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Is it possible to change Windows 7 back to the Windows XP login

Posted on 2011-02-12
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Last Modified: 2012-05-11
hello!
i was wondering if it were possible to change the windows 7 login to be like that of windows xp, whether it be via patching the system or making changes to the registry.

 windows xp login screen
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Question by:chriselibama
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by:☠ MASQ ☠
ID: 34880092
Method 1: Via Registry Setting

1.Run Registry Editor (RegEdit).
2.Navigate to the following registry key:
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Policies\System
3.In the right pane, double click on DontDisplayLastName registry key value, and set its value data to 1.


Method 2: Via Group Policy

1.Click on Start button, and type secpol.msc into Start Search box, and hit Enter to open the Local Security Policy Editor.
2.Navigate to Security Settings -> Local Policies -> Security Options.
3.In the right pane, double click on Interactive Logon: Do not display last user name.
4.Select and set the radio button of Enabled.
5.Click Apply or OK.
The DontDisplayLastName setting forces Windows to forget the most recently logged on user name, and do not display the last logged on user name on logon screen. Thus, the Welcome Screen of Windows 7 or Windows Vista will be reverted back to a normal logon screen with empty user name and password fields, but there is no longer “Logon to Windows” dialog.

For user who wants to make the logon screen similar to Windows NT or Windows Server style, there is registry or group policy hack to enable action to press Ctrl + Alt + Del prior to entering user name and password.

[Source: http://www.mydigitallife.info/2010/01/28/revert-and-change-to-xp-classic-logon-screen-on-windows-7-or-vista/]
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Author Comment

by:chriselibama
ID: 34880102
hey there MASQUERAID!
(love the pun in the name btw).
I am familiar with the method you shared, but i was looking for something more geared toward the attached photo. Removing the 'fancy' windows 7 image that it always puts there and making it basically look just like the attached photo.
is that possible?
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Expert Comment

by:dbrunton
ID: 34880169
You can change the background of the login screen.

Stardock http://www.stardock.com/products/windowblinds/ can let you do this.

But don't think there is anything to change where you drop in name and password.
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Author Comment

by:chriselibama
ID: 34880178
@dbrunton,
hi there!
im not looking to change the background screen...rather i am looking to make the login screen itself look like the attached photo...if that makes sense?
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by:☠ MASQ ☠
ID: 34880408
You'll need to port the MSGINA from XP to do that - I see from your other question you're already familiar with the file.  Otherwise you're limited with what the regitry changes do in preventing the usual user selection that W7 presents.
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Author Comment

by:chriselibama
ID: 34880413
ah a true genius! haha. im glad you saw my other question. i wanted to do both in one question, but that would be a little convoluted.
if i were to port it, would i just need to copy the file? because i did not see a msgina.dll file in windows 7...
you have any thoughts on that?
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by:dbrunton
ID: 34880447
From http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Graphical_identification_and_authentication

In Windows Vista, GINA has been entirely replaced by Credential Providers, which allow for significantly increased flexibility in supporting multiple credential collection methods. To support the use of multiple GINA models, a complex chaining method used to be required and custom GINAs often did not work with fast user switching. GINA libraries do not work with Windows Vista and later Windows versions. One difference, however, is that GINA could completely replace the Windows logon user interface; Credential Providers cannot.
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Author Comment

by:chriselibama
ID: 34880456
dbrunton,
i was a little unclear at the excerpt you provided...
if i understand correctly, you are saying that the new GINA replacement used in vista and newer os's do not work with the custom GINA's.
but what i dont understand is if you are saying that the msgina file from xp could overwrite the login file used in windows 7.
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Accepted Solution

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☠ MASQ ☠ earned 250 total points
ID: 34880458
You're right in that there's no msgina in Vista or 7 & when I say 'port' I mean in the recreate for this platform sense not importing the existing file and tweaking it.
There is an open source project that can work with (i.e. replace) the Graphical Identification and Authentication (GINA) process in W7 but you will need to build it yourself (although because of its open source nature there may already be a knowledge base and existing code to do this).  I've played a little with msgina but not the W7 login so this is mainly theory with a bit if Google-Fu thrown in for good measure.

Have a look at Project GINA

Remember that is you are playing around with GINA in any current version of Windows you are messing with the ability to access the system.  Mess up and you're looking at a reinstall.  Plenty of backups are the key!
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Expert Comment

by:dbrunton
ID: 34880507
>>  if you are saying that the msgina file from xp could overwrite the login file used in windows 7.

Different login methods.  The XP gina won't work in Vista up.  And custom ginas that worked in XP won't work in Vista up.

But note MASQUERAID's link.
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Author Comment

by:chriselibama
ID: 34882695
@masqueraid,
i checked out the project and used it in a virtual machine. it works, and is pretty neat, but it doesnt do what i was looking for still...
should i safely assume it is not possible to make it exactly like the xp pro setup (less the windows xp icon) ?
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Expert Comment

by:☠ MASQ ☠
ID: 34882743
Given that not much is impossible in computing I'd hate to say it can't be done, just no-one's done it yet.
As what you need it pretty specific and the pGINA developers seem nearest to this perhaps try contacting them directly?
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Author Closing Comment

by:chriselibama
ID: 34882778
rats...well i suppose that will do! i was hoping that there was some magical formula to do it.
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