Windows 7 Aero + BGInfo

Came across a little niggle BGInfo today that I thought was worth documenting in case anyone comes across it.

I’m using a VM to make the mandatory profile for Windows 7 (so I can keep rolling back to make additions without hitting the sysprep limit). This has the unfortunate side effect of turning off Aero as vSphere 4.1 doesn’t have 3D acceleration for VMs as far as I know. Once the profile is applied on the network is then also turns off Aero on all the PCs using it… not pretty ūüė¶

A quick search finds some GPOs to turn Aero back on under User Configuration\policies\Administrative Templates\Control Panel\Personalization 

Testing shows that you have to enable Aero style¬†and¬†set a theme in order to enable the glass effects. This is where the problem with BGInfo came in… forcing the standard aero.theme effectively disabled the bginfo wallpaper.

Fortunately the fix was simple…

  • run your BGInfo script manually
  • right click on the desktop > Personalize
  • you’ll then notice the BGInfo wallpaper appearing under “My Themes”
  • right click > Save Theme with a name of your choice e.g. bginfo
  • navigate to C:\users\%username%\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Windows\Themes
  • copy the bginfo.theme file you just made to NETLOGON
  • change the path to the theme file in the ¬†“Load a specific theme”¬†GPO to \\yourdomain\NETLOGON\bginfo.theme

Log off, log on and your BGInfo wallpaper will return along with the Aero glass effects!

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