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Capture Screen on Windows 7 first boot

Posted on 2012-08-23
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Last Modified: 2012-09-24
Hi,

I need to capture the screen on a Windows 7 first time it starts up and needs the pictures from where the user selects language, approves the terms, sets password and stuff before windows desktop is shown for the first time.

How can this be done?

Rgds
Cynkan
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Question by:cynkan
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Expert Comment

by:Run5k
ID: 38327131
In my experience, the easiest method to do this is by temporarily installing Windows 7 within a virtual machine (via VMware, VirtualBox, etc.).  That way, you can easily take screen shots with the built-in Alt+PrintScrn capability initiated by the host operating system.
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by:Darr247
ID: 38327361
I use a digital camera to grab pics of the screen at points where there's no PrntScrn or Alt+PrntScrn available, like BIOS screens or pre-boot images such as the language/keyboard selection dialog you mention.

e.g.
Win7 - tap F8 for Advanced Boot Options
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Author Comment

by:cynkan
ID: 38328172
Camera shots is out of question but the VMWare idea could be good. Can WorkStation 8 suck a brand new harddisk from a preinstalled computer. I dont have the media for the computer wich is a touch Pos computer with windows 7 x64 PosReady and the screens the user gets are a bit different from regular Windows 7 so I really need just this installation at the computer.
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Run5k earned 2000 total points
ID: 38329385
Under the circumstances, Darr247's suggestion is certainly a good one.  Without the installation media, using a virtual machine is still possible but it becomes a much more elaborate process.

First of all, you can potentially utilize the VMware vCenter Converter Standalone 5.0 to convert your physical machine to a virtual one.  Here is a great Experts Exchange article that describes the process:

How to P2V for Free - VMware vCenter Converter Standalone 5.0

After that, you can potentially run Sysprep to have the VM operating system start from scratch.  However, please keep in mind that you can't legally image a Windows OS unless you have a Volume License Key.  If you don't have one, this entire process would need to be strictly for testing purposes only, and the resulting VM would need to be deleted once your screen captures are complete.  That being said, you can navigate to the following location:

%SystemDrive%\Windows\System32\sysprep

Once you're there, right-click the Sysprep executable and Run as administrator.  Within the ensuing GUI window, configure the settings as follows:

Sysprep Settings
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by:Darr247
ID: 38331095
Most cellphones have cameras built in, too, and can transfer pics to the/a computer with bluetooth connections, so it doesn't need to be a standalone digital camera.
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Author Comment

by:cynkan
ID: 38331142
Darr247, I need quality pictures in 300 dpi for a quick start manual with high level pictures, not camera pictures, forget your idea.

Run5k, I do have 2 VMware vShere 4 Standard licenses so I will give it a try to "suck" in the disc and do a syspep wich I have done before but forgot about it. I test this in weekend and post you.
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by:LeeTutor
ID: 38429860
I've requested that this question be closed as follows:

Accepted answer: 250 points for Run5k's comment #a38327131
Assisted answer: 250 points for Run5k's comment #a38329385

for the following reason:

This question has been classified as abandoned and is closed as part of the Cleanup Program. See the recommendation for more details.
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by:Darr247
ID: 38422353
I'd like to point out that the typical resolution you'll get with screen grabs is 72 dpi (28.34 pixels per cm), so apparently you'll be shrinking them as much as 75% to get 300 dpi, while that picture I took of the screen shown above was 180 dpi out of the (Canon SX1) camera, and only needs to be shrunk about 40% to get to 300dpi.

Not to mention that typical density on monitor-size LCDs is 5 pixels per mm (or less), which works out to ~129 dpi, so even if you're using some kind of converter to get 300 dpi out of your screen grabs, the perceived quality of the resulting image will depend largely on the type of resampling used (e.g. bicubic, bilinear, et al).
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Author Comment

by:cynkan
ID: 38429704
I have not got the time to test this. I will do that right away. Come back later today with answer...
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Author Comment

by:cynkan
ID: 38429857
Screen shot just made right now
VMWare Workstation 9 made the job!
See attached picture :-)
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Author Closing Comment

by:cynkan
ID: 38429861
Excellent ide with VMWare ;)
Sorry for late try and reply...
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by:Darr247
ID: 38430185
Image Info of ScreenImage.pngImage Info for Win7-F8-BootMenu.png
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