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How to display custom message at XP shutdown/log off?

Posted on 2007-12-03
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Last Modified: 2009-03-25
Hi all,

When users log off or shut down their PCs, I'd like to display a message for 10 seconds reminding them to turn off their monitors also.

Does anyone know a built-in Windows mechanism to do this?  Or if not, any other way to achieve the same thing?
I've searched Group Policy but can't find this - only how to run a shutdown script, or display a message at log-IN.

If this is the only way, how do I display a message from a script?

Thanks,

Paul.
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Question by:paulc2000
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10 Comments
 
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Expert Comment

by:KCTS
ID: 20395922
You can write a script to to this and then assign it to the logoff script option in group policy see http://www.microsoft.com/resources/documentation/windows/xp/all/proddocs/en-us/gptext_logoffscripts.mspx?mfr=true
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Expert Comment

by:dragonjim
ID: 20396028
Agree with KCTS.

Not sure if this program would help you or not: http://lights-out.caracolix-media.qarchive.org/

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Author Comment

by:paulc2000
ID: 20396099
Thanks guys.  So, how do I display a message box from a script?
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Expert Comment

by:dragonjim
ID: 20396267
Write a quick C (or VB) script, compile...

Something akin to:

"Please remember to turn off your monitor"
Loop for 10 seconds

(its been a while since I've programmed C... there are some good free compilers out there.

http://www.c-compiler.com/ 

should work for this limit purpose
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Author Comment

by:paulc2000
ID: 20396312
Yeah, it's been even longer since I wrote any C/C++...

It would take about 3 lines of VB, but I don't have a compiler...

I was hoping there's a way to call a message box from a script, rather than having to run an exe?  Or some other way to call a message box?  Anyone?
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Expert Comment

by:garycase
ID: 20396617
The details of how to display the message you asked about have been well covered;  HOWEVER ...

One minor detail you may not be aware of:   Most modern monitors draw the SAME amount of current in the "Off" state as they do in "Standby."   My 19" NEC, for example, draws 65w when on, and 3w in Standby or Off.   The tiny current draw in the off state is required for the electronics to monitor the "soft" on/off switch.

Note that a 2-3 watt draw is typical for Off/Standby.   CRT's draw slightly more (5w or so), but as long as they're EnergyStar compliant still not enough to worry about.

Bottom line:   There's nothing wrong with sending your users a message to power down their monitors;  but the reality is if the PC is off (or logged off) and the monitor goes to standby, you won't be saving any energy by doing so :-)     It might be more efficient to simply be sure all the PC's have the power saving options set to power off the monitors after a few minutes of no activity.
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Author Comment

by:paulc2000
ID: 20396892
Yes, well covered except:

If someone could just confirm whether or not it's possible to invoke a message box from a script or via some other Windows mechanism (and how to do so), without using an executable, then this thread would be finished...
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Accepted Solution

by:
garycase earned 150 total points
ID: 20396958
As you've already noted, this is easy to do in Visual Basic ... and the current "Express Edition" of Visual Basic is FREE :-)   http://www.microsoft.com/express/download/
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Assisted Solution

by:dragonjim
dragonjim earned 100 total points
ID: 20397117
I'm not aware of any ways to do this natively in Windows itself... You're best bet - since you're familiar with VB...

and it sounds like the Express Edition should serve your purpose.
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Expert Comment

by:dragonjim
ID: 20397370
sorry, rest was truncated somehow...

Compile the script in Express, and call it at logoff.
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