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Starting an App during the welcome screen windows XP

Posted on 2013-06-29
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Last Modified: 2013-07-04
Hello,

Is it possible to start an app which loads during the windows logon / welcome screen ?
if so is it possible to start the app as windows is logging in automatically ?
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Question by:TechLad
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David Johnson, CD, MVP earned 500 total points
ID: 39287135
Here is the sequence of program startups: http://www.bleepingcomputer.com/tutorials/windows-program-automatic-startup-locations/

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\System\CurrentControlSet\Services  starts before and runs throughout the winlogon startup.
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by:tailoreddigital
ID: 39287138
A third-party app that can accomplish this too,
http://www.firedaemon.com/
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by:garycase
ID: 39287792
As noted in the bleeping computer link provided above, services start before the logon, so IF a program can be run as a service you can ensure it will run at the welcome screen before the user logs in.

Otherwise, there's little control over exactly when startup programs get control -- you're likely to already be at the desktop when they run ... that's why it takes a fair number of seconds after the desktop appears before Windows is really "ready" for use.
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by:TechLad
ID: 39297623
is it possible to run an application over the logonUI.exe ?
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by:garycase
ID: 39297848
Not sure what you mean -- anything that runs as a service will run before a user logs in.   Are you looking for a way to run something concurrent with the login? ... or instead of the login?
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by:TechLad
ID: 39297951
I'd be looking for something which runs instead of the login.
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by:David Johnson, CD, MVP
ID: 39298259
as long as it doesn't interact with the desktop then it is possible..
put your program in the
HKLM\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\Session Manager\bootexecute
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by:TechLad
ID: 39299345
But doing that won't allow me to run a program over the top of the logon process will it ? So essentially as the welcome screen shows or before it shows my application kicks in and runs while the logon process is happening in the background. Not sure if that is possible. ?
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by:David Johnson, CD, MVP
ID: 39299353
No it won't allow you to run a program over the top of the logon process.  Could you give me an idea of what you are trying to accomplish?  Bypassing the logon process brings up the spectre of breaking windows security.
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by:garycase
ID: 39299982
If you simply want to run something before logon, run it as a service (as I noted above).

If your goal is to run it INSTEAD of the logon, then you could instead simply make a separate account, set it to auto-logon; and run the program you need as a Startup program.    Your program would then have control and could do whatever it is you need to do.
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by:TechLad
ID: 39300471
Yeah, my plan didn't work very well so I've decided to run the program as a service.

What I wanted to do is I'm repurposing some old IT equipment and turning them into thin clients. I have created a RDP application with vb.net with it's own customized logon screen logo etc. I wanted to see if it would run over the logon screen /welcome screen so no one knows I'm using a Windows XP Operating system.
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by:David Johnson, CD, MVP
ID: 39300482
customize the boot screen, have the machine autologin and replace shell=explorer.exe with
shell=mstc.exe  or your custom application

stardock bootskin is handy to customize the boot screen
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by:TechLad
ID: 39300513
Thank you, ve3ofa :)
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by:David Johnson, CD, MVP
ID: 39300538
Until I had an idea of what you ultimately were trying to do .. and what you can do without breaking the o/s .. I was starting to get bad vibes.. as to why someone would want to do what you desired.  Now instead of trying to get around the system you are working with the system.. better all round.  Thanks for sharing your ultimate goal.
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