Portal:AOL-Files/Articles/Resource Editor

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(Originally by AOL-Files staff member Tau)

The AOL splash screen is the blue green window that displays AOL's loading status. Seeing the same splash screen day after day can become rather monotonous, so why not replace it with something you rather see, like bikini girls, beautiful scenery, picture of your significant other? In this article I will explain exactly how to do this using a program called Resource Hacker.

Resource Hacker is a program that lets you modify resource files, which store information about a program including images, registry entries, menus, icons, dialog windows, and version info.

An interesting files to explore is the waol.exe for America Online 4.0 and 5.0. In America Online 6.0 the good stuff is no longer in waol.exe. Instead it has been moved to resource.dll. Waol.exe and resource.dll are located in the America Online folder (e.g. C:\America Online 4.0\waol.exe). The Resource Hacker is a very simple program to use, just mess with the files and check out the results. Just make sure you back up the file you are editing first.

Editing the Splash Screen

  1. Open waol.exe (AOL 4.0 or 5.0) or resource.dll (AOL 6.0) in Resource Hacker.
  2. To see the current AOL splash screen, in waol.exe, expand the BITMAP > 100 > 1033 folder. For resource.dll, expand BITMAP > IDBSPLASH > 1033. The current AOL splash screen will appear on the right.
  3. The default size for the splash screen is 410 x 210 pixels. Larger sizes can be used, but the status updater will always be the same distance from the top. So if you have an image that is twice the height, 420 pixels (210 x 2) then the status updater will be in the middle of the image when uploading. If you don't understand test out a larger image and see for yourself. For this reason it is best to use an image that is the default size, 410 x 210 pixels.
  4. Once you have an image selected click Action > Replace Bitmap... in the Resource Hacker while you have the splash screen selected. A window titled "Replace bitmap in..." will appear. In the "Select Bitmap to Replace" list choose 100 for AOL 4.0 or 5.0 and IDBSPLASH for 6.0. Next, click "Open file with new bitmap" and select the new image. Finally, click "Replace" and close that window.
  5. Click File > Save.

See an example here.

AIM Resource File

AOL Instant Messenger also has its own resource file, AimRes.dll. This file can also be modified and explored using Resource Hacker. One of the more interesting things found in it was a picture of the AIM Staff (right). Explore other files and see what else you can edit to your advantage.