This month, I show you how to modify the registry to rename My Computer and nine other special Windows folders. All the subkeys you change are in the HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\CLSID key. Before I list the particular subkeys to edit, I explain the general procedures for three combinations of OS level and Microsoft Internet Explorer (IE) version. Remember: Improperly performed registry changes can be hazardous to your system.

The general procedure for a Windows 2000 system that runs IE 5.0 is to start regedt32, then locate the subkey for the folder you want to rename. You'll modify either the LocalizedString value or the (Default) value. LocalizedString values will look like @C:\WINNT\system32\shell32.dll,-9216@1033,folder name, where folder name is the name of the folder you want to change (e.g., My Computer). Copy the original LocalizedString value to the clipboard, then delete the value in the subkey. Recreate the LocalizedString value as a value of type REG_EXPAND_SZ, paste the old value into the new key, and edit the folder name string to reflect the new name you want the folder to have. The REG_EXPAND_SZ data type lets you use environment variables to customize the folder name. For example, you can replace My Computer with the string %USERNAME% on %COMPUTERNAME%. For registry entries that use the (Default) value, the value will simply be the current folder name (e.g., My Computer). Use regedt32 to add a new value of type REG_EXPAND_SZ. Leave the value name blank and type the folder's new name in the Value Data field.

On a Windows XP system, start regedt32, open the subkey, then locate the LocalizedString value, which should be of type REG_EXPAND_SZ. The value will look like @%SYSTEMROOT%\system32\SHELL32.dll,-nnnn, where -nnnn is a system-assigned number that represents the particular folder name. Replace the -nnnn string with your new value, using environment variables to customize the content.

On Win2K computers that run IE 6.0, start regedt32 and open the appropriate subkey. Registry entries that use a LocalizedString value will look like @C:\WINNT\system32\shell32.dll, 9216@1033,folder name. Delete the LocalizedString value and recreate it as type REG_EXPAND_SZ. Then, replace the folder name string with a new folder name that uses environment variables. For registry entries that use the (Default) value, the value will be a string that corresponds to the folder's current name. Add a new value of type REG_EXPAND_SZ, leave the value name blank, and type the new folder name in the Value Data field.

10. My Documents—Both XP and Win2K use the LocalizedString value in HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\CLSID\\{450D8FBA-AD25-11D0-98A8-0800361B1103\}.

9. Recycle Bin—Both XP and Win2K use the LocalizedString value in HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\CLSID\\{645FF040-5081-101B-9F08-00AA002F954E\}.

8. Fonts—XP uses the LocalizedString value and Win2K uses the (Default) value in HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\CLSID\\{D20EA4E1-3957-11d2-A40B-0C5020524152\}.

7. Search Results—XP uses the LocalizedString value and Win2K uses the (Default) value in HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\CLSID\\{1f4de370-d627-11d1-ba4f-00a0c91eedba\}.

6. Scheduled Tasks—XP uses the LocalizedString value and Win2K uses the (Default) value in HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\CLSID\\{ D6277990-4C6A-11CF-8D87-00AA0060F5BF\}.

5. Internet Explorer—XP uses the LocalizedString value and Win2K uses the (Default) value in HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\CLSID\\{871C5380-42A0-1069-A2EA-08002B30309D\}.

4. Printers and Faxes—XP uses the LocalizedString value and Win2K uses the (Default) value in HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\CLSID\\{2227A280-3AEA-1069-A2DE-08002B30309D\}.

3. Network and Dial-up Connections—XP uses the LocalizedString value and Win2K uses the (Default) value in HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\CLSID\\{7007ACC7-3202-11D1-AAD2-00805FC1270E\}.

2. My Network Places—Both XP and Win2K use the LocalizedString value in HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\CLSID\\{208D2C60-3AEA-1069-A2D7-08002B30309D\}.

1. My Computer—Both XP and Win2K use the LocalizedString value in HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\CLSID\\{20D04FE0-3AEA-1069-A2D8-08002B30309D\}.