Saturday, April 14, 2007

Change Look-n-Feel of Windows XP Start Menu

In this tutorial, I'll tell u about a few things, which can be used to change the look-n-feel of XP start menu.

After following my tutorial, you will get your Start menu look as shown in following screenshot:
1.) To change the Default entry names in Start menu's right side pane, like Control Panel, Connect To, Help & Support, Run, Search, etc, you will need to edit %windir%\Explorer.exe file in Resource Hacker and then edit String Table section. I'm giving a few locations, where u can find interesting strings:

String Table -> 439 -> 1033
String Table -> 440 -> 1033
String Table -> 515 -> 1033

2.) Other strings, like My Documents, My Pictures, My Music, My Computer, etc. can be changed in String Table section of %windir%\System32\Shell32.dll file. Just search for them in the file. Most of them will be present in:

String Table -> 577 -> 1033
String Table -> 794 -> 1033
String Table -> 1900 -> 1033
String Table -> 1906 -> 1033

3.) Sometimes you will not notice the changes in Start menu because windows registry maintains a cache for these entries. So you will to clear the cache to make the changes visible. Just open regedit and goto:

HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\Shell NoRoam\MUICache

and in right-side pane, delete all existing values except Default & LangID.

4.) If u want to add your own entry, like an application shortcut or a folder, then u can follow my following tutorial:

5.) And this one is my favorite trick. : I use this trick to remove "All Programs" menu from Start menu because it doesn't look decent and many times it gets automatically selected while selecting other entries in Start menu. So I change "Favorites" path to "Programs" folder, so that we can access our program shortcuts. So just follow these steps:

a.) First disable "All Programs" option from Start menu. Open regedit and goto:

HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\Curre ntVersion\Policies\Explorer

and in right-side pane, create a DWORD value NoStartMenuMorePrograms and set its value to 1

b.) Now change "Favorites" path to "Programs" folder. In regedit, goto:

HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\Curre ntVersion\Explorer\Shell FoldersHKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Window s\CurrentVersion\Explorer\User Shell Folders

and change value of Favorites to:

C:\Documents and Settings\All Users\Start Menu\Programs

NOTE: Change C: to ur system drive, on which windows is installed.

c.) Now change the text of "Favorites" to "Programs" or "All Programs" by editing %windir%\Explorer.exe file in Resource Hacker. Just goto:

String Table -> 515 -> 1033

and in right-side pane, change string in 8235 line with your desired one.

d.) U can also drag-n-drop important program shortcuts into left-side pane of Start menu for easier access. Don't forget to disable "Internet" & "E-mail" shortcuts and "Recent Items" list from "Start menu & Taskbar Properties".

6.) To change the color & style of Start menu, u can use my "VistaVG" visual style, which will completely change its look.
U can get it here:

VistaVG 1.0 (for 48x iconx)
VistaVG 2.0 (for 32x iconx)

These r the steps to change Start menu's look-n-feel. I hope u guys will like this tutorial.

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