Ask HTG: Customizing Icons, Virus Scanning from a Live CD, Hand Editing XBMC Library

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By Jason Fitzpatrick on June 27th, 2011

Ask-How-To-Geek-TemplateEach week we dip into the reader mailbag and answer your pressing tech questions. This week we’re looking at how to customize icons, scan for viruses from a Live CD, and exporting and editing the XBMC library.

Customizing the Windows Icon Set


Dear How-To Geek,

I downloaded several of the cool icon packs and wallpaper sets you’ve featured but I have no idea how to set them up on my computer. I have the wallpaper loaded fine but I’m stumped by the icons. Help!


Iconless in Idaho

Dear Iconless,

Changing icon sets is hardly intuitive and most people have no prior experience with it (unlike swapping wallpaper). We’d recommend checking out our two guides to customizing icons; we have one for Windows 7/Windows Vista and one for Windows XP. That should clear up any confusion and get you enjoying those new icons in no time.

Scanning for Viruses from a Live CD


Dear How-To Geek,

Is it possible to virus scan my computer from a Live CD? I have a computer that I’m having serious issues with and it would make my life a lot easier if I could virus scan it from a Live CD instead from the primary OS. How can I do this?


Infected in Fresno

Dear Infected,

Live CDs are a great way to scan a hard drive without risking further damage while being inside the OS. We’ve written several guides you’ll want to check out including how to use an Ubuntu Live CD to scan a computer with Avast, how to use the Kaspersky Rescue Disk, and how to use the Avira Rescue CD.

Using the Library Export and Ember Media Manager for Fine XBMC Control


Dear How-To Geek,

I’m really happy with XBMC but I’d really like finer control over the little things like the ratings for movies, the artwork, descriptions for TV shows, etc. Is there a better way than slowly editing each entry from the XBMC console? It’s going to take forever if I have to do this sitting in front of the TV!


Editing in Edinburg

Dear Editing,

It sounds like you’ve already got a significant chunk of your media scanned. We have a two part solution for you. First you need to backup your media data to the individual folders. Historically XBMC only let you backup your entire media database in one big chunk. Now there is a feature which allows you to export the individual media data and artwork to the folders where you have the media stored. When in XBMC navigate to System –> Settings –> Video –> Library. In the Library menu select Export Video Library.  It will ask you if you want to export to a single file or separate files per entry, select Separate. This will export all the data and images to the individual folders.

Once you’ve done that you can easily use a third party manager to edit the files. We highly recommend using Ember Media Manager. Check out our guide to using it here. Unlike in the guide, where we started from scratch, you’ll already have all the movies and TV shows populated from the XBMC export. Now you’re free to edit them, swap the art, and do all the detail work from the comfort of your computer instead of sitting there with your XBMC remote.

Have a pressing question? Shoot us an email at and we’ll do our best to answer your question.

Jason Fitzpatrick is a warranty-voiding DIYer who spends his days cracking opening cases and wrestling with code so you don't have to. If it can be modded, optimized, repurposed, or torn apart for fun he's interested (and probably already at the workbench taking it apart). You can follow him on if you'd like.

  • Published 06/27/11
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