Startup Orb - Change

How To Change the Vista Startup Orb
This will show you how to change the Windows orb seen at the conclusion of the Vista boot sequence.
How To Change the Vista Startup Orb

information   Information
This tutorial shows you how to change the Windows orb seen at the conclusion of the Vista boot sequence. The method for doing so is quite straightforward. The orb is composed of four images in a DLL within System32. By altering these images it can be replaced with Tux for example.
warning   Warning
Altering a system file is never completely safe. Please see the section of this tutorial entitled Protection Measures before restarting.
Note   Note
This method has only been done on Windows Vista Home Premium 32bit, please post your results.

1. Download Resource Tuner(the trial is sufficient), or an equivalent DLL editor.
Note: Resource Tuner's uninstall seems clean. Nevertheless, use Revo Uninstallerto ensure complete removal.
2. Install and start Resource Tuner.
3. Open C:\Windows\System32\authui.dll with all file types visible.

4. Navigate to the Image menu in the Resource Browser pane.
5. Right click image files 17000 through 17003 and click Save Resource As. I suggest a temporary directory.

6. Edit them using anything from Photoshop to Microsoft Paint. Make sure to center the replacement. The images will appear in numerical order and finish with 17003 fading.
Warning: Retain the original image dimensions, file type, and file name.
7. In Resource Tuner, right click the original images and select Edit Resource.

8. Replace each image with the corresponding altered one.

9. Save the library, check that everything is in place, then restart.
Note: Expect a delay during the initial restart. Please see Protection Measures before restarting.
Disable Startup Sound
1. Navigate to Control Panel > Hardware and Sound > Sound.

2. Click the Sounds tab and uncheck Play Windows Startup ound.
Protection Measures
1. Backup the original authui.dll to root directory (C:\.)

2. Note down the following command: copy /y C:\authui.dll C:\Windows\System32.

3. If the computer will not boot after the restart, run a command prompt from the Windows System Recovery Options Menu accessed from the Windows Vista Installation CD and key in that command.

Note: If you are using a computer from a manufacturer (such as Dell) the menu may be on your hard disk.

information   Information
If you did not backup the library use the sfc /fixnow command to restore its original state. For more information please see Brink's tutorial.

This is my first tutorial, please tell me how I can improve.

Related Tutorials

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I tried replacing authuii following your tutorial, but when saving the edited file there is an overwriting error. It is the type of message given when there is a permission issue(file in use) Ive tried with resource tuner and restorator 2007. I'm on Vistuh home premium 64 and I've taken ownership with full permit. I just finished replacing the start taskbar orb and I would like to try this one also.

Thank You,

Try these solutions:

1 Start Resource Tuner with administrative privileges by right clicking it and selecting Run as administrator.

2 Try copying authui.dll to another location and editing it there. Then copy it back.

To force copy, open a command prompt and type
set copycmd=/y and hit enter. Then key in xcopy /h /r location of edited authui.dll c:\windows\system32 and press enter.

3 The third option is to try TuneUp which I found provides an option to automate the process.

Relocating the file worked, thanks for your time.
I also added a different wav to go with it; oddly enough, when I play the wav from imageres.dll in restorator it plays the windows sound, but when I restart I hear my sound effect. Works for me, thanks again.

Hello, I'm still having problems with copying the file in the system32 folder. First it was saying sharing violation, now it says access denied.
This is another approach:

1 Open a command prompt window (as an administrator).

2 Type takeown
/f c:\windows\system32\authui.dll and then enter cacls c:\windows\system32\authui.dll /g username:f to assume full control.
Error trying to save the library! (the last step)

Hey, all untill the last step has worked and I'm not quite sure what to do.

"9. Save the library, check that everything is in place, then restart."

So I tried to save the library but a message comes up saying:

"Error: Can't create New Image File. The original file has been probably packed."

Note: The folder I am saving the library into is C:\Windows\System32
I am overwriting the file: authui.dll

Thanks (:

P.S Nice guide! :D


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This means that the library has been compressed by a utility for security reasons. There are ways to unpack but I have never tried. You could first use sfc /scannow in a command prompt to possibly fix this.

The best approach would be to find out which utility (maybe an AV) did the packing and go from there.

Also I have attached mine which you could try. Type regsvr32 c:\windows\system32\authui.dll in a prompt after replacing if the system will not acknowledge it. See above if you need permissions when replacing or editing.

View attachment

As a side note
Resource Hacker could work better for you. The images are in hex format though so use Resource Tuner for guidance.

using vista home premium x64 with SP2 i did this exactly and it resulted in black screen before login (in fact at the moment of glowing orb, there was just a mouse cursor and black screen) and nothing happens (no HD work etc.). After some struggle with repair dvd and it's cmd (there were problems about admin rights, so i was unable to replace authui.dll) and sfc /fixnow nor chdsk worked, i had to reinstall vista...

now i am about to do this again, but with just one adjustment "restoration point".

I was just wondering, there are two authui.dll files in x64 systems, one in system32 and another in sysWOW64 folder. Will it work correctly if i change both according to the directions?
thanks Ian.