How to Change the Color of the Windows XP Start Button - Part I
1. Open the Start Menu, click Run
2. Type %systemroot%, click OK
3. Navigate to the file-objects called explorer. If you see explorer.exe with the exe-extension go to the next step; else open Tools in the Menu bar and select Folder Options. Change to the View tab and un-tick Hide extensions for known file types; click OK.
4. Copy explorer.exe into the current folder and rename ‘Copy of explorer ‘ to newexplorer.exe
5. To change the color of the Windows XP start button you need a small helper tool called Resource Hacker. In Resource Hacker click File, Open. Navigate to your system root folder (e.g. C:\Windows), select newexplorer.exe and click Open.
6. Expand the Bitmap folder, expand the folder number 143 and select 1033. In the Action menu select [Save Bitmap : 143 : 1033]. Save the icon to a location convenient to you.
7. Open the icon you have just saved with the Paint tool, for instance by right-clicking the bitmap and selecting Edit. In the View menu select Zoom, then Custom. Zoom to 800%, click OK. Change the colors of the Windows XP start button as you feel like and save the new icon under a different name.
8. Open newexplorer.exe with Resource Hacker. Go to Bitmap folder, open folder number 143, and select entry 1033. In the Action menu select Replace Bitmap. Click Open file with new bitmap and navigate to your new icon; click Open; click Replace.
Please find an example of a Windows XP start button with changed colors at the end of this article in this images section.
Read on below to change the start text and the hover text of the Windows XP start button, too. Else jump to the second part of How to Change the Color of the Windows XP Start Button.