CONTENTS

THE MAIN SCREEN

When you start Windows Error Message Creator (hereafter referred to as 'WEMC'), you will see the following screen:



Figure 1-1: The Main Menu.

On this screen, you can create either a normal message box or a customised message box. You can also elect to create a fictitious Format dialogue box, by pressing Ctrl+F, to make your victim think that Windows is doing something that it shouldn't be doing.

You can press Ctrl+A to view an About box, which displays some information about the program, or you can elect to quit the program entirely by pressing Ctrl+Q.



Figure 1-2: The About Box.

If you'd rather not use shortcuts, you can access the 'About' and 'Quit' options via 'WEMC' on the menu at the top of the screen.

CREATING STANDARD MESSAGE BOXES

Windows Error messages are something that everyone has come across at some point or another. WEMC allows you to take these messages and put your own, often humorous, take on them. Everything you need to create one is on the main screen, in the section entitled 'Create A Standard Message Box.'



Figure 2-1: Creating a Standard message box.

In the drop-down menu labelled 'Message Box Type,' there are fourteen different options. Each one controls what kind of message box you will see. For example, selecting 'Critical - OK Only' will display a message box showing an icon depicting a white 'x' in a red circle, with a button labelled 'OK' underneath it.

Once you have decided what kind of message you would like to create, you can then add your own text to it by filling in the remaining three textboxes. 'Message Line One' and 'Message Box Title' are both required fields, although the choice of filling 'Message Line Two' is entirely yours.



Figure 2-2: Creating a message box with just one line of text.


Figure 2-3: Creating a message box with two lines of text.


Once you are happy with your text, click the 'Create' button. The WEMC window will hide itself, and your created message will appear. Clicking any of the buttons in the message box will clear it, and make the WEMC window visible again.


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Figure 2-4: A finished one-line message box.

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Figure 2-5: A finished two-line message box.


If you want to start over from scratch, click the 'Reset' button to set all textboxes and the drop-down menu back to their original values.

Please note that there will be noticeable differences in the appearance of displayed message boxes, depending on which version of Windows you are using.

CREATING CUSTOM MESSAGE BOXES

A customised message box is a message box that gives you total control over the contents. It allows you to set custom text, icons and buttons -- all in one easy to use interface.



Figure 3-1: Creating a Customised message box.

Just like a standard message box, you need to type into the textboxes labelled 'Message Line One' and 'Message Box Title.' Adding a second line, again, is entirely up to you.

When it comes to the buttons, you have three choices:

  1. Display custom text and allow people to click it.
  2. Display custom text and prevent people from clicking it.
  3. Hide it entirely.

The drop-down menu next to each textbox contains three options:

You can hide or disable as many buttons as you want — if you choose to hide all three, the message box can be closed by clicking the red 'X' in the top right corner.

You can select a custom icon from the drop-down menu at the bottom. A box to the right offers a preview of what your chosen icon looks like. WEMC has a small selection of icons to choose from.



Figure 3-2: An example of a customised message box, with two buttons hidden and a third disabled.

Click 'Use Available' to create a message box which uses one of the icons in the drop-down list.



Figure 3-3: The result of creating a box with the settings specified in Figure 3-2. This box can be closed with the 'X' in the corner.

If you don't want to use the available icons, you also have the option to use any image that you have on your computer. In order to use a custom image, you must make sure that 'Blank/User Defined' has been selected from the 'Preset Icons' list.

To use your own image in WEMC, you need to load it first. See the next section for help on how to do this.


This box will only GIF, JPG, PNG and ICO files. Once an image is selected, it will be resized to 48x48 pixels and displayed in the preview box. Please note that this resize may cause some images to appear distorted. For best results, use images that are perfectly square - 512x512, 128x128, 64x64, and so forth.



Figure 3-5: Creating a custom message box with a user-defined image.

Once you have found an image, click 'Open' to load it. Fill in the other fields as you normally would, and then click the button labelled 'Create.' Click 'Clear Custom' to unload your image.



Figure 3-6: The finished product. As you can see, using transparent images would be a better idea.

Finally, you can click 'Reset' to start all over again.

MANAGING CUSTOM ICONS

As of Version 1.36.25, WEMC has the ability to store several of your custom icons. This is achieved by way of a file called CustomIcons.ini, which must be stored in the same directory as the WEMC executable.

To manage your custom icons, click on the 'Manage Custom' button on the Main Menu. This will open the screen below.


Figure 4-1: The Manage Custom Icons screen.

Click 'Load Custom' to bring up a dialog box. Use this to find your icon and select it.


Figure 4-2: The Open File dialog.

The path to your image will appear in the text box. Click 'Add to List' to add it to the drop down menu. Repeat this process until you have loaded all the images you want. Please note that the Open File screen does not support selecting more than one file.

If you want to delete an image from the list, select it and press 'Delete Selected.'

IMPORTANT: You are free to edit the CustomIcons.ini file outside of WEMC, by using a text editor, but care must be taken to not delete any references to the preset icons. Deleting these may cause issues with the application.

Once you are done, click 'Close Window' to return to the main menu. The icon list there will have been updated with your custom selections. Please note that the INI file is overwritten automatically when changes are made.

CREATING FORMAT DIALOGS

WEMC includes the ability to create fictitious Formatting dialogue boxes. Formatting is the act of deleting all the data on a drive.

N.B. WEMC does not actually delete any data; it merely gives the impression of such a thing happening.

To create a format dialog, press Ctrl+F while on the Main Screen, or select 'Create > Format Dialog' from the menu.

You will then be presented with the following screen:



Figure 5-1: The Format Dialog Creator.

WEMC will automatically populate the drop-down menus entitled 'Select a Drive' and 'Drive Capacity' automatically. Selecting a drive from the menu will also select the appropriate drive capacity.

Select which File System and Allocation Unit Size to use from the appropriate drop-down menus. The 'Volume Label' is the name that will be given to the "newly formatted" drive, and setting it is optional.

The textbox labelled 'Progress Made' will determine how far along the 'format' is.



Figure 4-2: Creating a Format Dialog.

Click 'Create' to finish.



Figure 4-3: A fictitious Format dialog.

Click 'Cancel' to leave this screen.

SHOWING A BLUE SCREEN OF DEATH

WEMC has the ability to show off that most infamous of Windows errors, the Blue Screen Of Death (BSOD). To do this, select 'Create > BSOD' from the Main Menu, or press Ctrl+B.



Figure 5-1: The BSOD Creator.

As you can see, this is a very straightforward procedure. Select one of the values from either list and then click 'Go.' If you select an Error Code, the relevant Error Name will also be selected and vice versa.

To escape the BSOD, press 'Enter' or 'Return' on your keyboard.

N.B. This feature only shows the fake BSOD on the primary monitor. If you have WEMC on the desktop of other monitors, it will show the BSOD on that instead.

TROUBLESHOOTING

The following is a list of problems you might come across while using WEMC, and provides ways of solving them.

I've put some text into a text box, but I can't add any more.

  Each line of a message box is limited to 128 characters, for 256 total, while the title is limited to 32 characters. Custom buttons are also limited to just 12 characters.

CREDITS

©2006-2015 Christopher Urquhart - http://www.curquhart.co.uk

Designed, coded and tested by Christopher Urquhart.

Special thanks to my dad, William, for his help with some code.

Created in VB.NET, using Visual Studio 2013, on Windows 8.1 Pro N.

Tested on Windows 7 and Windows 8.

All of the screenshots were taken in Windows 7 using IrfanView.

This help document was created using Notepad++.

SUGGESTIONS/COMMENTS/BUG REPORTS

If you have any suggestions or comments about WEMC, or if something has gone wrong and you want me to fix it, then I can be contacted in several ways:

I will gladly accept submissions for custom icons, or even improved versions of existing ones (my art skills aren't the best). Please make sure that they are 48x48 pixel PNG files. Transparency is not required, but it is appreciated.

Thank you for downloading Windows Error Message Creator.

Have fun!

ICON CREDITS

Cutie Marks

Others

American Express, Android and AOL Messenger are registered trademarks of their associated companies. Their logos are included here as they were included in a free icon set offered by a third party (FatCow), meaning that the creator of WEMC cannot be held accountable for any copyright infringement.