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Tut: Resource Hacker & shell32.dll


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#1 hush66

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Posted 19 February 2004 - 12:47 PM

There are numerous things that you can do with Resource Hacker, but in this tutorial we'll be learning how to hack the file that contains most of the Windows default icons, the shell32.dll file.

Before you go and start hacking the file, it is EXTREMELY important that you make a backup of the file. Go to your Windows/System32/ directory and you see the file there. Make a copy of it (Right-click, "Copy") and then store it somewhere else, wherever you like.

"Hacking" that shell32

Now, start Resource Hacker, and open the shell32.dll file by selecting "File", then "Open" (or Ctrl + O).

Now, select "Action", and then "Replace Icon". A screen displaying the icon groups and a preview of the icon that accompanies the respective groups will appear.

For instance, you can see that the 'Run' icon group is resource 25, while the 'Help' resource is 24. If you need more help on identifying the various icons, here's a visual aid (right-click on link and Save Target As). Find the icon you want to replace on the right side of the window. Click on the "Open File With New icon ..." tab. Browse through your directories to look for the replacement icon and click "Open". You should see your new icon on the left side with the old icon on the right side. Select "Replace".

Once you're done with replacing the old icons with new ones, select "File" and then "Save As ...". Choose where you want to save this new customized shell32 file, for example on your desktop.

Replacing that hacked shell32

Once you're done with replacing the icons in the shell32.dll file, you would need to replace this new file with the old one. Two ways you could do that.

First, the easy way: use the program Replacer.

Second, the manual way:
(1) Boot into Safe Mode (press F8 while booting).
(2) Go to Windows\system32 folder and rename shell32.dll file to shell32.bak
(3) Copy the hacked shell32.dll to this folder.
(4) If you have a Windows\ServicePackFiles folder :
- Go to Windows\ServicePackFiles\i386 folder and rename shell32.dll to shell32.bak.
- Copy the hacked shell32.dll to this folder.
(5) If you do not have a Windows\ServicePackFiles folder :
- Go to Windows\system32\dllcache folder and rename shell32.dll to shell32.bak.
- Copy the hacked shell32.dll to this folder.
(6) Reboot.

(Note: The folder Windows\system32\dllcache is a hidden folder. You need to go to Tools --> Folder Options --> View and make sure that the option "Show Hidden Files and Folders" is checked, while the "Hide protected operating system files folder" is unchecked. Only then will you see your dllcache folder. Alternatively you can simply type in C:\Windows\system32\dllcache in the Address bar of Explorer.)

Now, no matter which of the above methods you use, if the icons do not change after you've reboot, you need to rebuild the icon cache using Microsoft's TweakUI (it's free and extremely useful).

#2 Neofall

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Posted 19 February 2004 - 02:18 PM

You have quenched my curiousity.
Thanks.

#3 AquaS

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Posted 20 February 2004 - 09:57 AM

wow!! thanks for the tutorial hush :)

#4 tetris

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Posted 20 February 2004 - 10:42 AM

Thanks for the cool program Replacer :)

#5 Jatin

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Posted 20 February 2004 - 12:15 PM

Good job hush66 (Y)


Topic is pinned

#6 XaviarX

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Posted 21 February 2004 - 11:23 AM

Thanks for your hard work man (Y)

#7 jetlee

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Posted 14 June 2005 - 10:49 PM

Hello folks

Here is how i hack my desktop and what i need for it ?
yes a program so named Restorator
I use that shell hacker because it has some extra features
like you can make a patch to a file so when you dont have
the time to place file just run your patch and it would do the
job for you and the other is that you will have to restart your
pc but no need for safe mode

Here is the tutorial how to use this simple program
Run restorator
open up the file you need can be found under
%/windows/system32
Posted Image
Second Search you resource and place it with the one you
want to
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After when you done just press save and wait a second or
two to cancel windows protecting system (when the screen
popup dont insert your cd just push on cancel and press
yes) after that reboot your system and enjoy the fresh
easy shell hacked desktop
Posted Image
I hope this make things a little bit easy for you

#8 loosecannon

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Posted 13 May 2006 - 08:16 AM

how can i change the network connection icon thats in the systray using resource hacker? or using ANY possible way?
thnx
http://www.winmatrix...?showtopic=8320

#9 south_anger

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Posted 13 May 2006 - 05:04 PM

good job man

#10 coldemone

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Posted 16 August 2008 - 09:15 AM

isn't it easier to mod the shell32.dll and kill explorer process? most of what shell32.dll contains affect the explorer process.

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