Changing Windows start sound, not working anymore?


Essential Member
Microsoft Community Contributor

I changed my Windows start sound a while back.
After updates some time ago, it changed back to the original.

I decided to change it back the way I wanted it and opened up the imageres.dll file in the Windows System32 folder using Resource Hacker.

I found that the Imageres file still pointed to my sound file and when I hit play it, it played my sound.
But my computer plays the default sound when it boots.

I ran a search and found another Imageres file at this location...


This file plays the original Windows sound but will not let me change it even with Resource Hacker.
I go through the process on a copy of the file pasted on my desktop, but while I don't get any error messages, it still plays the original sound after completing the process.

Anyone else who changed their start sound having a similar problem?



Extraordinary Member
Mike, As you are running 64bit there should be an imageres.dll in the SysWOW64 folder that will need modifying as well.

The files in the winsxs are the backups and have nothing to do with the system unless called in to play during sfc /scannow.


Essential Member
Microsoft Community Contributor
Hi Elmer

I check that out.
I don't remember doing that before but maybe I did and have forgotten it, that happens a lot lately. LOL



It's been a while now, but I did download the hex editor, jumped through all the hoops and all that stuff, and finally got my own startup sound to play. Was it really worth it? OH, Heck no! Just another exercise in futility.
That install of W-7 is long since toast and I'm not going through all that agony again. So Default sound it is.:nightmare:
At least I can play my own Shutdown sound. Nothing special there..... I just use "Tada". KISS!
And my own email notifier..... "You've got mail" a sweet female voice, copied off of Compuserve.

Cheers mates!


Essential Member
Microsoft Community Contributor
Well it won't let my change it any more.

I even logged in as Administrator, used Grant Full Admin Control on the file and copied it to the desk top.
No matter how many times I tried to change it with Resource Hacker it will not change.

When I tried to copy one that was already changed it says it's done it but when I open it and look it still points to the original sound.

Interestingly the one in the System32 folder that pointed to my sound doesn't anymore, it has changed since I checked it earlier.
And the backup imageres files that created by renaming the original before I placed my copy in the folder are now blank when you open them?

It installed some Windows updates today, that may be when the existing one changed?

Here's the process I'm using, in case I'm missing something.

I copy imageres.dll to my desktop.

Use grant full admin on it.

Open it with Resource Hacker.

Open the WAV folder and the 5080 folder.

Play the wav, original Windows Sound.

Right click on the 1033 file.

Select Replace Resource.

Click on Open file with new resource....

Find my file and play it to make sure it works.

My file now shows in the window.

I type Resource Type, WAV

I type Resource Name, 5080

I type Resource Language, 1033

I hit replace.

I hit Save As.

I tell it to replace the one on the Desktop.

I close Resource Hacker and I open the file on the Desktop and check it.

It still plays the original Windows Sound!

Oh, well, as Oldtimer says I guess it's not worth the hassle.
It only plays it when I turn on my computer.

I use to have fun with this when I had earlier Windows.

When a friend was coming over to work on computer stuff I would change the start up sound.

When we sat down and I turned it on, it would boot up and say...

"Hello Michael, OH, I see that Phil is here too! What a bummer!"

It always got a laugh.
This was back before Windows XP, I had problems with XP cutting of any start sounds that were too long.



Extraordinary Member
Where you say "I Hit Save As" I always hit "Save". It still creates a back up.

I think I read somewhere that using the "Save As" command changes it to a 32bit file, something like that.

Also Mike, are you using ResHack v3.5.2?


Essential Member
Microsoft Community Contributor
Hi Elmer

I only went to using Save As after Save didn't work.
So I've done it both ways a number of times.

When I pasted in a file that had been changed previously it asked it I wanted to replace it, I said yes it saved and when I opened it, it was the original again.

I'm using version

It's the same one I used the last time I changed it.

It just refuses to make the change.
If I go through the whole process and then hit the Play button before I save it still plays the original Windows sound.

I can play my sound by right clicking on it when it's selected but when I complete the process it back to ding dong!



Extraordinary Member
Weird is all I can say!

One or two last thoughts.
1) Did you take ownership of the original imageres.dll files in the system folders, or just the copies you made?
2) In the Run... box type mcbuilder , when the command window closes reboot the machine.

And that's me out of ideas!


Essential Member
Premium Supporter
I'm lazy when it comes to hacking system files. I used this old program (I had to hunt it down - I think it was originally Russian).

WinAero: Downloads / Software / Startup Sound Changer - change your Windows startup

I had an old game of boulderdash on a XP laptop and found a mass of impressive .wav sounds there. Currently I use one called "halloffame.wav"
I run as the Global Administrator, which gives me a broad access, but that may not be needed.


Essential Member
Microsoft Community Contributor

davehc's suggestion works like a champ.
I downloaded and installed it and it took 30 seconds to change the sound.

I'll ad this to my list of useful stuff!

I don't know how many times I ran a search for "Change Windows 7 Start Sound" looking for something like this and never found it.

Thanks for the help, now I can get back to doing something else that probably doesn't really need to be done!



Extraordinary Member
Yeah, I D/l'ed that as well. I've yet to try it though because I ended up downloading the 4 "enhanced" trial versions of Boulderdash from ZXGames and I've been playing with those for bl**dy hours!

Damn you DaveHC! ;) :D

Ah such memories of a wasted life!


Essential Member
Premium Supporter
LOL.I was damned by that program, when I first bought and played it on my commodore. I made the mistake of (much later) finding a PC update. LOL LOL and again

PS. Quote" can get back to doing something else that probably doesn't really need to be done!"

I spend at least half of my computer time doing that. Mike!