that purpose??
     
  3. Spike

    Spike TS Evangelist Topic Starter Posts: 2,168

    Nope. That won't do it. That was proven on here once already. I need to change the colour defined as 'system grey' in the 'root' of the os.

    In the standard XP appearance (not the classic) if you create a "my computer toolbar" by dragging and dropping the my computer icon to the edge of the screen, it is still 'system grey', no matter what those settings are.

    Thanks for a good attempt though!
     
  4. Jaguarist

    Jaguarist TS Rookie Posts: 30

    Well, I'll be watching this one !! I hope you figure it out.
     
  5. Spike

    Spike TS Evangelist Topic Starter Posts: 2,168

    given the trouble with the image I linked in my postr above...
     

    Attached Files:

  6. Spike

    Spike TS Evangelist Topic Starter Posts: 2,168

    This is now really bugging me!!

    I still can't find where the pages of "my computer" are constructed, even with google!
     
  7. Jaguarist

    Jaguarist TS Rookie Posts: 30

    Hey Spike.. How are you coming with this problem?? I've been waiting to hear a status report.. :)
     
  8. Spike

    Spike TS Evangelist Topic Starter Posts: 2,168

    I'm still looking. I think M$ REALLY didn't want people like me changing these things when they wrote XP! I'll get there sooner or later.

    I did however, find the images for the windows "help" shell in the PC Health folder. Haven't tried changing those yet!

    Anyone wanting to change their bootscreen in XPshould download Resource Hacker, and change the bitmaps in NTOSKRNL.exe. It's a risky thing to do, but it's only the risk of getting it wrong. It really is the easiest way of doing it, and I've tried a few for comparison now.
     
  9. Jaguarist

    Jaguarist TS Rookie Posts: 30

    Have you tried BootSkin, available at

    http://fileforum.betanews.com/detail.php3?fid=1071455415

    It's definately worth the money, free.. :)

    And it requires no system hacks either, a safe and pain-free way to have any custom Bootscreen that you want..


    But, to answer your question, yes, I've done the NTOSKRNL.exe hack.. Like you said, it's a touchy thing to do, but it does give you a certain sense of accomplishment, eh? :)
     
  10. Galaxy High

    Galaxy High TS Rookie Posts: 26

    Have you tried WindowBlinds? I dont know the site, sorry. Google it or something.
    You can change EVERY aspect of WinXP
     
  11. Spike

    Spike TS Evangelist Topic Starter Posts: 2,168

    Geez this thread was abandoned a long time ago!!

    Just to explain thoug, I was (as ever, where I'm capable enough) trying to avoid using programs to do things for me. Most of the knowledge, experience and, erm, fun (if you can call it that) comes from trying to work out how do do things for yourself. Better to understand something and do it than to use an application you don't understand and claim to know all about it. :D
     
  12. Galaxy High

    Galaxy High TS Rookie Posts: 26

    haha, I didn't notice the date!

    So, have you discovered any more files for 'manual' customizing?

    I used to play around with a few dll(s) in Win95 along time ago

    shell.dll
    shell32.dll
    pifmgr.dll
    quartz.dll
     
  13. Warlock_SVG

    Warlock_SVG TS Rookie

    I think im looking for the same thing i want a image (*.bmp *.Jpg) in the background of explorer (not internet explorer).
    I know you can use desktop.ini for folders and the root of your drives but i dont know how to do that for "My Computer" "Desktop" "Network" "Control Panel" and other simular loactions a long time ago Windowblind had the option to do that but now it's no longer there.
    I Still have Windowblind 3.4 that has this option so it's still posible under windows xp to change the background of explorer to any imagen someone wants.
    I hope someone wil find i soon :)
     
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