Windows 7 Default backgroud image change

When you login to your Windows 7 computer (assuming you haven’t used something like this tutorial to turn on automatic login), you’ll generally see a login window with a background looking something like this.

Default Login Screen

It’s fine; there’s nothing wrong with it. But sometimes a change is good so in this article we’ll show you how to change the background image behind the login screen to anything you want.

The first step is to open up the Start Menu by clicking the orb in the lower left corner of the screen.

Click Orb

Now, in the Start Menu search box, type regedit, to open up the Registry Editor.

Type Regedit

When the Registry Editor appears in the Start Menu, click the Enter key to launch it. You should see a window like this.

Registry Editor

Now, right-click on the HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE folder, and choose the Find option.

Select Find Option

The search window will appear so perform a search for OEMBackground.

Search For OEMBackground

It will eventually be found under Computer\HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Authentication\LogonUI\Background (you could navigate there directly, but the search function is probably quicker than typing all that into the path bar.


Note: it’s possible that OEMBackground doesn’t exist on your system; if this is the case, adding a new DWORD value with the name of OEMBackground will fix things.

Once you can see the OEMBackground entry, double click to reveal its properties, and change the value from 0 (the default) to 1 (which will allow us – or the computer’s OEM as intended – to change the login screen background).

Change OEMBackground Value

Once this is finished you can close the Registry Editor and open up Windows Explorer. We want to go to %windir%\system32\oobe, so enter that into the path bar.

Go To oobe Folder

You’ll now need to create an info folder (all lowercase), and then a new folder, named backgrounds (also lowercase), inside the info folder. Depending on your computer’s OEM, you may find these folders already exist and may already have images in them, placed there by Dell or HP or IBM, etc.

Info and Background Folders

Now simply select a favorite wallpaper. It should be in JPG format and less than 245 KB in size (and ideally the exact dimensions of your display to avoid stretching). Name this image backgroundDefault.jpg and place it in the backgrounds folder.

New Image in Backgrounds Folder

You can now restart, lock your screen or logout to see your new login screen.

New Login Screen

Congratulations! This isn’t the simplest process, and isn’t as simple as using a program like Windows 7 Logon Background Changer, but if you want to get into the particulars regarding what programs like that are doing, this is a good way to go, if a bit more complex.


Use Netstat to See Listening Ports and PID in Windows

For instance, my Internet connection was running really slow and I could not figure out why. I restarted the router and that normally fixes any issue, but the Internet would slow down again every time.

Finally, I ran the netstat command just for the heck of it and saw one process using up a few TCP ports. I checked it out and saw there was some weird program I had never heard of running on my computer in the background. I Googled the process and it was a virus!! Goodness knows what kind of data it was transferring, but I killed the process, restarted the computer and scanned it using a offline virus scanning tool. After the virus was gone, everything was back to normal.

I have never had that happen to me before, but had I not used the netstat command to see which ports were being used by what Windows process, I would have never known I had a virus since it was secretly running in the background. In this article, I’ll show you one handy usage of the netstat command instead of telling you 10 different commands that will make things confusing.

To get started, open the command prompt by clicking on Start and then typing cmd. In the command window, go ahead and type in the following command:

netstat -a -n -o

In the command above, the -o parameter is what will add the PID to the end of the table. Press enter and you should see something like this:

netstat ports

You can see the port being used in the second column called Local Address. You’ll see the port number after the colon. You’ll also see some ports and some PIDs listed more than once. That’s because one process can be using the same port number on different protocols like TCP, UDP, etc.

Now to see the name of the process that is using that port, go to Task Manager by pressing CTRL + SHIFT + ESC and then click on the Process tab. By default, the task manager does not display the process ID, so you have to click on View and then Select Columns.

select columns

Go ahead and check the box for PID (Process Identifier) and then click OK.

process identifier

Now you should also see the PID alongside the process name in task manager. You can click on the column header to quickly sort the list by PID, thereby making it easy to find the process you are looking for.

process task manager

And that’s about it! Hopefully this will help you find out which process is listening on what ports in Windows. If you have any questions, post a comment! Enjoy!

Creating and Deploying Virtual Machines Using Templates

A typical use for templates is to set up a master image of a frequently deployed server operating system, for example Windows Server 2008 R2.The master image will include latest Windows Updates, Antivirus software with updates and Windows Operating components such as Desktop Experience and others. Using templates, you will be able to create new virtual machines with the operating system ready within less than 5 minutes. In the Enterprise network, this is done through System Center Virtual Machine Manger 2012 (SCVMM 2012). (In VMware it is done through vCenter Server.)  In our example, we will be using only Hyper-V HOST. In this scenario; we have to follow the below steps to create virtual machine template for the new virtual machine.

1. First, Create a Virtual Machine with the Operating System and Install Windows Updates and Windows features as per your requirement such as the Desktop Experience.

2.  Click Start > Run and type, c:\Windows\System32\sysprep and click OK.

3. Right-click on sysprep.exe and select Run as Administrator.

4. On the System Preparation Tool dialog box, select Enter System Out-of Box Experience (OOBE) under System Cleanup Action drop-down box. In the Shutdown Options select Shutdown, select Generalize and then click OK.

5. After the shutdown process, Open the virtual machine VHD path and Rename it to identify your template.

6. To create a new virtual machine from the template, Copy one of the VHD used as template to another location.

7. Create a new virtual machine using the template virtual hard disk. The system will reboot and the sysprep process will continue, prompting the Administrator’s Password.


A significant time savings and performing the required installation without errors can be achieved using the procedure described above. This kind of installation is recommended for environments where System Center Virtual Machine Manager 2012 is not an option due to cost limitations and where the numbers of Hosts are also limited.

Install an Additional Domain Controller from IFM (Install From Media) in Windows Server 2012

We can use the Install from media (IFM) option to install an Additional Domain Controller in an existing domain is the best option such as a branch office scenario where network is slow, unreliable and costly. IFM will minimize replication traffic during the installation because it uses restored backup files to populate the AD DS database. This will significantly reduce the amount of traffic copied over the WAN link. For this Installation process, we have to follow these steps:

  • On the Primary Domain Controller (KTM-DC01-2K12), Create Installation media using Ntdsutil.exe.
  • Add the AD DS role to the member server
  • Select Install from Media option to configure a member server as a new domain controller.

Step 1: To Create Installation Media Using Ntdsutil, follow these steps:

1. Log on to KTM-DC01-2K12, as msserverpro\administrator, then open the Command Prompt, type Activate instance ntds and press Enter.

2. At the ntdsutil prompt, type ifm and then press Enter.

3. At the ifm prompt, type create sysvol full e:\ifm and then press Enter.
Note: Verify folder named IFM on this drive.

4. Type, quit, quit.

5. Then, copy the entire contents from the IFM folder to removable drive because we are going to install Additional Domain Controller at a remote branch office where network bandwidth is limited.

Steps 2: Add the AD DS role to the member server (POK-DC01-2K12):

1. Open Server Manager, in the toolbar, click Manage, and then click Add Roles and Features.

2. On the Before you begin page, click Next.

3.  On the Select installation type page, ensure that Role-based or feature-based installation is selected and then click Next.

4. On Select destination server page, verify that is highlighted, and then click Next.


5. On Select server roles page, click Active Directory Domain Services, in the Add Roles and Features Wizard windows, click Add Features, and then click Next.

6. In the Select features window, click Next.

7. On Active Directory Domain Services page, click Next.

8. On Confirm installation selections page, select Restart the destination server automatically if required. Click Yes at the message box.

9. Click Install and Installation progress start….

10.  After the Installation is succeeded, click Close.


Step 3: Create Additional Domain Controller Using IFM Data:

1. Log on to server POK-DC01-2K12 with the Domain administrator account.
Note:  Here POK-DC01-2K12 is member server in the domain.

2. Copy the entire contents from the IFM folder on removable drive to the c:\IFM folder on POK-DC01-2K12 Server. Verify that all items have been copied.

3. Open Server Manager, In the Server Manager Toolbar, to the left of the Mange button, click the Yellow Alert button. In the Post-development Configuration Window, click Promote this server to a domain controller.

4. On the Development Configuration page, ensure that Add a domain controller to an existing domain is selected, and confirm that is entered as Specify the domain information for this operation Domain and Click Next.

5. On the Domain Controller Options page, ensure that both Domain Name System (DNS) server and Global catalog (GC) are selected. For the DSRM password, enter P@ssw0rd in both boxes, and then click Next.

6. On the DNS Options page, click Next.

7.  On the Additional Options page, select the check box next to Install from media, in the text box, type C:\Ifm and then click verify. When the path has been verified, click Next.

8. On the Paths page, click Next.

9. On the Review Options page, review the selection and then click Next.

10. On Prerequisites Check page, verify All prerequisite checks are passed successfully and then Click Install and wait while AD DS is configured. While this task is running, read the information messages that display on the screen.

11. On Installation page, wait for the server to restart to complete the AD DS installation.

12. Finally, verify that additional domain controller is successfully installed by using IFM.





Finally, our new Additional Domain Controller has been created from IFM. This will minimize replication traffic during the Installation. This is the best option for a branch office scenario where network bandwidth is limited. I hope this helps.

Switching Between GUI and Server Core in Windows Server 2012

In this post we will take a look at switching between GUI and Server core in Windows Server 2012. One of the most interesting feature in Windows server 2012 is it allows you to switch from GUI mode to Core mode. In other words GUI mode in windows server 2012 is optional, that means you can uninstall the GUI and install it back whenever required. In the previous post we saw the installation of Windows Server 2012 in core mode, during the installation of windows server 2012 the user is asked to choose between server core installation and server with a GUI installation. The benefits of installing windows server 2012 in core mode includes reduced attack surface, reduced maintenance, server consumes fewer hardware resources than server installed in GUI mode. Note that when you browse the internet looking for switching between GUI and Core in server 2012 you might find the scripts written by IT professionals that will help you switch between GUI and Server core. In this post we will doing it without using any scripts.


Switching from Windows Server 2012 Core to GUI

I have installed Windows Server 2012 Datacenter Edition (Server Core Installation) on a virtual machine. I have mounted the Windows Server 2012 DVD on to the virtual machine. Log in to the server with the administrator account and you must see a command prompt.

We will be creating two folders, Install and Mount. The folder Install will contain the Install.wim copied from the source DVD and folder Mount will contain the Install.wim, this folder is used for the purpose of mounting Install.wim.

Create two folders Install and Mount using mkdir command.

Switching Between GUI and Server Core in Windows Server 2012 Snap 1

Change drive to where you have mounted Windows Server 2012 DVD. In my case it’s the D drive where the DVD is mounted, next step is to change your directory to Sources where the Install.wim is present.

Switching Between GUI and Server Core in Windows Server 2012 Snap 2

Lets get the details about the Image that we have mounted. Use the command “dism /get-wiminfo /Wimfile:”. In the below screenshot we can see that there are 2 editions of windows server 2012, Standard and Datacenter each with core and GUI mode. We will be using Windows Server 2012 Datacenter edition for installing the server features. Make a note of Index number which will be helpful while mounting the file.

Switching Between GUI and Server Core in Windows Server 2012 Snap 3

To mount the .wim file, use the command “dism /mount-wim /wimfile: /Index:Indexnumber /mountdir: /readonly”.
Wait until the image file is mounted.

Switching Between GUI and Server Core in Windows Server 2012 Snap 4

To install the GUI and Server Manager use the powershell command Install-WindowsFeature Server-GUI-Mgmt-Infra, Server-GUI-Shell -Source <”path to winsxs folder”>. If you do not specify the Source folder, the features will not be installed.

Switching Between GUI and Server Core in Windows Server 2012 Snap 5

Wait until the installation is completed.

Switching Between GUI and Server Core in Windows Server 2012 Snap 6

Once the features are installed, restart the computer.

Switching Between GUI and Server Core in Windows Server 2012 Snap 7

Now after the restart, lets login with the Administrator account and see what’s installed.

Switching Between GUI and Server Core in Windows Server 2012 Snap 8

We see that the Server manager is installed and GUI too. We have switched from Server core mode to GUI mode successfully.

Switching Between GUI and Server Core in Windows Server 2012 Snap 9


 Switching from Windows Server 2012 GUI  to Core

Now we know how to switch from server core mode to server GUI mode. We will now switch back from GUI to Core mode, I think this is very simple and can be done in less time.

Open the command prompt and start the powershell. To uninstall GUI and Server Manager feature, type the command Uninstall-WindowsFeature Server-Gui-Shell, Server-Gui-Mgmt-Infra -Restart.

Note :- If you want only the server manager in the core mode you can skip Server-Gui-Mgmt-Infra from the above command.

Switching Between GUI and Server Core in Windows Server 2012 Snap 10

More info refer-

Lock Computers In Domain Via Group Policy

In this post we will see how to lock computers in domain via group policy. Most of the companies today want the computers to be locked out after specific interval of time or after specific duration of inactivity on the computer. The employees are advised to lock their computer before they step away from the computer but if the employee steps away without locking the computer it could lead to unauthorized access to domain workstations within your organization. With the help of group policy the administrator can define settings to automatically lock the computer after the specified amount of minutes. This will prevent the unauthorized access to the computer even though the employees forget to lock their computers.


Most of the companies have a branded screen saver that displays their company logo along with company information. In this post we will using one of the screen saver that comes with windows operating system.

In this post we will be using a screen saver so that after the inactivity timeout on the computer, the computer gets locked and a screen saver is displayed. When clicked on the screen saver, the computer should prompt the user to enter the credentials to login. Windows server 2008 R2 comes with few inbuilt screen savers, we will be using one of them. The screen savers can be found in \Windows\Winsxs\ and look for .scr files.

Lock Computers In Domain Via Group Policy-Snap7
Once you have found the screen saver, copy the screen saver file to a shared folder. The clients would be displaying the screen saver from this path.

Lock Computers In Domain Via Group Policy-Snap8

Open the Group Policy Management, right click on your domain and click on Create a GPO in this domain and link it here. Provide a name to the policy such as Screensaver Policy and click on OK.

Lock Computers In Domain Via Group Policy-Snap1
Right click the Screen saver policy and click on Edit. The Group Policy Management Editor opens in a new window, expand User Configuration, expand Policies, expand Administrative Templates, expand Control Panel and click on Personalization. We will configure the policy settings now.
Lock Computers In Domain Via Group Policy-Snap2
Double click on Screen saver timeout. This settings specifies the amount of time after which the screen saver must be launched. Click on Enabled to enable this policy setting, and set the time after which the screen saver should appear. In this example i will set the idle time to 60 seconds, which means if the computer is idle for 60 seconds the screen saver will be shown.  Click on Apply and OK.
Lock Computers In Domain Via Group Policy-Snap3
Double click the policy setting Force specific screen saver. This setting if enabled displays the screen saver specified in the policy setting. Click on Enabled, provide the path where the screen saver file is located. Click on Apply and OK.
Lock Computers In Domain Via Group Policy-Snap4
Double click the setting Enable Screen saver, click on Enabledthis setting will enable the screen saver. Before you enable this setting you must specify the screen saver executable path and screen saver timeout must be configured.
Lock Computers In Domain Via Group Policy-Snap5
Double click the setting Password protect the screen saver and click on Enabled. This setting will make all the screen savers password protected. If this policy is not configured, then the password protection cannot be set on any screen saver. For this setting to work correctly, make sure you have enabled the policy setting Enable screen saver and Screen saver timeout. Click on Apply and OK.
Lock Computers In Domain Via Group Policy-Snap6


After exactly 60 seconds (Screen saver time out) the screen saver is enabled and the computer is locked.

Note : For information  refer :


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