Thursday, June 24, 2010

Change Windows 7 Logon Screen

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From the same old welcome screen...
Tired of the same, old background image on your Windows 7 logon screen? I know I am. With a simple tweaking in the Windows registry, you can change your Windows 7 logon screen. It may not be as easy as changing your desktop background, but it does not take a genius to do this task.

Since the procedure below requires modifying the Windows registry, please be aware that changing certain registry values could cause system instability, e.g., system crashes and decreased performance. It is recommended that you are aware of what you're doing or at least let an experienced user do the procedures for you.
... to a new welcome screen you like.

How to Change Windows 7 Logon Screen

Part 1: Windows Registry

1. Open the Windows Registry by typing regedit on your Start Menu search box.

2. In the Registry, locate the following key: DKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Microsoft\Windows\
CurrentVersion\Authentication\LogonUI\Background

3. Depending on your system, the OEMBackground DWORD value may or may not exist within the Background key. If present, proceed to step 5. If not, right-click on the right pane and select New, then select DWORD (32-bit) Value
Click image to enlarge.
4. Change the name of the value to OEMBackground

5. Right-click OEMBackground, then select Modify....

6. Change the value on the Value data textbox from 0 to 1. 0 signifies welcome screen customization is disabled, while 1 means otherwise.

Alternately, you can download this registry file, CustomScreen.reg, and run it.

Part 2: System32\oobe folder

Now that the hard part is over, let's head to the easy part: the actual changing of the background image.

1. Copy-paste %windir%\system32\oobe\ to the address bar of Windows Explorer. 

2. In the oobe folder, locate or create subfolder info.

3. In the info folder, locate or create backgrounds folder.

4. Paste in the backgrounds folder your desired background image for the welcome screen. 

5. Rename it as backgroundDefault

Make sure the image is in JPG format (*.jpg) and its size is less than 256 kb. The picture will be stretched, fitted, scaled back, or adjusted to your screen resolution.

When everything is done correctly, the change will effect immediately. Switch user or log off to see the change.

With references and images from Within Windows.