Change Windows Vista Boot Screen

Some of you remember how it was possible to change the boot logo screen of Windows 95/98. I’m not sure why anyone would go into the trouble of actually doing it, but it seems that it is possible to do the same for Windows Vista. By using a freeware 3rd-party tool called Vista Boot Logo Generator (written by Dan Smith), you can easily change the Windows Vista boot screen and use any high resolution image or photo as your boot screen.

This is the regular Windows Vista boot screen:

vista boot screen 1 small

All you need is two images at 800×600 and 1024×768 saved as 24-bit Windows bitmaps:


Next, follow these steps:

  1. Download Dan Smith’s Vista Boot Logo Generator (see link below).  
  2. Install and run from the link in the Start Menu.  
  3. Hit Browse for image and select both the 800×600 and 1024×768 resolution bitmap files for your boot screen.  
  4. Click on File and select Save Boot Screen File As to save your file. vista boot screen 7 small  
  5. 5. Next, you will need to replace the winload.exe.mui file in c:’Windows’System32’en-us with the one you just created. Before you copy in your new file, make a backup of the original. You will need to take ownership of all files in the en-us directory, and also give your account file permissions to replace the files in order to overwrite the original file with the new winload.exe.mui file. If you don’t, you’ll be prompted with this error: vista boot screen 9 small To do so, log on as an administrator (if you have not done it by now). Open Windows Explorer and go to the c:’Windows’System32′ folder. Right click on the winload.exe.mui file and select Properties. vista boot screen 2 small Next, click on Advanced. vista boot screen 3 small Click on the Ownership tab, and click Edit. vista boot screen 4 small If you are prompted with the User Account Control box, click Continue. vista boot screen 5 small Click to select the Administrator account, or better, the user that you’re currently using and which has Administrative capabilities, in my case, Daniel. Click Ok. vista boot screen 6 small Back in the Security tab, click Edit to add your user account. vista boot screen 61 small If you are prompted with the User Account Control box, click Continue. vista boot screen 62 small Click Add, select the desired user account (in my case – Daniel), and click Ok. vista boot screen 63 small After it is shown in the list, select it and click the Full Control checkbox. Click Ok all the way out. vista boot screen 64 small     vista boot screen 65 small  
  6. Now you can save the modified logon file in the c:’Windows’System32’en-us directory. You will be prompted to overwrite the existing file, click Ok. vista boot screen 8 small  
  7. Next, you’ll be prompted to change the boot setting in the MSCONFIG tool. Click Ok. vista boot screen 10 small  
  8. Now, click on the Start button and type in “MSCONFIG” in the textbox.  
  9. If you are prompted with the User Account Control box, click Continue. vista boot screen 12 small  
  10. Once the System Configuration tool loads, click on the Boot tab.  
  11. Under Boot Options check “No GUI Boot”. vista boot screen 13 small  
  12. You will be prompted to reboot. If you want to, press Restart to see the new screen. vista boot screen 14 small  
  13. This is your new boot screen. Lame, huh? vista boot screen 11 small  

After go through the step, You can view your new Windows Vista boot screen. In case you messed up your files and would like to get the original files back, you can use the Windows Vista installation DVD to boot up and replace the winload.exe.mui file with your backup.

Download Vista Boot Logo Generator v1.2 (BETA)

Got a question? Post it on our Windows Vista Forums!