Use resource hacker to customize your computer, specifically the run dialog box. Make your computer as cool as you, and learn something in the process. :]

Note: I can only validate these directions for Windows XP... but you can try others.

Step 1: Download/Open Resource Hacker

Here's a link to download Resource Hacker. Its freware, and very useful.


Extract all files to a folder of your choice.
Double click the ResHacker application. No installation required.

Step 2: Locate/Copy Shell32.dll

Locate file in XP... C:\WINDOWS\SYSTEM32\shell32.dll

WARNING: These are essential OS files. Please be cautious to spare yourself any trouble. I am not responsible for any damage done to your computer, and cannot (and will not) be held accountable. Simply put, be careful.

First: Make two copies of shell32.dllI agree, its overkill. But you know..
Paste one for BACKUP purposes (somewhere safe).
Paste another for editing (somewhere accessible)

Second: Use Res Hacker to open shell32.dll(the accesible one)
It should resemble the picture below...

Step 3: Simple Alterations

Okay! First we need to find the code that is responsible for the RUN dialog box. Easy.
Its found under:


This is what we'll be interested in changing.

ResHacker shows you the dialog box in an editable preview. very handy

Everything you can see in the dialog box is called a "control."
(the text, the icons, the dropboxes, the bitmaps, the buttons... *everything)

Some simple alterations:

1. Change the position of a control by clicking and dragging it in the display. Try =D.

2. Change the dialog box title "Run" by changing line 3 of the code. replace run with whatever!.
*Note: don't delete the qoutes!

3. Edit text by right clicking the control, select "Edit Control." Simply edit the caption.

4. Delete a control by right clicking it, select "Delete Control"
(I would only do this for controls that serve little to no purpose)

Its all quite self explanatory... just try some stuff. Its the best way to learn.

Note: If you see no dialog box preview, try clicking the Show Dialog button (not rocket science)

Step 4: More Advanced Alterations

Add an icon:

1. Right click wherever you want the icon.
2. Click "Insert Control"
3. Find the Pre-Defined Control, ICON, in the drop down menu
4. Click Ok, compile your script!

A default icon will appear until you specify an icon...

Now, icons are saved under another directory in the same file. ICON GROUP
I assume you want to add your own icon, one you've downloaded and/or made... (an .ico file)


5. In RESHacker, on the top menu click, ACTION, and then ADD NEW RESOURCE
6. Open the .ico file you want and name it (use a name with letters) Leave LANGUAGE blank...
7. Click Ok.... Your icon will now be in the ICON GROUP directory
8. Go back to DIALOG>1003>1033 (your RUN dialog)
9. Right click the icon you placed, click EDIT CONTROL
10. Change the caption to whatever you named your icon in step 6
11. Click Ok =) compile your script!

Add a Picture (.bmp)

You'll follow the same steps, except you'll add a .bmp file instead of a .ico

3. Find the Pre-Defined Control, BITMAP, in the drop down menu
6. Open the .bmp file you want and name it
7. Click Ok.... Your bitmap will now be in the BITMAP directory
10. SAME
11. SAME

Note: the size of the bitmap is important, so keep this in mind...

Add Buttons

Possible, but... i don't want to get into it... lol

Step 5: My Examples

First, I just altered some text, added some simpsons icons and left it at that.

Then, I decided to create my very own image. I used this guys layout too. pwetty cool.


Step 6: Saving Your Work

So now you have your modifications made, i hope...

SAVE your modified file as "shell32hack.dll"

Place it into the C:\WINDOWS\SYSTEM32\ directory (will make this easier)

Step 7: Safe Mode!

Now, I hope you have some experience with DOS..
We've got to enter SAFE MODE with COMMAND PROMPT to make the swap.
Basically, we have to bypass the Windows GUI in order to change it.. No big deal.

So, right now, you should have everything closed, with "shell32hack.dll" in C:\WINDOWS\SYSTEM32\

Restart the computer, and while its booting, start pressing F8 repeatedly. The Windows Advanced Options Menu will boot.

Use your arrows to select Safe Mode With Command Prompt Press Enter

Eventually a DOS prompt will come up...
Here's a guide if you need it:

Do this:

type "cd.." press enter.

continue until you get to C:\

type "cd windows\system32" press enter

type "rename shell32.dll shell32.bak" press enter

type "rename shell32hack.dll shell32.dll" press enter

type "shutdown -r" press enter

Step 8: Take a Looksies

Open the Run Dialog Box. the moment of truth..

And maybe you have a new understanding of the Windows GUI... =]

If something goes wrong, you can always go back into Safe Mode and change the unaltered file back.
No prob bob.
my god very good thank you
this is very nice tutorial, <br /> tell me more tutorial about resource hacker<br /> regotishrirang146914@rediffmail.com or regoti.shrirang@gmail.com&nbsp;
lol im usually not dis slow but i dont get da joke????
What other things can this program be used for?
What else?? lol You can basically modify the entire look of the Windows OS (efficiently). I say thats quite enough.. :)
Haha yeah i got it-RUN-its a guy running. Aaha :)
Cool, I did this a while ago with <a rel="nofollow" href="http://weblogs.asp.net/cumpsd/articles/194736.aspx">this</a>[] tutorial, however, I used <a rel="nofollow" href="http://www3.telus.net/_/replacer/">Replacer</a> to replace shell32.dll. I just find it easier, because all it requires is a reboot.<br/>
yeah, that is much quicker and less complicated. <br/>thanx =D<br/>

About This Instructable




Bio: Hey. Im just here to have fun. lol
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