Mods: graphic example
provided us with this graphic tutorial to get you going on modifying system files. Thanks! Note that this is targeted at toolbar buttons as found in 9x/2k. XP situation is different, but combination of a hard to replace file and the requirement to import icons in a bitmap make it an appropiate example to show some aspects of modifying system files.
The icons seen on explorer and IE toolbars are bitmaps contained in browseui.dll:
Using Resource Hacker, open browseui.dll located in the winnt\system32 directory (or wherever you installed windows).
Find the bitmap you want to replace and save it to where you can find it.
From here you can either just replace the grey colored bitmaps with the colored ones or completely change the bitmaps to have your own icons at the top. We will go into completely changing them. We used IconShop to make icons made by Scrow
into bitmaps. When doing this, make sure you increase the colordepth of the icon.
Some won't need it but if you don't do it to some, they will come out with only 16 colors. Once that's done, export the icon as a bitmap and save it somewhere you can find it.
Then we used paintshop pro 7 to insert the new icon bitmaps into the one saved from Resource Hacker. You can use any imaging editor....even MS paint will do the job...
Once you have all the icons where you want them, save it and then go back to Resource Hacker and replace the old bitmap with the new one. Note: When saving the bitmaps you may have to keep the same color palette as the original picture (that's the case here) because the colors/transparency may screw up.
When replacing bitmaps, it's not as easy as saving them... you have to know the number of the bitmap that you want to replace.
Now it's time to save it (you'll have to save it in another directory or under a different name because windows wont let you overwrite since it's being used) and replace the whole thing. In win2k, run the command prompt... cmd.exe... and then get to the task
manager and close the explorer shell. Explorer.exe under the processes tab. Make sure all the other windows are closed too. you pretty much only want cmd.exe running. If you're doing it in windows 98, all you have to do is shut down and restart in ms-dos mode and replace it.
Once it's all closed, go to the prompt and copy the new browseui.dll to the winnt\system32 directory overwriting the old browseui.dll. Make sure to back up before doing it though. During this we've found that sometimes you can replace it easily and sometimes you can't. If you can't, start windows in safe mode and then try it.
Once you're done with that, you can run explorer.exe again and get back to windows enjoying your new colored menu options.
..and the finished product turns out like...