Solved

Display a countdown before screensaver kicks in and PC is locked

Posted on 2006-06-14
11
1,313 Views
Last Modified: 2008-03-10
We have a Group Policy which activates a screensaver afetr 10 minutes and at the same time locks the PC, what i would like to implement is some sort of countdown, maybe 30 seconds, which will warn the user that the screensaver is going to activate and lock their PC. Does anyone have any suggestions?

Thanks
0
Comment
Question by:richardwakefield
  • 4
  • 4
  • 3
11 Comments
 
LVL 83

Assisted Solution

by:oBdA
oBdA earned 250 total points
ID: 16904938
Only if you program your own screensaver with this functionality.
What you can do is set the "grace period" on your machines to 30 seconds. This will let you return to the screen within 30 seconds after the screen saver starts, without having to enter the password.
Screen saver grace period bypasses password protection
http://support.microsoft.com/?kbid=221784
0
 

Author Comment

by:richardwakefield
ID: 16909596
That is an ideal solution, however the only way i can think of doing it is to make the first 30 seconds of the screensaver a countdown (We create our own screensavers which are just a bunch of image files looping) , but then this would be displayed every time the screensaver looped.. the only solution i can think of is making the screensaver 20 hours long, then it is unlikely that the user would see the countdown message the next time it looped (if that makes any sense at all) :-)

Any sugestions?
0
 
LVL 9

Expert Comment

by:Krompton
ID: 16910863
I would agree with oBdA.
Changing the grace period allows the screen saver to start but delay locking it.
Unless in making you own savers you've included code to lock the workstation?

What GPO settings do you have for the screen saver?

Krompton
0
 
LVL 83

Expert Comment

by:oBdA
ID: 16910930
Come to think of it, programming your own screen saver won't really help you, unless you build in the functionality to lock the desktop and take out the regular lock. It's not the screen saver that decides whether or when to lock, but the OS, so you can only use the grace period.
What you could do when using your own screen saver is read the grace period from the registry, and display a counter from this time downward (note that until and including W2k, default is 5 seconds, whereas XP and W2k3 have no default grace period). Once you've reached the end of the loop in your screen saver, just check if the countdown has already been shown, and continue with the show if so.
0
 

Author Comment

by:richardwakefield
ID: 16911472
The GPO settings are

user config/admin templates/control panel/display

Password protect the screensaver = enabled
screensaver timeout = 600 seconds

Unfortunately resding the registry and displaying a countdown is way above my skills, allthough this is the ideal situation i suppose.
0
What Should I Do With This Threat Intelligence?

Are you wondering if you actually need threat intelligence? The answer is yes. We explain the basics for creating useful threat intelligence.

 
LVL 83

Expert Comment

by:oBdA
ID: 16911550
It's not really a necessity; the grace period alone would do the job just fine, as someone who's missing the screensaver kicking in is likely to miss the countdown display as well ...
Just to rule out any misunderstanding here: it is NOT the screen saver that locks the desktop, it's the OS. If you set the grace period, ANY screen saver can be deactivated during this specified time, without having to reenter the password.
0
 
LVL 9

Expert Comment

by:Krompton
ID: 16911571
Just to verify what you want to accomplish...

As I understand it you want you users to be able to exit the screen saver for about 30 sec before entering of their password is required. Is this accurate?

0
 
LVL 9

Expert Comment

by:Krompton
ID: 16911727
oBdA,

Including a line similar to "rundll32.exe user32.dll,LockWorkStation" in a program will ignore the GracePeriod setting in the registry. As long as there is no code like this in the scr you are absolutely correct. That's why I mentioned it when he said they made their own saver.
0
 

Author Comment

by:richardwakefield
ID: 16918940
Krompton

Yes that is what i want to achieve, but i need to display a countdown of some description to give the user a chance to wiggle the mouse before it locks. I know i can do this by using the grace period , but i would then have to make the first 30 seconds of the screensaver into a countdown, (30..29..28......3..2..1 etc). I would then have the problem that this is displayed every time the screensaver loops.

When i say we make our own screensaver, we just use a program that compiles about 20 jpg files into a screensaver which change every 5 seconds or so, therefore i would make the first f6 jpgs display something like 30,25,20,15,10,5.

If anyone can suggest how i prevent the countdown reapperaing after the first loop of the screensaver, or another way i guess would be to forget the grace period, and have some sort of countdown that displays on the screen, then when the screensaver kicks in it locks immediately.
0
 
LVL 9

Accepted Solution

by:
Krompton earned 250 total points
ID: 16920557
richardwakefield,

I'll have to admit I don't really understand the need for the countdown display. If the user knows that they have several seconds when the screen saver first kicks in to hit the mouse or keyboard I'd think that was enough. But that's just my opinion.

To get what you want (assuming you are talking about NT based clients) I would probably create a scheduled task to run when idle and stop if the computer ceases to be idle. This task would run a small program or script file that displays a timed message box then starts the screen saver if the message box closes on its own. If this approach sounds like it would work for you I’ll help if you like.

Otherwise what you want appears to me to be more than just a small project. I am fairly sure it could be done, but I think it would require a fair amount of programming. Or maybe I just don't see a simpler way to approach this beyond the scheduled task I mentioned.

Perhaps posting this question in one of the other forums might get you a better answer. I am sorry I can’t give you a better answer right now but I will keep it in mind and if I think of anything else I will post it.

Good luck,
Krompton
0
 

Author Comment

by:richardwakefield
ID: 16936097
Thanks for your advice, I have managed to use an exe which is called instead of the screensaver that displays a countdown fro 30 seconds and then callls the screensaver.

I have split the points 50/50
0

Featured Post

Highfive + Dolby Voice = No More Audio Complaints!

Poor audio quality is one of the top reasons people don’t use video conferencing. Get the crispest, clearest audio powered by Dolby Voice in every meeting. Highfive and Dolby Voice deliver the best video conferencing and audio experience for every meeting and every room.

Join & Write a Comment

Many people tend to confuse the function of a virus with the one of adware, this misunderstanding of the basic of what each software is and how it operates causes users and organizations to take the wrong security measures that would protect them ag…
I don't know if many of you have made the great mistake of using the Cisco Thin Client model with the management software VXC. If you have then you are probably more then familiar with the incredibly clunky interface, the numerous work arounds, and …
This video shows how to remove a single email address from the Outlook 2010 Auto Suggestion memory. NOTE: For Outlook 2016 and 2013 perform the exact same steps. Open a new email: Click the New email button in Outlook. Start typing the address: …
This video explains how to create simple products associated to Magento configurable product and offers fast way of their generation with Store Manager for Magento tool.

747 members asked questions and received personalized solutions in the past 7 days.

Join the community of 500,000 technology professionals and ask your questions.

Join & Ask a Question

Need Help in Real-Time?

Connect with top rated Experts

8 Experts available now in Live!

Get 1:1 Help Now