Scripting Question

Custom Logon Screen with Hostname information in Windows 7 for multiple stations?

11/28/2015 2217 views
Hello Gentlemen,

I'm working in manufacturing company, which works 24/7. Users tend to call IT in the middle of a night, and if they are not able to log into their computers, we need to guide them how they can provide us with a hostname of their computer.

Now, it isn't very complicated (Click "Switch User", in the login part type "Administrator"...), but this is sometimes too much for some people. ;)

I'm figuring the way to get every computer custom Logon Screen with HostName on it. In the old days, BGinfo could do this in Windows XP, but it doesn't work with Windows 7. :(

Now, it isn't terrible complicated as far as I did my research - just put one GPO to enable custom logon screen, prepare background for this computer, and then copy it to the correct folder in WinDir.


I've run into some problems, which I hope You can help me solve.

As there are around 600+ stations, I really don't want to manually create all these backgrounds for any single computer. Do You know a way to automate that process? Something which would grab a company logo picture, put the hostname value on it and save it?

I guess, that the best way would be to create program, which can be run at logon/logoff script by some GPO object (that way, it would always stays true, even after someone change the computer name).

Anyone already did this in Your work, and would like to share some thoughts\solutions?

6 Comments   [ + ] Show comments


  • Try Bginfo.
  • Hi Aragorn, thanks for reply. :)

    Yes, I'm already using BGinfo and it helps with providing information after user log in.

    Now, the problem is that I want this info before user log into his computer on the Logon Screen... and according to Administrators Reference for SysInternals Suite, that will not work on Windows 7. :-/
  • I've not tried personally but this one seems a good replacement:
    Marco - Stocktrader
  • Thanks Marco,

    I've downloaded it and will begin my testing tomorrow. It's not as straight forward as original BGInfo, but if it can do the job which original can't... :D
  • Try username of .\ will show machine name below password.
  • Good choice BGINFO4X, but I reccomend WPINFO or for more complex situations, RainMeter: http://www.rainmeter.net/ really beautiful.

All Answers

Are you on a domain?

If so you can just Ctrl Alt Del and just type 
as the username. infrastructure guys use this alot cos, well sometimes you just dont know what server you are on when you are looking after thousands of them.

That will show the hostname. Saves all the faffing with BGInfo?

Update: ah I see greenfeldd already mentioned it.
Answered 11/30/2015 by: rileyz
Red Belt

  • Hi Rileyz,

    Yeah, I know that trick. Now, what we want to do, is the End User not having to type anything, to get the hostname.

    I'm figuring out the BGInfo and BGInfo4x, will share the results if I find a way to change Logon Screen on all our Workstations, with a reasonable ammount of administrative effort. :)
    • You can definitely do it, im sure you can.

      I've had a quick haphazard look, and it looks like you need a jpg for the background.

      If you can get BGInfo or whatever to work from command line, great. Next I think you need a BMP to JPG converter, as its required in jpg format. I think BGInfo output bmp?

      I would say do this with powershell/vbs, but you can do with command line at a push. (well you can with cmd, I'm just nudging you to learn powershell)

      Leaving to you to fill in the gaps, such as getting BGInfo to write to a existing copied bmp, i assume you want to use the same current background.

We have the same problem... We even put stickers on the workstations...

End user is asked what is your service tag.. they still are confused even after being told to look for a white sticker that says service tag in big bold letters.

While technology in this case can help this issue the bigger issue here is more education on what information all users require if they want assistance when calling your service desk. An email with a guide or a 5 minute in person training session will go a long way to improve your teams ability to get the information you seek.

Anyone we get these days who doesn't know that sticker is asked to hand the phone over to the person on their left that user is asked to show the main user what to look for and everything keeps moving.

Answered 11/30/2015 by: Rob_Cliffeild
Senior White Belt

  • I'm the person responsible for basic security training for every new employee in our company, and I always show them all the ways they can get the hostname.
    I also stress out how important it is, when they want to report some issues to IT.

    Still, 2-3 months after the initial training, Users simply forget how to check their hostname... :-/

    We will use the physical stickers if the grow desperate - right now, I'll try to find some easier way to do that... If I won't find one, then stickers will be a way to go. :D
    Or manually changing Logon Screens on all our desktops.
The Service Tag may show up in the BIOS.   If so, you could use BGInfo and use a WMIC command to retrieve the information for you.  

When you choose New in BGInfo use the WMI Query option.... With this as the path:
SELECT SerialNumber FROM Win32_BIOS

Hope that helps!
Answered 12/02/2015 by: brad.buckles
Yellow Belt

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