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Boot Screen Background (Creating And Changing)

Guest DennyMK

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Guest DennyMK

I was looking for a tool for making bootscreen background, trying to add my background in bootscreen (NTOSKRNL.exe), and finally with a help of my friend @wolfcall (who is also a member here) we found how to make original background like in MS NTOSKRNL.exe file (BMP 1 and BMP 4 as most important for Windows XP Professional).

Unlike some people I know from forums, I want to share my effort with YOU.

I was trying to edit that background with 16 colours 4 bit palette in Photoshop, but everytime failed.

I tried with Windows "Paint" and I succeed but I needed to make painting (dot by dot) manually and at the end I had working background but visible in ResHack or PE Explorer or other editing tools unlike MS's non-visible with mentioned tools.

Last night I found that using TuneUp Utilities can make the original like MS's background without much effort ;)

In the folowing tutorial, I'll try to explain the step-by-step how to make the bootscreen like you desire.


01. Download and install "TuneUP Utilities 2009"

02. Start the program and select "Customize Windows"

03. From a "TuneUP Styler" menu, select "Change boot screen"


04. You can see now the Windows default boot screen (active) (ntoskrnl.exe). We are ready to make our own background

05. Click on "New Screen" and by clicking "Open image" select your favourite (background) BMP or JPG image



06. At "Customize progress bar" select the position of border (if you don't want to change the position leave it default) and the colour of the moving stripe





07. "Save boot screen" with the name you want



08. Select the boot screen you just made (selected by default) and click install


09. Now open the folder C:\WINDOWS\system32 and search for file named "TUKernel.exe" and copy it to the desktop

10. Return to folder C:\WINDOWS\system32 and search for file named "ntoskrnl.exe" and rename it to something else (Old.exe for example) and cut/paste it to desktop

11. Rename the TUKernel.exe file to ntoskrnl.exe and paste in into C:\WINDOWS\system32 folder

12. Return to TuneUP Utilities, set the Windows default boot screen as active and delete the new maden (by you) boot screen

13. Reboot and delete the "Old.exe" file from desktop after reboot

For those who want to use TuneUP Utilities and don't want to waste their time, consider step 9 to 13 unessential.

For those who want to "practice" go to the step 13 ;)

This method is tested on Windows XP Professional SP3 with ntoskrnl.exe 5657 version and will work for desktops and laptops. It will also work with 5512 version unless you update.

P.S.: TuneUP Utilities uses the original ntoskrnl.exe and modify the file with your background image and create it's own file named "TUKernel".

Here is a link of boot screen (step-by-step illustration jpg's included) I made it from my favourite Panther pic:

md5.png 081B4319936F03DCE9084CEA27D152DA

size.png 3.85 MB


Edited by DennyMK
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Guest DennyMK
Will the end-resulted exe file will be usable on a new installed live system? I mean will the image file be in 16bit color palette?

Sorry, I'm busy too much these days, so I haven't seen your question. The answer is: yes the final result is 16bit color palette and 4 bit depth, just like the original MS image

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Nice tutorial i have a script that does automatic the work (not created by me) it suppose to apply the boot screen automatically, it loads tuneup styler but it does not apply the screen, and i don`t know whats wrong,can i give you the file to check it out? if i try your tutorial and just replace the file with the modified one on a windows xp sp3 will it work? 

Edited by symbios24
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