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  1. #1
    Silver Lounger Bruce K's Avatar
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    Renaming explorer.exe (XP Pro)

    Greetings....

    I am seeking a manner in which to rename explorer.exe, or, write over the existing file.

    I have a modified explorer.exe file in for which I would like to use in lieu of the existing explorer.exe file. It is not a major overhaul or change of pertinent strings (I've made two backups of original). Each time I attempt to rename it, XP almost instantly creates a duplicate of original. Each time I attempt a 'Save as...' or to write over explorer.exe, I get a message stating that the file cannot be created.

    OK....so I'm assuming since it is a system file and it is in use it would not allow that, so I went to command line and tried:

    <font color=ff8c00><font face="Georgia">cdwindows
    ren explorer.exe
    _explorer.exe </font face=georgia></font color=ff8c00>


    No problem, but then...

    <font color=ff8c00><font face="Georgia">ren explorer1.exe
    explorer.exe</font face=georgia></font color=ff8c00>


    yields:

    <font color=ff8c00><font face="Georgia">A duplicate file name exists, or the file does not exist</font face=georgia></font color=ff8c00>

    The only option I can think of is to adjust the registry value to run explorer1.exe instead of the explorer.exe, but I would rather just hack the resource rather than the registry.

    <pre> <img src=/S/question.gif border=0 alt=question width=15 height=15></pre>


  2. #2
    Silver Lounger Bruce K's Avatar
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    Re: Renaming explorer.exe (XP Pro)

    Just to give you some idea of why, I prefer the 'start' button to be blank other than the logo, as we all know what it is and frees up valuable space in the taskbar. I also like to edit or altogether terminate certain messages/notifications/information in dialog boxes, title bars, balloons, or pop-ups, etc.

    I noticed you mentioned the 'Recovery Console' in another post recently and I am intrigued as I know little (read:nothing) about it. The path you provided certainly is different. What is the '[b]

  3. #3
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    Re: Renaming explorer.exe (XP Pro)

    search for explorer.. you should find two or three. start by replacing the deepest one first then work your way up to the one that is used when you call explorer...

  4. #4
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    Re: Renaming explorer.exe (XP Pro)

    Thanks for clarifying what you're up to <img src=/S/smile.gif border=0 alt=smile width=15 height=15> because now I can't say I'm curious.

    I am still adamantly against hacking into the EXE file - I just can't see that any returns would be worth the instability and problems it could introduce. Explorer is the user interface, and the taskbar is just one of the many things that it does. It's a compiled program and isn't intended to be hacked. Now that I've gotten that [weight] off of my chest, let me clarify some other things that you mentioned (including the recovery console).

    The start button takes up the very little space on a standard taskbar, and changing its text would not change its dimensions. If you're pressed for space there, try double-sizing the taskbar instead, as can be seen in this post. You can also use skinning applications, such as WindowBlinds to change the behavior of the Windows you see, including rolling them up.

    In regards to the dialog boxes, EXPLORER.EXE doesn't necessarily have anything to do with those. Some of course are generated by it but many are not. Dialogs can be child windows of nearly any application. Is there something specific that you don't want to see, or would like to change? Perhaps you can find a workaround that doesn't involve hacking the main shell executable. There are many little applications that will sit in the system tray and hide windows based on their title text - although they can't work 100%, it's better than hacking your OS shell.

    <img src=/w3timages/blueline.gif width=33% height=2>

    The recovery console, now. The recovery console is a command-line interface that can be used to repair a non-bootable system, or to do other things that require certain parts of the OS to remain "un-loaded" - killing an errant DLL file, for example. I've used the RC to completely wipe out video drivers that just wouldn't go quietly.

    It's a powerful tool with a few caveats. For starters, since there are no clickable menus and icons, you should be somewhat familiar with DOS or another CLI (Command Line Interface) such as Unix/Linux.

    Yet another caveat is that some glaringly obvious things are missing - at least for old-school DOS and CLI folk. I'm not going to belabor this point too much because it's more of a personal nit than anything else.

    Here are some additional links to get you started (the Windows 2000 Reccovery Console is identical to XP's in nearly every regard):

    <UL><LI>Description of the Windows XP Recovery Console (Q314058)
    <LI>HOW TO: Install the Windows Recovery Console (Q216417)
    <LI>Google Search: "Recovery Console" @ Support.Microsoft.com
    <LI>HOW TO: Use Recovery Console on a Computer That Does Not Start in Windows 2000 (Q301645)[/list]<blockquote><hr>The path you provided certainly is different. What is the '
    -Mark

  5. #5
    Uranium Lounger
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    Re: Renaming explorer.exe (XP Pro)

    1) Yes, it is in use while Windows is operating.
    2) Yes, it's protected by Windows File Protection. That's why it "reappears" when you rename it.

    Bruce, I don't know why you'd want to hack EXPLORER.EXE - I can't think of one single, worthwhile reason to do so - but if you're bound and determined to replace it, you will need to boot into the recovery console and do your file renaming there. The Recovery Console can be installed by entering <pre>{CD-ROM}i386WINNT32.EXE /CMDCONS</pre>

    at a run or command prompt.
    -Mark

  6. #6
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    Re: Renaming explorer.exe (XP Pro)

    if i recall from past versions, you must replace 'start' with another 5 letter word (Fortunately MaryJ fit <img src=/S/smile.gif border=0 alt=smile width=15 height=15>), you cannot add more letters - although 5 spaces are ok. But will spaces reduce the button size appreciably?

  7. #7
    Silver Lounger Bruce K's Avatar
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    Re: Renaming explorer.exe (XP Pro)

    MJ ~

    You can put nothing, a space, or up to five letters. Check out the screenshot from here. I'm not sure what you might refer to as appreciably, but it cuts it down to less than half size and I like that as I don't like to group similar taskbar buttons nor do I like 'start' staring at me. It is a GUI, so why not turn it into a small icon/button like so many others?

    On that one there, I created explorer1.exe and edited the registry to read that. I just prefer to edit a resource <img src=/S/compute.gif border=0 alt=compute width=40 height=20>where possible rather than the registry. <img src=/S/meltdown.gif border=0 alt=meltdown width=15 height=15>

    <img src=/S/smile.gif border=0 alt=smile width=15 height=15>Bruce

  8. #8
    Silver Lounger Bruce K's Avatar
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    Re: Renaming explorer.exe (XP Pro)

    <font color=blue><font face="Script MT Bold"><big>Mark ~ </big></font face=script></font color=blue>
    <hr>That ought to keep you busy for a while! <img src=/S/laugh.gif border=0 alt=laugh width=15 height=15> <img src=/S/wink.gif border=0 alt=wink width=15 height=15><hr>
    [b][i]You certainly weren't kidding, there! <img src=/S/brainwash.gif border=0 alt=brainwash width=15 height=15>But I love it <img src=/S/love.gif border=0 alt=love width=15 height=15>

    Are you gettin' commission <img src=/S/money.gif border=0 alt=money width=17 height=15>on the WindowBlinds?? Just kiddin'! I'm all over that site and all the other WinCustomize components, links & affiliates. All this playing around is turning into work!

    JOOC - What was the font you used for the Recover Console command - is that a Mod implementation? and what the <img src=/w3timages/censored.gif alt=censored border=0> was that "

  9. #9
    Silver Lounger Bruce K's Avatar
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    Re: Renaming explorer.exe (XP Pro)

    Well, Mark, I found a ridiculously simple way to get around the Windows File Protection System.

    What I did was put a modified copy of the executable on the desktop, then open Task Manager and end the explorer.exe process since you can't do anything with it whilst it runs. Then I selected 'New Task (Run)' from the menu and ran abcmdr.exe (AB Commander). From there I simply overwrote the copy first in the system32 dllcache and then in WINDOWS. Exit AB then rebooted (which wasn't necessary) and <font face="Script MT Bold"><font color=ff8c00><big>~Voila!~</big></font color=ff8c00></font face=script>

    I did the same procedure minus the AB for the logon.exe and logon.scr. You have to do the dllcache first as that is from where it draws upon to 'protect' what is changed in WINDOWS.

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