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Monday, January 29, 2007

How to customize your drive icons

This short article will help you customize your drive icons and labels by adding some registry entries in Windows XP. By default, after a media reader/ writer has been plugged into the USB port, Windows XP will assign default drive icons and label them as "Removal Disk". It is confusing because you don't know which one is Compact Flash or SD or Memory Stick.

Important note: Even though this will not corrupt the windows registry, make sure to back up your registry in case you mess up something while adding registry entries. The best thing is to create a system restore point before proceeding to the next section.

Follow the steps below to change drive icons and labels.

1. Find out the drive letters currently assigned to Compact Flash, SD, MemoryStick, etc. slots. Write it down somewhere.

2. Find the numbers assigned to drive icons in shell.dll. To find these numbers,

(a) Right click on desktop and choose Properties.

(b) Click on Desktop tab and click on Customize Desktop button.

(c) Highlight Recycle Bin and click Change Icon. This will open a small window showing all icons in shell.dll.

(d) Count the icons starting from top left (top to bottom and move to next column) until you get to the drive icon which you want to use. Start from 0 when counting the icons. In my case, Compact Flash icon is in position 189 and SD icon is in position 193 in shell.dll. Write down the numbers for each icon somewhere.

(e) Click cancel to close all windows or you might accidentally change your Recycle Bin's icon to something else.

3. Copy the following codes to notepad and save the file as *.reg file. (e.g. drive_icons.reg)

[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\DriveIcons\K] [HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\DriveIcons\K\DefaultIcon]@="C:\\windows\\system32\\shell32.dll,193"
[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\DriveIcons\K\DefaultLabel]@="SD Card"

[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\DriveIcons\D] [HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\DriveIcons\D\DefaultIcon]@="C:\\windows\\system32\\shell32.dll,189"
[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\DriveIcons\D\DefaultLabel]@="Compact Flash"

[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\DriveIcons\L] [HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\DriveIcons\L\DefaultIcon]@="C:\\windows\\system32\\shell32.dll,192"

[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\DriveIcons\J] [HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\DriveIcons\J\DefaultIcon]@="C:\\windows\\system32\\shell32.dll,194"
[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\DriveIcons\J\DefaultLabel]@="Smart Media"

4. Replace the drive letters and icon position numbers with the ones from your note. The code provided is for 4 in 1 card reader, so you may add or delete each registry entries group to match with the slots of your card reader. You may also change the labels (highlighted in red).

5. Open/ Run drive_icons.reg file once. You should see the drive icons have been changed in My Computer window.

Source: Dave Mathews' "Customize Your Drive Icons", PC Magazine.

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