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Custom skinnable Start Menu under Windows 9x

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M()zart    3

This patch allows you to install VistaStartMenu on

Windows 98 (and maybe on Me) with KernelEx.

However, VistaStartMenu is for XP and Vista only,

after all it will work on 9x not perfectly and will require

some manual tweaking. Read the Installaton part carefully.

Vista Start Menu is an application which replaces your Start

Menu with advanced Start Menu, which supports searching

application by first typed letters of its name (like in Vista)

and have some other features. You can get it from

http://www.vistastartmenu.com, there are free and Pro versions.

Note that I'm not a developer of this program, I'm just its user,

who wanted to use it under Windows 98 and found a way. So, I

doubt, you'll find support for VistaStartMenu under Windows 98.


- Windows 98 SE (Maybe will work on 98 FE and Me, but I have not

Windows Me, so I have not tested it)

- KernelEx 3.6 or higher

- Windows Scripting Host 5.6 (recommended)


- Should work with any version of VistaStartMenu up to current 3.1

and may be with future versions, but only with freeware versions.


1. Install Vista Start Menu. You may get an error mesage after

installation, just click OK.

2. Unpack all the contents of patch.zip to the folder, where

you have installed VistaStartMenu, i.e.

"c:\Program Files\Vista Start Menu"

3. Run patch.exe

4. Now VistaStartMenu should work. Run it. But because it was not

designed to work under Windows 9x, it cannot find the start menu

folder and most of its standard commands like Run, Help and

Support and other does not work. And after the first run it adds to

menu the whole contents of the drive C, so it is filled with garbage.

Read next steps to know how to configure it correctly.

5. Open the Start Menu with CTRL+ESC keys on keyboard, not with

clicking the Start Button. Then click the button with the "folder and

minus sign" icon (near the top left corner), and after thet click the

item in the appeared menu.

You should click the left side of the button, because the right side

is overlapped with "<>" button, which hides the left menu. If you

missed and the left menu is hidden, click the "<>" button once

more to reveal it.

These actions remove an item from the garbaged menu on the left.

Repeat this to remove all the items except for "My Computer" and

"My Documents" which are working properly.

6. Then we should add items to the menu, to have most of the

functionality of usual system menu. At first lets add your start menu

folder, that provides access to all your start menu items.

To do it, click the button with the "folder and plus sign" icon (near

the top left corner), then select "Choose your item", and browse

to the Start Menu folder. It should be something like

"C:\Windows\Start Menu\Programs" or "C:\Windows\Main Menu\Programs"

for english Windows 98 (I'm not sure because I have russian version),

and something like that translated to your language for localized


Then drag it to the bottom of the menu, so that it will be opened by

default after opening the menu. Items cannot be dargged to be in

the lowest position, so after you dragged it to the second position,

just drag the lowest item over it to swap them.

You may add the "My Documents" folder in the same way.

7. Then lets add Control Panel and Help items to the Start Menu.

At first we should create the shortcuts. To create the shortcut to the

Control Panel, open My Computer and drag the Control Panel from

the My Computer to the desktop.

Then create the shortcut to the Windows.chm file in the Help

subfolder of your Windows folder, usually


and rename this shortcut to "Help" or "Help and Support".

After this move the shortcuts o the folder, where you have

installed VistaStartMenu, i.e. "c:\Program Files\Vista Start Menu".

Open this folder in the explorer, press CTRL+ESC, and drag these

shortcuts to the left menu of the Vista Start Menu window.

8. Patch.zip archieve contains Run, Search, SearchComuters,

and Shutdown scripts to add the corresponding functionality to

the menu, because corresponding default Vista Start Menu

commands do not work. However these scripts require Windows

Scripting Host to work. Alternatively ypu may use TurnOff and

Reboot shortcuts from the Patch.zip archieve. To add them to

the menu open Vista Start Menu folder in the explorer, press

CTRL+ESC, and drag these files to the left menu of the Vista

Start Menu window.


Vista Start Menu have a number of issues under Windows 98.

Do not use Vista Start Menu power buttons, they can only log

you off, but they cannot turn off or reboot the computer. Use my

Shutdown.vbs script or shortcuts.

Foders sometimes are displayed with two squares and the DOS

name at the end. However it is almost not annoying.

Some keyboard shortcuts do not work.


This patch just replaces references to the ntdll.dll in

VistaStartMenu.exe to my library ntdll.tll which is inside the

Patch.zip. VistaStartMenu calls NtQuerySystemInformation

function from ntdll.dll, which is not present in Windows 98,

so I made a stub for this function which does nothing.


Why to use Vista Start Menu if it is so buggy and hard to set up

under Windows 98? Well, I use it because of Vista-like

application search and because it is skinnable. Though its skin

format is hard to understand to create your own skin, its default

skin is good enough to use. And after I skinned Windows with

Tihiy's Revolutions Pack, the Start menu only was left unskinned,

so I want to have custom start menu. I think it is stable and useful

enough to stand with its issues.


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Tihiy    226

30% of GDI leaked

I don't think so.

And honestly, i think that VSM is abomination.

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M()zart    3
30% of GDI leaked

Well, as I tried it with your RP Vista Start Menu eats 11 - 15 % of GDI resources and releases them after closing. And it never ate 30 %.

and I hate its search box with a passion.


This is the thing I like most. The second is custom appearance.

Edited by M()zart

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M()zart    3

Yes, I tried it, and it is really better. But unfortunately my programmers skills are not high enough to find the reason why it crashes and make patch. I don't know basic nor assembler. If I had its sources, may be I could make a try. But now we have no other choice - either standard 98 start menu which is less convenient and futctional, or Vista Start Menu, which is buggy and resource-eating but have more functionality and better look.

May be this project will have future http://www.msfn.org/board/index.php?showtopic=133121.

If anybody creates a working version of ViStart I will be very happy.

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