Start menu button

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Got rid of seeing that flag and "Start" when using Windows ?

Customize the Windows Start Menu Button

Change the word START:[edit]

  • Copy the file EXPLORER.EXE from your Windows directory to a temporary working directory.
  • Using a hex editor (like UltraEdit-32), open the copy of EXPLORER.EXE.
  • Search for 53 00 74 00 61 00 72 00 74, which are the letters in the word "Start," separated by null characters (#00). It's a good idea to search and replace all occurances of Start in the file, as just editing this one doesn't seem to do it.
  • You can replace any of the five characters, but do not change the null characters. Although you can't use a word longer than five characters, you can have shorter words by including spaces (#32) for the remaining places.
  • Here, you'll be able to backup the original file and replace it with your modified version. When you restart Windows, the change should take effect immediately.
  • Note: if you can't find START at the address above, do a search for it (make sure to include the interstitial null characters), as it may have been altered by another program.
  • Note: there has been at least one report that the only occurrence of S T A R T that you need to change is the last one. If changing just the last occurrence works for you, then that's all you need. If not, try replacing them all.


Note: FNORD fits in wonderful as a replacement for START. ;)

Change the icon:[edit]

  • Copy the file USER.EXE from your Windows System directory to a temporary working directory.
  • Using an icon editor that can read executables (like Microangelo), open the copy of USER.EXE.
  • The Start Menu uses the flag logo, the very first icon in this file. What you need to be aware of, is that there are several versions of this icon in the file, each a different size. Depending on what font size you have your Start Menu font configured (Control Panel -> Display Properties -> Appearance), the actual icon may be the 16x16 or the 22x22 variations. Your best bet is to edit them all, and save your changes when you're finished.
  • Next, exit to DOS (for Windows 9x/Me) or reboot into the Windows Recovery Console (Windows XP/2000).
  • Here, you'll be able to backup the original file and replace it with your modified version. When you restart Windows, the change should take effect immediately.

Links[edit]