• Home
  • Posts RSS
  • Comments RSS
  • Edit
  • Basic Hacking Part V - Evil Genius Tip # 1

    Evil Genius tip: One of the rewarding things about hacking is to find hidden files that try to keep you from modifying them -- and then to mess with them anyhow. That's what we're doing today.

    The Win95 bootup graphics is hidden in either a file named c:\logo.sys and/or ip.sys. To see this file, open File Manager, click "view", then click "by file type," then check the box for "show hidden/system files." Then, back on "view," click "all file details." To the right of the file logo.sys you will see the letters "rhs." These mean this file is "read-only, hidden, system."

    The reason this innocuous graphics file is labeled as a system file -- when it really is just a graphics file with some animation added -- is because Microsoft is afraid you'll change it to read something like "Welcome to Windoze 95 -- Breakfast of Lusers!" So by making it a read-only file, and hiding it, and calling it a system file as if it were something so darn important it would destroy your computer if you were to mess with it, Microsoft is trying to trick you into leaving it alone.

    The easiest way to thwart these Windoze 95 startup and shut down screens is to go to http://www.windows95.com/apps/ and check out their programs. But we're hackers, so we like to do things ourselves. So here's how to do this without using a canned program.

    We start by finding the MSPaint program. It's probably under the accessories folder. But just in case you're like me and keep on moving things around, here's the fail-safe program finding routine:

    1) Click "Start" on the lower left corner of your screen.
    2) Click "Windows Explorer"
    3) Click "Tools"
    4) Click "Find"
    5) Click "files or folders"
    6) After "named" type in "MSPaint"
    7) After "Look in" type in 'C:"
    8) Check the box that says "include subfolders"
    9) Click "find now"
    10) Double click on the icon of a paint bucket that turns up in a window. This loads the paint program.
    11) Within the paint program, click "file"
    12) Click "open"

    OK, now you have MSPaint. Now you have a super easy way to create your new bootup screen:

    13) After "file name" type in c:\windows\logos.sys. This brings up the graphic you get when your computer is ready to shut down saying "It's now safe to turn off your computer." This graphic has exactly the right format to be used for your startup graphic. So you can play with it any way you want (so long as you don't do anything on the Attributes screen under the Images menu) and use it for your startup graphic.

    14) Now we play with this picture. Just experiment with the controls of MSPaint and try out fun stuff.

    15) When you decide you really like your picture (fill it with frightening hacker stuph, right?), save it as c:\logo.sys. This will overwrite the Windows startup logo file. From now on, any time you want to change your startup logo, you will be able to both read and write the file logo.sys.

    16. If you want to change the shut down screens, they are easy to find and modify using MSPaint. The beginning shutdown screen is named c:\windows\logow.sys. As we saw above, the final  "It's now safe to turn off your computer" screen graphic is named c:\windows\logos.sys.

    17. To make graphics that will be available for your wallpaper, name them something like c:\windows\evilhaxor.bmp (substituting your filename for "exilhaxor" -- unless you like to name your wallpaper "evilhaxor.")