Exploding C:\

This  is what the start button SHOULD look like.

(Courtesy of emacs.)
Since so many people have asked, here's how it's done: 

  1. Locate explorer.exe. Chances are it's in c:\windows but I don't know about your machine, okay?
  2. Make a copy. I called my copy origexplorer.exe. This is your backup copy. Don't touch this. In fact, it might not be a bad idea to make it read-only.
  3. Make a second copy. I called this one exploder.exe. This is your play copy which you are about to do evil to.
  4. Load the play copy into your favourite binary editor. I used emacs, since the next step makes use of its regexp searching capabilities.
  5. Search for the string "S\000t\000a\000r\000t". In emacs you can get away with a regexp search for "S.t.a.r.t". Yes, those \000s are single character NULLs, not 4 character strings. Yes, I'm a C programmer.
  6. Replace the readable letters with whatever you like. If you speak Unicode, you can replace the whole 10-char string that represents the Start text.
  7. For completeness, go search for and replace any other occurrences of Unicode "Start". I also replaced "Exploring" with "Exploding".
  8. Write out the modified binary.
  9. Shut down to a DOS prompt. How you do this is up to you; personally I like shouting "DIE MUTANT HELL SPAWN PSEUDO-OS" as I yank the power cord from the machine, but I don't recommend this.
  10. At the DOS prompt, copy the play copy over the explorer.exe you located at the start of this mess.
  11. Restart Windows.
  12. If it doesn't work, go fetch your backup copy. You messed up. I have no idea how.


no, I shouldn't need one. but hey.

I am NOT responsible if you lose last month's project, the goldfish die and your SO's dog bites you. I did this because I have no fear of killing my machine by accident, and I'm pretty sure I know how to avoid doing so. If you don't feel happy playing around with the executables given unto us by our Glorious leader Bill, then JUST DON'T DO IT.