STARTUP & SHUTDOWN SPLASHES
How to create custom Splash Screens
Revised April 17, 2002
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In all versions of Windows 95, Windows 98, and Windows Millennium Edition (Win ME), the startup and shutdown logo or splash screens must be bitmap files that are exactly 320 pixels wide x 400 pixels high, set at 256 colors (not more nor less). The resultant file will show as a 127 KB file (actually, at 129,078 bytes). No other size, density, or type of graphic will work.
A GREAT TIP (from MS-MVP Alex Nichol): The 320 pixels across are duplicated on display to give 640 x 400. But the graphic itself has to be 320 x 400. It is a good idea, therefore, when creating the graphic to start at 640 x 400, then resize, without changing shape, to 320 x 400. For a bitmap, MS Paint does this resizing quite handily.
The three filenames associated with these screens are:
In Win95, 98, and ME, the default images for LOGO.SYS is contained in IO.SYS, and no file is needed unless you want a custom one. (However, some versions of Win95 may have a default file existing also. If it is removed, the version in IO.SYS is used.) To add a custom one, just create the file according to the parameters above, name it as indicated, and place it in the \WINDOWS folder (for LOGOW.SYS or LOGOS.SYS) or the root folder in C: (for LOGO.SYS).
In Windows XP, none of the above applies. You need to use different methods. At present, I recommend the manual approach suggested by the TweakXP people.