Thursday, December 17, 2009

Change your Windows 7 default logon background...

In Windows 7 it is possible to change your default logon UI background image. This can be done by following these simple steps:
  1. On your computer, open regedit. (proceed at your own risk...)
  2. Find the following key: HKLM\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Authentication\LogonUI\Background
  3. In there look for a value named: OEMBackground and set the value to 1. (It may or may not be there, if it isn't just create a new DWORD value with that name and set a value of 1.) Close regedit.
  4. Browse to the following path in your Windows directory: %windir%\system32\oobe\info\backgrounds (note: you may need to create the 'info' and 'backgrounds' directories)
  5. Drop in your desired image file and name it: backgroundDefault.jpg (NOTE: the file size must be less than 256Kb for it to be used)
  6. Now hit CTRL-ALT-DEL or WIN-L and you should see your new background!

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Enable Remote Desktop... Remotely!

Have you ever installed a new server, either locally in a server room or perhaps even in a datacenter far far away, and only later realized you forgot to enable Remote Desktop?? I hate it when that happens... So how can you enable Remote Desktop connections without having to get out of your chair and go to the console?

Use this simple registry modification to make it happen:
Disclaimer: Don't mess up your registry, or you will hose your server!!! This is a blog, not a support service, so if you follow my advice here you do so at your own risk!!! That being said....
  1. Make a remote network registry connection to the server you need to enable it on.
  2. Once connected, browse the remote machine's registry and find the following key: HKLM\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\Terminal Server
  3. In there, find the following value: fDenyTSConnections.
  4. Double click it to edit the value, and change the setting from 1 to 0.
  5. Disconnect from the remote registry and close regedit.
  6. You should now be able to successfully connect to the server in a Remote Desktop connection!
And with that simple change you can save the long walk into the server room, or the embarrassment of having to call someone at the remote location - again...

Is there anybody out there?

Hey you... I know what you must be thinking about my blog: "Nobody home... This blog has died and now is just waiting for the worms..." Right??? I must admit, I had become comfortably numb regarding it - as evidenced by my making only a single post for the year. And perhaps even now you're wondering if I'm really back - in the flesh?? Yes, I am... I know my repeated neglect must put me on the thin ice, but all I can ask of you is: Don't leave me now... Please don't think of my absence as just empty spaces, but as another brick in the wall... But now, I truly realize that the show must go on! I will do better, even if takes shameless "re-blogging" just to get something out there. I guess to sum it up, the best way to express what I'm trying to say is: Wish you were here....

Okay, for those of you who aren't die-hard Pink Floyd fans, I do want to acknowledge that the previous paragraph might seem a bit odd, as I was trying to use as many song titles from their "The Wall" album in that paragraph (as well as the post title) as I possibly could... NOT that there is anything weird about "The Wall" itself... ;-) But there at the end I broke from it and used the album title (and song too for that matter...) from "Wish You Were Here"... Yeah, I know - it was a real stretch....

In all seriousness, however, I am fully aware this is not the first time I've said I'd do a better job of keeping up with the blog. So no more empty promises on that front - just action! So stay tuned! Good stuff coming up. (I hope...)