Customising the Windows8.1 Logon Screen

A couple of years ago I rolled out BGInfo to our Windows7 staff environment. I wanted relatively recent information about the system configuration to be available on both the user desktop as well as the logon/lock screen. This way if the user rang our IT Helpdesk it was far easier to communicate system information without the need for “Click on start, now type in CMD.EXE, no… all one word…and now press return..” You get the idea.

BGInfo

Now that I’m preparing our Windows 8.1 image for the staff environment, I’d like to do the same thing. This post is going to over how I set a custom background for the logon screen, layer BGInfo over it and have it set to update on every startup.

Setting the Windows8 Logon Screen

First we set the local group policy for setting a custom logon background

W81GPLogonScreen

Enable this policy and point it to your favourite cat picture (cos corporate images are fairly boring to be honest…)

I’ve a fairly quick and dirty script then that does a bit off fiddling with BGInfo.exe.

c:\temp\bginfo\bginfo_startup c:\temp\bginfo\ucc_client_logon.bgi /timer:0 /nolicprompt /silent
c:\temp\BGInfo\BMP2JPG.exe "%temp%\BGINFO.bmp" "c:\temp\bginfo\backgroundDefault.jpg" overwrite
cmd.exe /c "copy /y c:\temp\bginfo\backgroundDefault.jpg C:\Windows\System32\OOBE\Info\Backgrounds\*.*

You’ll see that I’m using a command line took called BMP2JPG.EXE to convert the BMP outputted from BGInfo into a JPG. It’s a lovely little utility I found here – http://www.microtom.net/os-management/convert-bmp-to-jpg-command-line-utility. This does require .Net Framework 3.5 so have that included in your ref image.

Now all you need to do is include the above lines into your startup script and it’ll refresh the logon background on every startup.

W8_BGInfo

Hope that helps.

S

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7 comments
  1. Great Job Sean! Your UCC background is also pretty bad ass! Has to be a good feeling rolling that out and seeing it out on all those machines

    • Thanks Rory. Have to admit I love seeing large scale deployments in action. Incredibly satisfying.

  2. Ryan Boud said:

    Really useful. That’ll go down to Windows 7 too!

  3. Paul said:

    Hi Sean,

    Bloody good write up mate and has saved me a lot of time. Do you know where I could get a copy of the blue background image from? It will suit our environment down to the ground.

    Cheers,
    Paul

    • Hi Paul,

      Thanks for the feedback, if you need anymore information let me know.

      The background was done by one of our web dev guys here in UCC so unfortunately I can’t pass it on to be used in other environments.

      All the best,
      S

      • Hi Sean,
        No worries mate. I can completely understand 🙂
        Keep up the good work.
        Cheers,
        Paul

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