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How to Change Startup Sound in Windows 10

information   Information
Windows 10 can play a sound at startup to let you know it's loaded and ready.

This tutorial will show you how to change the Windows Startup sound to play a WAV file you want in Windows 10 without using 3rd party software.

You must be signed in as an administrator to be able to change the Windows startup sound.

Note   Note
If you run a sfc /scannow command, it will restore the default imageres.dll system file to have the default Windows Startup sound again.

Updating to a new build of Windows 10 may sometimes also restore the default imageres.dll system file to have the default Windows Startup sound again.



Here's How:

1. Turn on "Play Windows Startup sound".

2. Take ownership of the C:\Windows\System32\imageres.dll file in File Explorer.

3. If you haven't already, you will need to download and install Resource Hacker.

4. Open Resource Hacker.

5. In Resource Hacker, click/tap on File on the menu bar, and click/tap on Open (Ctrl+O). (see screenshot below)

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6. Browse to the C:\Windows\System32 folder, select the imageres.dll file, and click/tap on Open. (see screenshot below)

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7. In the left pane of Resource Hacker, expand open WAVE, right click or press and hold on 5080 : 1030, and click/tap on Replace Resource. (see screenshot below)

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8. Click/tap on Select File. (see screenshot below)

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9. Browse to and select the .wav file (ex: "welcome.wav") you want to have played for the Windows startup sound. (see screenshot below)
Note   Note
Be sure that your .wav file is unblocked first.

It's usually best to keep your .wav file saved in the C:\Windows\Media folder to prevent issues with it playing at startup.


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10. Click/tap on Replace. (see screenshot below)

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11. In Resource Hacker, click/tap on File on the menu bar, and click/tap on Save As. (see screenshot below)

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12. Select to save this custom imageres.dll file to your Desktop for now. (see screenshot below)

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13. Close Resource Hacker.

14. Boot Windows into Safe Mode.
Note   Note
If you like, adding the Safe Mode context menu in the tutorial below can help make it easier to start Windows into Safe Mode and back to Normal Mode afterwards.

Add Safe Mode to Desktop Context Menu in Windows 10


15. Right click or press and hold on the C:\Windows\System32\imageres.dll file in File Explorer, click/tap on Rename, rename the file to only add .bak to the end, press Enter, and click/tap on Yes to confirm. (see screenshots below)
Note   Note
This will be the backup copy of your original imageres.dll file.

To restore the original imageres.dll file, you can rename the current custom imageres.dll to imageres.dll.old, and rename the original imageres.dll.bak to imageres.dll again.


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16. Drag and drop the custom imageres.dll file on your desktop from step 12 above into the C:\Windows\System32 folder, and click/tap on Continue if prompted. (see screenshot below)

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17. Boot Windows back into Normal Mode.
Note   Note
You should now here your .wav file play as the Windows Startup sound.




That's it,
Shawn