Make Your Own Startup Logo


The pompous Microsoft Windows Vista logo that appears for the 30 seconds or so it takes to boot your computer can be replaced with any image you choose; it just takes a little hacking. First, find an image you’d like to use. It can be a photo you took with a digital camera or a picture you got off the Web. When you’ve got one, use your favorite image-editing application—or, barring that, Vista’s Paint program (mspaint.exe)—to convert the file to the .bmp format. You’ll actually need two .bmp files, one resized to 800 × 600 and the other resized to 1024 × 768, but both must have a 24-bit color depth. (If your photo doesn’t conform to the 4:3 aspect ratio, you’ll need to crop it or add padding so that it does.) Next, download and install the free Vista Boot Logo Generator from (Note that at the time of this writing, this program only works with the 32-bit edition of Vista.) Start the program, click Browse for image on the left side, and locate the 800 × 600 .bmp file you just made. Then, click Browse for image on the right side, and locate the 1024 × 768 version. When that’s done, select File ➝ Save Boot Screen File As, name the file winload.exe.mui (the default) and save it to your desktop, and then close the Vista Boot Logo Generator.
Open Windows Explorer and navigate to the C:\Windows\System32\en-US\ folder (if you’re not using the United States–English edition of Windows Vista, choose the appropriate folder in place of en-US). Take ownership of the winload.exe.mui file in this folder, as described in “Set Permissions for a File or Folder” in Chapter 8, and then rename it to winload.exe.mui.backup. Now that the original file is out of the way, drag your custom winload.exe.mui file into the C:\Windows\System32\en-US\ folder.
There’s one more step: open the Start menu, type msconfig in the Search box, and press Enter to open the System Configuration window. Choose the Boot tab, and from the Boot options section, turn on the No GUI boot option. Click OK and then close the System Configuration window when you’re done.


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