Jump to content

Welcome to MSFN Forum
Register now to gain access to all of our features. Once registered and logged in, you will be able to create topics, post replies to existing threads, give reputation to your fellow members, get your own private messenger, post status updates, manage your profile and so much more. This message will be removed once you have signed in.
Login to Account Create an Account


Custom skinnable Start Menu under Windows 9x

- - - - -

  • Please log in to reply
7 replies to this topic




  • Member
  • PipPip
  • 285 posts
  • Joined 17-June 08
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.

Attached Files

How to remove advertisement from MSFN




  • Member
  • PipPip
  • 285 posts
  • Joined 17-June 08



    the creator

  • Developer
  • 1,530 posts
  • Joined 19-November 04
  • OS:Windows 7 x64
  • Country: Country Flag


30% of GDI leaked
I don't think so.
And honestly, i think that VSM is abomination.



    MSFN Expert

  • Member
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 1,244 posts
  • Joined 10-February 05
  • OS:98SE
  • Country: Country Flag
Me too and I hate its search box with a passion.
But everybody is free to use what they like. ;)

Deos anybody has a patch to install UAC on w98? :D


Still Using W98SE+++ ...Daily.



    Advanced Member

  • Member
  • PipPipPip
  • 393 posts
  • Joined 11-September 08
havent tried it but sounds good
good job :thumbup
battlecruiser operational




  • Member
  • PipPip
  • 285 posts
  • Joined 17-June 08

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, 02 May 2009 - 11:49 AM.




  • Member
  • PipPip
  • 102 posts
  • Joined 23-April 08
it woud be nice to have a patch for ViStart for it to work on win9x, it is a better vista startmenu.




  • Member
  • PipPip
  • 285 posts
  • Joined 17-June 08
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/...howtopic=133121.

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

0 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users