../Startmenu & taskbar/Remove, add, renameHome
Remove, add & rename items
Most items in your startmenu can be removed (if you just wanna remove 'Favorites' and/or 'Recent docs', don't bother and just use TweakUI from Microsoft). Most of these settings apply to all versions of Windows, though Win 95 (or, older IE versions) hasn't got that much items in the startmenu:
 
Remove startmenu items
The rest you can do by editing the registry (regedit.exe in your windows or winnt directory - though it's safer for users of Win 2000 to use regedt32.exe. These settings don't give any trouble though, regedit is easier to use..).

Go to HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\Current Version\Policies\Explorer. Select this folder, on the right there might be some of the values mentioned here already.
Now you can add new values and give them the valid names. Use new "dword" values, unless stated otherwise. Mostly "binary" values work here also.
Rightclick in the window, choose 'new', 'dword' then enter the name. After naming select them, rightclick, choose 'modify' and enter 1 to enable, 0 to disable. For binary values use 01 00 00 00 and 00 00 00 00.

Valid names are (most of these link to a registry file that can apply settings for you): NoHelp is not a valid entry. The Help item is hardcoded into explorer.exe and can't be removed.
Also, the NoClose option can prevent you from disabling the password logon box...

(Does any of this cause your comp to restart instead of shutdown ? Darryl found this (Win98 SE, Dell) and a solution at Microsofts': you need to go to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\System\CurrentControlSet\Control\Shutdown and set the FastReboot value from 1 to 0.)

For the Settings submenu there are: When all are removed the Settings-item is being removed.

You may enter a value 'NoStartBanner' to remove the "Click here to..."-animation and 'NoNetHood' to remove this from the desktop.

You also might wanna remove some items that popup when you're on "Search". Like search for people, another computer.. Go to

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\FindExtensions\Static

Expand this folder. Underneath are the folders that display the items you wanna remove, like "InetFind", "OutlookFind" and "WabFind". Deleting the folders on the left pane will help you get rid of them.

Most of all this can also be done with a nifty freeware/donationware tool called StartMenu Tweaker by BID Technocrats; handles the icons too.
Win Me/2k/XP specific items
Couple more options here:
  • NoSMHelp (yeah, Me/2k let you remove the help item),
  • NoNetworkConnections (underneath settings).
  • NoSMMyDocs (under the Documents folder).
  • NoSMMyPictures.
  • NoStartMenuMyMusic.
  • StartMenuAdminTools (string value: "Yes" or "No").
Rename items
The names of the main items in the startmenu are stored in explorer.exe, so can't be modified by editing the registry or something... You might use a hex-editor to modify menu resource 204, but you'll need some advanced editing skills to get it done (we don't...). There's also some resource editors, that support editing this kind of resource in an easy way, though. More info here.

An even more easy solution is a shareware app called Start Menu Changer. It lets you edit the icons, menu bitmap and also these names. Since explorer.exe has different language versions, there's support for different versions inside Windows 95. But for Windows 98 only the US version is supported...

In explorer.exe you'll find all main items and the "Settings" items. The "Find" items aren't there. We still can't find the main "find files" item, but any other find item can be edited through the registry. At the key

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\explorer\FindExtensions\Static

you'll find those items. Underneath each item is a key called "0", you can change the name of the value inside.
Add items
Well, you can add anything to the startmenu ofcourse, but there's also an option to put some special Windows folders inside, which will cascade. Like you put your control panel there, and hovering it with your mouse will pop-up a submenu with all panel items inside. To create it, rightclick the startbutton and open the startmenu folder. Now create a new folder - it's the name that will do the trick. It should have the name of the actual folder (in yur language version), a dot, and the clsid value this special item has in the registry. For more folders and the clsid values, check here. Now the name for a control panel folder would be:
Control Panel.{21EC2020-3AEA-1069-A2DD-08002B30309D}
Notes:
  • This specific folder works in Windows 95, but not in 98. Windows 2000 does it again, but not all others. Also, it matters which version of Internet Explorer you're running. In general, experiment, but don't expect too much...
  • Windows Me has got a lot of these options incorporated, just check Settings/Taskbar and menu start, the "advanced" tab. XP has most of it, and some more; rightclick the startbutton, choose properties - all there.
Want to add something to the new XP 'startpanel' ? Brander XP (free, XP) lets you do that.
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