After a lot of requests, we've decided to release a boot screen replacement for XP. We'd always been wary about doing this - conventional boot screen replacements hack the resources in ntoskrnl.exe. Not only is this bad because patching system files is just downright stupid, but also it can cause service pack upgrades to fail, because they use a crc on the file to figure out which version it is.
But, this is Stardock, and we have our ways. This week I prototyped a driver that uses some hooks to catch and replace the boot screen functionality. Since I just got the framework solid, it's not much to look at yet - right now it lets the original boot screen pass through and draws rectangles over it. I hope to release the initial version in a few weeks, which will support replacement 640x480x16 color boot screens, as a sort of alpha build. There will be an easy way to stop the functionality from being applied(holding ctrl before the boot screen). In future builds we expect to support bitstrip animations, and use the vesa resolution of 640x480x24/32 bpp(whichever is present, some cards will implement one or the other).
Note to other Stardock Devs: I'd like to get more technical about how these things work, and will be doing so as soon as we support groups for custom audiences, and make voluntary group joining optional.
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