Wednesday, June 3, 2009

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Customize Drive and Folder Icons

There may come a time when you get a little sick of the generic icons used for drives and folders in Windows Explorer. You’ve probably figured out how to create a shortcut to any drive or folder. Now, choose a pretty icon, and place it on the desktop or in another convenient location. Unfortunately, the icon you choose is just for the shortcut; the target object always looks the same. 
Here are some ways to give your folders and drives a more custom look.
  1. Choosing an icon for a drive
  2. Choosing an icon for a folder
  3. Choosing the default icon for all folders [For Advanced Users]
Method 1: Choose an icon for a drive
Using the functionality built in to Windows’ CD auto-insert notification feature functionality that allows Windows to determine the name and icon of a CD as soon as it’s inserted in the reader. There’s a simple way to customize the icons of all your drives, including flash drives and USB hard disks:
1. Open a plain-text editor, such as Notepad.
2. Type the following:
[autorun]
icon=filename, number 
where filename is the name of the file containing the icon, and number is the index of the icon to use (leave number blank or specify 0 [zero] to use the first icon in the file, 1 for the second, and so on).
3. Save the file as Autorun.inf and place it in the root directory of the hard disk, flash drive, or CD/DVD you wish to customize. 
4. This change will take effect the next time you view it in Windows Explorer; press the F5 key to refresh the display and read the new icons.

Method 2: Chose an icon for a folder
You can customize the icon for an individual folder with this procedure:
1. Open a plain-text editor, such as Notepad.
2. Type the following:
[.ShellClassInfo]
IconFile=filename
IconIndex=number 
where filename is the name of the file containing the icon, and number is the index of the icon to use; leave the IconIndex line out or specify 0(zero) to use the first icon in the file, 1 for the second, and so on. Notethe dot (.) in [.ShellClassInfo]
3. Save the file as desktop.ini and place it directly in the folder you wish to customize. If there’s already a file by that name, you can replace it with your version, but it’s better to open the existing file and add the [.ShellClassInfo] text to it.
4. Next, open a Command Prompt window (cmd.exe), and type the following at the prompt: attrib +s foldername 
where foldername is the full path of the folder containing the desktop.ini file (i.e., C:\docs). This command turns on the System attribute for the folder (not the desktop.ini file), something you can’t do in Explorer.
5. Close the Command Prompt window when you’re done. You’ll have to close and reopen the Explorer or single-folder window to see the change (pressing F5 usually won’t do it). 

Method 3: Choose the default icon for all folders [For Advanced Users]
The more global and far-reaching a change is, the more likely it is to be difficult or impossible to accomplish without some serious tinkering in the Registry. 

An example are the icons used by some of the seemingly hardcoded objects in Windows, such as the icons used for ordinary, generic folders.
1. Open the Registry Editor(regedit)
2. Expand the branches to HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\Folder\DefaultIcon (you can also choose a generic drive icon by going to HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\Drive\DefaultIcon).
3. Double-click the (Default) value in the right pane. This value contains the full path and filename of the file containing the icon, followed by acomma, and then a number specifying the index of the icon to use (0 being the first icon, 1 being the second, and so on). The file you use can be an icon file (.ico), a bitmap (.bmp), a .dll file, an application executable (.exe), or any other file containing a valid icon.
The default icon for folders is %SystemRoot%\System32\shell32.dll,3, and the default for drives is %SystemRoot%\System32\shell32.dll,8.
4. When you’re done, close the Registry Editor. You may have to log out and then log back in for this change to take effect.

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Haja Peer Mohamed H, Software Engineer by profession, Author, Founder and CEO of "bench3" you can connect with me on Twitter , Facebook and also onGoogle+

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