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  • Basic Hacking Part V - Evil Genius Tip # 2

    Evil Genius tip: The Microsoft Windows 95 startup screen has an animated bar at the bottom. But once you replace it with your own graphic, that animation is gone. However, you can make your own animated startup screen using the shareware program BMP Wizard. Some download sites for this goodie include:
    Or you can download the program LogoMania, which automatically resizes any bitmap to the correct size for your logon and logoff screens and adds several types of animation as well. You can find it at

    Now the trouble with using one of the existing Win95 logo files is that they only allow you to use their original colors. If you really want to go wild, open MSPaint again. First click "Image," then click "attributes." Set width 320 and height to 400. Make sure under Units that Pels is selected. Now you are free to use any color combination available in this program. Remember to save the file as c:\logo.sys for your startup logo, or  c:\windows\logow.sys and or c:\windows\logos.sys for your shutdown screens.

    But if you want some really fabulous stuff for your starting screen, you can steal graphics from your favorite hacker page on the Web and import them into Win95's startup and shutdown screens. Here's how you do it.

    1) Wow, kewl graphics! Stop your browsing on that Web page and hit the "print screen" button.

    2) Open MSPaint and set width to 320 and height to 400 with units Pels.

    3) Click edit, then click paste. Bam, that image is now in your MSPaint program.

    4) When you save it, make sure attributes are still 320X400 Pels. Name it c:\logo.sys, c:\windows\logow.sys, c:\windows\logos.sys, or c:\winodws\evilhaxor.bmp depending on which screen or wallpaper you want to display it on.

    Of course you can do the same thing by opening any graphics file you choose in MSPaint or any other graphics program, so long as you save it with the right file name in the right directory and size it 320X400 Pels.

    Oh, no, stuffy Auntie Suzie is coming to visit and she wants to use my computer to read her email!  I'll never hear the end of it if she sees my K-Rad Doomsters of the Apocalypse startup screen!!!

    Here's what you can do to get your boring Micro$oft startup logo back. Just change the name of c:logo.sys to something innocuous that Aunt Suzie won't see while snooping with file manager. Something like logo.bak. Guess what happens? Those Microsoft guys figured we'd be doing things like this and hid a copy of their boring bootup screen in a file named "io.sys." So if you rename or delete their original logo.sys, and there is no file by that name left, on bootup your computer displays their same old Windows 95 bootup screen.

    Now suppose your Win95 box is attached to a local area network (LAN)? It isn't as easy to change your bootup logo, as the network may override your changes. But there is a way to thwart the network. If you aren't afraid of your boss seeing your "K-Rad Dommsters of the Apocalypse" spashed over an x-rated backdrop, here's how to customize your bootup graphics.

    0.95 policy editor
    (comes on the 95 cd) with the default admin.adm will let you change
    this. Use the policy editor to open the registry, select 'local
    computer' select network, select 'logon' and then selet 'logon banner'.
    It'll then show you the current banner and let you change it and save it
    back to the registry.