Windows 9x/ME Customization Guide


Open control panel and double click on sounds, or sounds/multimedia if you are using Windows Me. All sound events for windows, and sound events for any other installed program, if applicable to that program, will be shown. To change an individual sound, click on the event & either select one from the list of windows’ default sounds, or click on browse. You can specify and .wav file you want windows to play for that event.

Unfortunately, windows will not play any other type of sound other than wave (.wav). You can preview a sound by clicking on the small black arrow pointing right, under preview. You can select a sound scheme from the schemes drop down list. To remove all sounds, select no sounds as your scheme.

If you haven’t got any schemes installed, go into control panel and double click on add/remove programs. Click on the windows setup tab. Double click on multimedia. Check the box for multimedia sound schemes & click Ok twice.

Each sound should be self-explanatory, e.g. start windows controls the sound that plays when you start your computer.  

If you have desktop themes installed, you can individually import the sounds from a desktop theme without importing any other setting. To do this, go into control panel and double click on Desktop themes. Select the theme you want from the drop down list & click to uncheck every check box under settings apart from Mouse pointers. Now click apply.

N.B. You can also preview a theme’s sounds before applying it by clicking on Pointers, sounds, etc in the Previews box & browsing through the sounds on the Sound tab. As with the sounds properties applet, click on the arrow pointing right to play the sound.


Shortcuts’ icons (such as those on the desktop or start menu) can be changed by context clicking on the icon, selecting properties, selecting the “shortcut” tab & clicking change icon. If there are not enough there for your taste you can browse for more.

Windows’ “classic” icons are stored in these libraries:



For a more classic Windows 3.1 look, older style icons are stored in \windows\progman.exe.

Or alternatively you could browse to the icon file (*.ico) of your choice.

To change icons such as my computer & the recycle bin, go to the Effects tab in display properties. The same principles as before apply; you can specify an icon file of your choice or browse to one of windows’ icon libraries.

If you are using a wallpaper, you will probably have noticed that the icon text has an annoying background to it that sometimes conflicts with the wallpaper. To get rid of this, you can use a utility called seethru, which basically makes the icons transparent. It can be downloaded from Mike Strong’s website & contains the VB libraries required.

Changing icons for individual hard/floppy drives’ partitions is slightly different. NB This changes icon for individual media. Details on how to change the global setting for the icons for all hard drives or floppy drives can be found in the registry editing to change stubborn icons section. First, you need find out the path to the icon you need. If you want an icon from an .ico or .bmp file this is fairly easy – you just need to remember the path to the file. If however on of the icons in an icon library (.dll or .exe) takes your fancy, you need to remember an extra suffix to the path name – a comma and a number, with no spaces. All the icons in the libraries are numbered from zero, and count down. If, for example, you wanted the MSDOS blue screen icon  you would use C:\windows\progman.exe,1. Remember the icons count down in columns from left to right, starting at zero so for the Swiss army knife icon  the path name would be C:\windows\progman.exe,21.

Once you know what the path & number (if applicable), open windows notepad and enter in these details


icon=<path here>

So if you wanted the Swiss army knife your file would be


icon= C:\windows\progman.exe,21

Now save the file as autorun.inf in the root folder of you hard drive or floppy disk partition, for example a:\ or c:\. You should now have your icon displayed instead of the usual boring grey icon.

N.B. For floppy drives to display icons, you need to open up X-Setup & browse to the system\file system\CD autostart\CDR autorun plugin and enable autostart for removable diskettes.

As an alternative to using autorun.inf, you can also use your registry, as described below.


Go to next page !

Get weekly updates on new
articles, news and contests
in your mail!