Contents of the STARTUP.TXT file
Utility of the Month: STARTUP.BAT
Have you ever wanted to change the screen Microsoft Windows 3.0 displays when
you start it? With STARTUP, you can create your own Windows start-up screen.
After you create your screen and save it in 4-bit RLE format (more about that
later) simply type:
STARTUP rleimage[.rle] [/e] [d:\winpath\]
from the DOS prompt. Replace the above "rleimage[.rle]" with the name of your
RLE-4 format graphics screen. The .RLE extension is not necessary.
If you are using an EGA monitor, follow the RLE file with a "/e" switch. If
Windows is installed on a drive or directory other than the current one, enter
the name of the path after the RLE file name for VGA systems or after the "/e"
switch for EGA systems.
Be sure to end the directory name with a \ character if other than the default
directory of the Windows drive!
STARTUP mystart /e c:\windows\
STARTUP mystart.rle d:
How it Works:
Each time you install Windows, STARTUP creates a file called WIN.COM. This
is the program that runs when you type "WIN" to load Windows. WIN.COM is an
essential housekeeping program that does several important tasks such as
finding the path where Windows is located, checking for the existance of
HIMEM.SYS and any Extended Memory Managers, loading PROGMAN.EXE, and -- of
course -- displaying Microsoft's logo screen.
All the STARTUP does to create this file is to combine three files: a program
loader called WIN.CNF, a logo display routine (called variously VGALOGO.LGO,
EGALOGO.LGO, CGALOGO.LGO, EGAMONO.LGO or HERCLOGO.LGO depending on your
system configuration) and the start-up screen's graphics file, named as the
display routine, but ending with the extension .RLE (Run-Length Encoded 4-bit
-- a graphics file format). These files are saved in the SYSTEM subdirectory
of your Windows directory. SETUP just copies these files, one after the
other, into one single file called WIN.COM.
STARTUP creates a NEW WIN.COM for you. If you ever want to switch BACK to
the old WIN.COM, just run STARTUP and tell it to use VGALOGO.RLE, located in
the SYSTEM subdirectory of your Windows directory. Example:
It's that simple!
NOTE: If you are running Windows on a system with a graphics adapter other
than EGA (Color) or VGA, you may add your own support by loading STARTUP.BAT
into a text editor and changing all occurrences of "VGALOGO.LGO" to the name
of the graphics loader file mentioned above that corresponds to your setup.
Creating RLE Files:
If you want to make your OWN RLE file, just create a graphics file no larger
than 640 x 480 (640 x 250 for EGA systems) in Windows Paint or other suitable
paint program. The image may have no more than 16 colors. Save it as a BMP
or GIF file (if your paint program allows GIF format).
Next, you must get a graphics conversion program such as the excellent WinGIF
or Paint Shop utilities (found on most bulletin-board systems or available
from many Shareware vendors). Load the BMP or GIF file and immediately save
it again, selecting the "Format RLE" or "Format RLE 4" option. That's it!
You now have a suitable RLE file for use as a start-up screen. You can also
use this procedure to convert existing graphics files you may have downloaded
or received on disk.
IMPORTANT NOTE: If the image is too complex and the file is too large (over
about 55k), it will not display properly or you will receive a "Program too
large to fit in memory" error when you try to run Windows. If this happens,
load the file back into your paint program or conversion utility and try to
"dither" it to a smaller palette size or resize it to fit into a smaller area
and then center it in a solid background. Read the documentation for your
conversion utility or paint program for more information on how to do this.
Some files may not be useable as start-up screens for this reason.
Once you've created your own start-up screens, you'll never want to go back
to Microsoft's plain vanilla start-up again!
-- Kevin Bachus
# # #
This file and the associated STARTUP.BAT file appeared in the February, 1991,
issue of InfoNet Monthly (Electronic Edition). Both are Copyright 1990 by
December Rose Publications. All Rights Reserved. Permission is hereby
granted to distribute the program freely so long as both files remain intact
and together. You may NOT charge more than a nominal distribution fee for
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