If you're using the native Windows start button (from explorer.exe) then I'm not sure if you can make them longer. At least, I never figured out how to. MS really messed up start buttons in Windows 7, IMO. To me, it's something that should be controlled by the visual style, like it was in Vista. Then again, the same can be said about a lot of parts of the UI, especially with every new Windows release. Stuff that SHOULD be controlled by MSSTYLES simply isn't anymore. It's a real pain the the rear for people who want to use custom visual styles.