Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Hacking windows - Rename Start button

You must always wonder that why is the button in the left corner is named start. That what I thought when I saw a pc for the first time in my life. :) When I owned a PC I alwalys thought that is there any method to rename it. Very soon I found out and it was really more easy than i thought.

One of the most famous and talked hack of windows explorer is hacking the start button to rename it. I came to know about this hack in a famous book of 'Ankit Fadia' - Unofficial guide to ethical hacking. But later I found out many other easy methods to do so. so basically there a few methods to .
  1. Popular- The most popular method is to use a hex editor. First, open up the Windows Explorer file and edit the 'start' string if you can find it in the file. Then, you will have to make
    some changes to the system file protection to allow you to run a hacked version of Explorer. After you have made those changes, you have to boot into Safe mode and swap the Explorer.
  2. Ankit Fadiya's way - Open the window in text mode. Open the explorer in using edit command and then find the 'start' string to rename it. In this case you are actually modifying the original explorer file. This is the method given in Ankit Fadiya's book.
  3. Easy way - All the above method is too complicated and has a lot of unnecessary steps. I found a better way to do this. Using my method, you will not have to mess with the system file protection at all, boot into Safe mode, or even be limited to five characters on the Start button.
So let’s get started with the last method:
  1. First, you will need to have a hacking tool- ' Thee Resource Hacker' . If don't have a copy of Resource Hacker, you can download it from . Once you have Resource Hacker , go to the next step.
  2. You will have to open up the Windows Explorer main file, called explorer.exe in Resource hacker. This file is stored in the C:\Windows directory.To open the file up, click the file menu bar item in Resouce Hacker and select Open, then just navigate over to the Windows directory and select explorer.exe.
  3. When explorer.exe is loaded, you should see a bunch of folders on the left side of the
    screen. Expand the String Table folder and then expand the 37 folder and select 1033.
  4. You will not see a bunch of text on the right side of the screen. Locate where it says
    "Start", and replace it with the text that you want to use, say"Hacked”. Make sure that you only enter your text between the quotes.
  5. Next, you will have to click the Compile Script button. See the Figure (click to enlarge).
  6. Now, you have to save the file that you just edited and recompiled. Click the File menu bar item again and this time select Save As. Then save the file with a name other than explorer.exe , say Hackedexplorer.exe.
  7. You are now finished hacking the Explorer file. You can close the Resource Hacker. Now
    you just have to tell Windows to use your new Explorer file the next time you log in.To
    do this, click the Start button and select Run and Type regedit in the box and click OK.
  8. Next, when the Registry Editor is loaded, expand HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE,
    SOFTWARE, Microsoft,Windows NT, CurrentVersion, and Winlogon.Inside the WinLogon folder, you will have to look for the Shell entry. Right-click it and select Modify.
  9. Type in the name of the file that you saved in Step 6. Here we have used “Hackedexplorer.exe” so that is what we will have replace all of the text with. See the figure-
  10. When you are finished, click OK to save your changes. Close the Registry
    Editor because you are finished with the hack.
  11. Just log off and log back on or restart to see the new changes in effect.
In Case of problem:- If you did not edit the registry correctly, such as specifying the exact correct file as the value for shell, you will not be able to use your computer properly because Explorer will not load.

  • If that is the case, y will need to start up Explorer manually by pressing Ctrl + Alt +Delete to bring up the Task Manager. click the New Task button on the Applications tab and type in regedit. This will launch the Registry Editor again so that you can edit the shell entry again. Make sure that you type in the full correct file name with the extension as the value.
  • If you want to revert to the original Windows Explorer with Start as the text on the Start button, just change this value back to explorer.exe. Then just log off your computer by using the shutdown menu bar item in the Task Manager and you will be back to normal when you log back on.

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