Explorer.exe


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Advance

Explorer.exe, the most important app in windows. I am going to should you how to hack it to how you like it, and downsizing it from 984 KB to 292 KB, keeping only necessary icons and bitmaps. Most of the hacks done here will be noticeable in the classic windows, not the one with all the graphics.

DISCLAIMER: I DON'T TAKE ANY RESPONSIBILITY FOR WHAT HAPPENS TO YOUR COMUPTER AS A RESULT OF THIS GUIDE, OR MY SCRIPT.

I wrote this guide assuming you have used ResHacker before, but will explain most of it anyway.

Categories we will edit: BITMAPS, ICONS / ICON GROUPS, MENUS, and STRING TABLES.

First we need to know where this file is, it is in "c:\windows\" under "explorer.exe."

Bitmaps: These are the pictures you see in explorer, which you can delete. I kept only the necessary ones, the ones I wanted which were #'s 172 - 175. The way you can quickly delete these are to open the folder containing the bitmaps and hit Alt + A then d. The first time you will click yes, that you want to delete them, then you can just hit alt + a and d from that point. The bitmaps I kept were the arrows that are used for the quick launches and grouping the parts of the start bar. You can also edit these bitmaps. The way you edit them, is to first right click the bitmap and copy it, then paste it into paint or something similar. Edit it, save it, and then click "Action," then "Replace Bitmap." Then browse to the correct area where you saved it and click ok. That's it to bitmaps. Most of them are used for the dialogs when customizing your start menu.

Note: If you, like me, use the classic start menu and taskbar beware: Bitmap 142 is the windows picture next to "Start" on your start button. If you want to keep it there, DON'T DELETE IT.

Icons and Icon Groups: Most of the icons in explorer are pretty much useless, no one uses them. There are two ways to go about getting rid of them.

a) Deleting them: You would delete them the same way you delete bitmaps.

Pros: Reduces file size.

Cons: You have to also edit "user32.dll." and you have to download a blank icon.

b) Replacing them: You would replace them with a blank icon, which you can get more information on ________________HERE________________ .

Pros: Avoids editing "user32.dll."

Cons: You have to download a blank icon.

They really include the same amount of work, because you will need a blank icon along the way no matter what, so its your choice on what you want to do, here is how to do both of them:

Deleting them:

You delete all the icons you don't want here by deleting the ICON GROUPS. That will save you much time. Be careful, after deleting an icon group, the selection of what to delete next will slide down a few spaces and you might not want to delete that. Make sure you know what you are deleting.

Editing user32.dll:

You open up ResHacker and browse to "c:/windows/system32/user32.dll." Then browse to the icon groups and replace the first group (100) with a blank icon. Find more information on blank icons ________________HERE________________ .

Replacing them: Once you have the blank icon, you would replace the icons by finding the group you want to replace, selecting it, clicking "Action," then "Replace Icon," then find the blank icon where ever it is stored on your computer and 'opening' it. Then click ok and it is replaced!

That's it for icons, it is your choice on how you want to go about changing them, I prefer deleting.

Menus: There are only 5 menus in explorer, and I only know about two of them and what they do, these changes will effect the classic menu the most.

Incase you aren't sure you the menus work, I'll give you a brief summary:

"POPUP" can be considered a folder. Examples of these are "Search," "Programs," and "Documents." If you want to delete one of these folders, you must not only delete the popup line, but the brackets and what's inside them as well.

POPUPS generally look like this:

POPUP "NAME FOR THE "FOLDER"", #'s, WORDS, 0
	{
  MENUITEM "(WORDS)    ", #'s, WORDS
	}

You would delete all of that to delete the popup.

To delete Menu items, just delete the line in which they are.

If you want to change the actual lines otherwise then deleting them (IE: the names), you would delete ONLY the part with the with the words, for example to change "Shut Down" to "Off" you would change:

MENUITEM "Sh&ut Down...", 506, MFT_STRING, MFS_ENABLED

to

MENUITEM "Off", 506, MFT_STRING, MFS_ENABLED

and nothing else.

Menu 204: The menu originally should look like this:

204 MENUEX
LANGUAGE LANG_ENGLISH, SUBLANG_ENGLISH_US
{
POPUP "", 0, MFT_STRING, MFS_ENABLED, 0
{
	MENUITEM "", 65535, MFT_SEPARATOR, MFS_ENABLED
	POPUP "&Programs", 504, MFT_STRING, MFS_ENABLED, 0
	{
  MENUITEM "(Empty)    ", 513, MFT_STRING, MFS_GRAYED
	}
	POPUP "F&avorites", 507, MFT_STRING, MFS_ENABLED, 0
	{
  MENUITEM "(Empty)    ", 65535, MFT_STRING, MFS_GRAYED
	}
	POPUP "&Documents", 501, MFT_STRING, MFS_ENABLED, 0
	{
  MENUITEM "(Empty)    ", 514, MFT_STRING, MFS_GRAYED
	}
	POPUP "&Settings", 508, MFT_STRING, MFS_ENABLED, 0
	{
  MENUITEM "&Control Panel", 505, MFT_STRING, MFS_ENABLED
  MENUITEM "", 65535, MFT_SEPARATOR, MFS_ENABLED
  MENUITEM "&Windows Security...", 5001, MFT_STRING, MFS_ENABLED
  MENUITEM "&Network Connections", 557, MFT_STRING, MFS_ENABLED
  MENUITEM "&Printers and Faxes", 510, MFT_STRING, MFS_ENABLED
  MENUITEM "&Taskbar and Start Menu", 413, MFT_STRING, MFS_ENABLED
	}
	POPUP "Sear&ch", 520, MFT_STRING, MFS_ENABLED, 0
	{
  MENUITEM "", 65535, MFT_SEPARATOR, MFS_ENABLED
	}
	MENUITEM "&Help and Support", 503, MFT_STRING, MFS_ENABLED
	MENUITEM "&Run...", 401, MFT_STRING, MFS_ENABLED
	MENUITEM "", 450, MFT_SEPARATOR, MFS_ENABLED
	MENUITEM "S&ynchronize", 553, MFT_STRING, MFS_ENABLED
	MENUITEM "&Log Off %s...", 402, MFT_STRING, MFS_ENABLED
	MENUITEM "D&isconnect...", 5000, MFT_STRING, MFS_ENABLED
	MENUITEM "Undock Comput&er", 410, MFT_STRING, MFS_ENABLED
	MENUITEM "Sh&ut Down...", 506, MFT_STRING, MFS_ENABLED
}
}

Right away you can delete a few thing, because you don't use them, you don't need

MENUITEM "S&ynchronize", 553, MFT_STRING, MFS_ENABLED
	MENUITEM "D&isconnect...", 5000, MFT_STRING, MFS_ENABLED
	MENUITEM "Undock Comput&er", 410, MFT_STRING, MFS_ENABLED

unless you see them on your computer now.

This is really up to you what you do here, you can rename a ot of it, and delete a lot of it.

Mine looks really cool like this:

204 MENUEX
LANGUAGE LANG_ENGLISH, SUBLANG_ENGLISH_US
{
POPUP "", 0, MFT_STRING, MFS_ENABLED, 0
{
	POPUP ">", 504, MFT_STRING, MFS_ENABLED, 0
	{
  MENUITEM "(Empty)    ", 513, MFT_STRING, MFS_GRAYED
	}
	POPUP ">", 501, MFT_STRING, MFS_ENABLED, 0
	{
  MENUITEM "(Empty)    ", 514, MFT_STRING, MFS_GRAYED
	}
	MENUITEM ">>", 401, MFT_STRING, MFS_ENABLED
	MENUITEM ">>>", 506, MFT_STRING, MFS_ENABLED
}
}

I have the shut down thing, the run box, documents, and applications on this menu. It is very minimal and looks really cool.

The only other MENU in explorer I will be showing you to hack is Menu 205. You see this menu when you right click the time and date on your taskbar. It will originally look like this:

205 MENU
LANGUAGE LANG_ENGLISH, SUBLANG_ENGLISH_US
{
POPUP ""
{
	MENUITEM "&Adjust Date/Time",  408
	MENUITEM "&Customize Notifications...",  421
	MENUITEM SEPARATOR
	MENUITEM "Ca&scade Windows",  403
	MENUITEM "Tile Windows &Horizontally",  404
	MENUITEM "Tile Windows V&ertically",  405
	MENUITEM "&Show the Desktop",  407
	MENUITEM "&Undo",  416
	MENUITEM SEPARATOR
	MENUITEM "Tas&k Manager",  420
	MENUITEM SEPARATOR
	MENUITEM "&Lock the Taskbar",  424
	MENUITEM "P&roperties",  413
}
}

I brought mine to:

205 MENU
LANGUAGE LANG_ENGLISH, SUBLANG_ENGLISH_US
{
POPUP ""
{
	MENUITEM "Date/Time",  408
	MENUITEM "Lock",  424
	MENUITEM "Properties",  413
}

Do what you want here, and that's the end of menus.

String Tables: These are the biggest part of explorer and we can think of them as labels. They label most of what you see in explorer.

There are 22 folders we will be looking through, I'll point to the significant ones.

The first number will be the folder to go to, and the next number is the offset:

38 - (595) = The start button label. To leave blank, hit alt + 0160 inside the quotations.

46 - (731) = The label for the Shut Down in the start menu

515 = The labels for the right clicks in the new start menu

There you go, a complete guide to hacking explorer!

Edit, see here to find a bitmap and icon delete script.

-Advance

Edited by Advance
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Raum

Out of curiosity, have you noticed any sort of performance difference after deleting some of the icons and bitmaps?

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Advance

Well, my computer is so light now, I haven't lagged for a long time, I would be interested in seeing other peoples outcomes..

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javagreen

It'll be helpful if you post screenshots too, of your modded Explorer

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nzbm

thanks

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russellc
Out of curiosity, have you noticed any sort of performance difference after deleting some of the icons and bitmaps?

584672200[/snapback]

i also wonder...does this bring down the ram usage at all? nice guide, btw :)

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Advance

I should check, what do you think?

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Stylez Ray.

nice guide. but how about a screenshot?

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insanekiwi

nice guide. thanks.

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greycat87

how about that making a patch that does all these for you? it would be great if its possible

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subscribtionaresxp

nice guide :) Yes it brings down the RAM usage (about 1/3 :woot: )

by the way... if it's not CTRL+C CTRL+V please post the source. Thanks

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nwBen

why did you use another account? :unsure:

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j.r.l.

long story... the admin folks took somehow a long time to reply to a PM so I made a new accnt to buy my neowin subscribtion and I requested it to be moved to my real accnt...

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Dean W

What Happens If you Change the Wrong Code,

Will you need to reformat Window?

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semaja2.net

anyone made a ptcher yet i would like one

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PyX

Or what about posting the hacked files in a .rar file? :p

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ReDwAvE
Or what about posting the hacked files in a .rar file?

can be good idea but problem in languege :D

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semaja2.net

well then anyone from australia speaking english upload the modified file then :p or pm me

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Advance

I might write a script if you want for doing the basics.

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kars85

that reshacker solution would be GREAT if it could be made into an application.

reason being, there is simply too much room for error, and personally i don't trust myself enough to be able to follow each and every detail the entire way through.

nonetheless, great thread for those who have the experience :yes: :yes:

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Advance

Here is what I will do. I will write a quick script to delete all the bitmaps and include it (in the form of comments) where the srting tables are etc.

Should I do this with shell32.dll etc?

What about AIM hacking guides?

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Advance

OK, I made the script. I put a mini tutorial there too. Here it the actual code, and the file is attached.

//explorer bitmap & icon delete script for ResHacker created by Advance  ||
// ///////////////////////// HOW IT WORKS////////////////////////////    ||
//                 	 ||
//Each line you see below will edit the file ( explorer.exe )            ||
//                 	 ||
//The commands are simple:                                             	 ||
//"-delete" - means you will be deleting the file in question            ||
//"bitmap" - means the object being deleted in the file is a bitmap 	 ||
//"icon" - means the object being deleted in the file is an icon     	 ||
//the numbers behind it mean what is going to be deleted   	 ||
// "//" makes the rest of the line         	 ||
//                 	 ||
//Every bitmap and icon in the file ( explorer.exe ) is included here.  ||
//                 	 ||
//The ones that will not be deleted were made into comments.    ||
//comment -> command - delete the "//" marks before the command line.  ||
//command -> comment - in the begining of the line, add "//" in the line	||
//ie: "-delete bitmap ,144," to "//-delete bitmap ,144,"   	 ||
//   "//-delete bitmap ,143," to "-delete bitmap ,143,"   	 ||
//                 	 ||
//                 	 ||
// ///////////////////////// HOW TO RUN IT ////////////////////////////    ||
//This is simple, it all depends on where the ResHacker program is located  ||
//I suggest moving ResHacker to your hard drive, it makes it eaiser.  ||
//So, now you have your ResHacker folder in your c: drive, you want to copy ||
//( explorer.exe ) into that folder.  Also, save this script the RH folder  ||
//and name it ( explorerscript.txt )          ||
//Open your start menu and click run.  Type in:        ||
//"c:/Reshacker/ResHacker.exe - script explorerscript.txt" and hit enter	||
//Navigate to your c:/ResHacker folder and you a ( explorer.log ), and a	||
//file called ( explorernew.exe ).  That is your new file.  If you got an  ||
//error, check the log and modify the script accordingly.   	 ||
//Use replacer or taskmanager to kill ( explorer.exe ), delete it, 	 ||
//and replace it.             	 ||
//                 	 ||
//That should be all.  If you have any questions, contact me on AIM at      ||
//"a11dian" or email me at "mattalldian@gmail.com"     	 ||



[FILENAMES]
Exe= explorer.exe
SaveAs= explorernew.exe
Log= explorer.log

[COMMANDS]
//-delete bitmap ,143,
-delete bitmap ,144,
-delete bitmap ,145,
-delete bitmap ,146,
-delete bitmap ,147,
-delete bitmap ,148,
-delete bitmap ,149,
-delete bitmap ,150,
-delete bitmap ,151,
-delete bitmap ,152,
-delete bitmap ,153,
-delete bitmap ,154,
-delete bitmap ,155,
-delete bitmap ,156,
-delete bitmap ,157,
-delete bitmap ,158,
-delete bitmap ,159,
-delete bitmap ,160,
-delete bitmap ,161,
-delete bitmap ,162,
-delete bitmap ,163,
-delete bitmap ,164,
-delete bitmap ,165,
-delete bitmap ,166,
-delete bitmap ,167,
-delete bitmap ,168,
-delete bitmap ,169,
-delete bitmap ,170,
-delete bitmap ,171,
//-delete bitmap ,172,
//-delete bitmap ,173,
//-delete bitmap ,174,
//-delete bitmap ,175,
-delete bitmap ,176,
-delete bitmap ,177,
-delete bitmap ,178,
-delete bitmap ,179,
-delete bitmap ,180,
-delete bitmap ,181,
-delete bitmap ,182,
-delete bitmap ,183,
-delete bitmap ,7010,
-delete bitmap ,7011,
-delete icon ,1,
-delete icon ,2,
-delete icon ,3,
-delete icon ,4,
-delete icon ,5,
-delete icon ,6,
-delete icon ,7,
-delete icon ,8,
-delete icon ,9,
-delete icon ,10,
-delete icon ,11,
-delete icon ,12,
-delete icon ,13,
-delete icon ,14,
-delete icon ,15,
-delete icon ,16,
-delete icon ,17,
-delete icon ,18,
-delete icon ,19,
-delete icon ,20,
-delete icon ,21,
-delete icon ,22,
-delete icon ,23,
-delete icon ,24,
-delete icon ,25,
-delete icon ,26,
-delete icon ,27,
-delete icon ,28,
-delete icon ,29,
-delete icon ,30,
-delete icon ,31,
-delete icon ,32,
-delete icon ,33,
-delete icon ,34,
-delete icon ,35,
-delete icon ,36,
-delete icon ,37,
-delete icon ,38,
-delete icon ,39,
-delete icon ,40,
-delete icon ,41,
-delete icon ,42,
-delete icon ,43,
-delete icon ,44,
-delete icon ,45,
-delete icon ,46,
-delete icon ,47,
-delete icon ,48,
-delete icon ,49,
-delete icon ,50,
-delete icon ,51,
-delete icon ,52,
-delete icon ,53,
-delete icon ,54,
-delete icon ,55,
-delete icon ,56,
-delete icon ,57,
-delete icon ,58,
-delete icon ,59,
-delete icon ,60,
-delete icon ,61,
-delete icon ,62,
-delete icon ,63,
//-delete icon ,64,
//-delete icon ,65,
-delete icon ,66,
-delete icon ,67,
-delete icon ,68,
-delete icon ,69,
-delete icon ,70,
-delete icon ,71,
-delete icon ,72,
-delete icon ,73,
-delete icon ,74,
-delete icon ,75,
-delete icon ,76,
-delete icon ,77,
-delete icon ,78,
-delete icon ,79,
-delete icon ,80,
-delete icon ,81,
-delete icon ,82,
-delete icon ,83,
-delete icon ,84,
-delete icon ,85,
-delete icon ,86,
-delete icon ,87,
-delete icon ,88,
-delete icon ,89,
-delete icon ,90,
-delete icon ,91,
-delete icon ,92,
-delete icon ,93,
-delete icon ,94,
-delete icon ,95,
-delete icon ,96,
-delete icon ,97,
-delete icon ,98,
-delete icon ,99,
-delete icon ,100,
-delete icon ,101,
-delete icon ,102,
-delete icon ,103,
-delete icon ,104,
-delete icon ,105,
-delete icon ,106,
-delete icon ,107,
-delete icon ,108,
-delete icon ,109,
-delete icon ,110,
-delete icon ,111,
-delete icon ,112,
-delete icon ,113,

// Script <c> advance 2004           	 ||
//If you have any questions, contact me on AIM at                           ||
//"a11dian" or email me at "mattalldian@gmail.com"     	 ||

explorerscript.txt

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