Change Windows Startup/Logon Background

Today I got a bargain netbook in the Carphone Warehouse clearance sale – I’d ordered one yesterday online within minutes of the sale starting to be told they were out of stock and were cancelling my order a few hours later. Gutted. So I trapsed round their shops today and eventually picked up a brand new Toshiba NB250 “half-price” for just £120! Bargain!

But it seems Toshiba netbooks have a disgustingly garish OEM/branded background screen that’s displayed during startup and logon (though Win 7 starter still has the standard Windows 7 desktop background).  Turns out this isn’t too tricky to get rid of (and yes, it works on Windows 7 Starter).

Just head on into the registry and find the key called: HKLM\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Authentication\LogonUI\Background – change the value from 1 to 0 and you’re back to the default Windows background.

You can apparently also change the background to any picture you want if you’re so inclined, but I just want something slightly less distasteful than Toshiba’s background so I’m done there.  Hope this helps someone.

Why is Windows being such a dick?

I recently bought a netbook on eBay that had come with Windows 7 starter but the owner had wiped this and replaced it with Linux.  I needed a new netbook and figured the fact this one came without Windows would keep the price down.  I was right and I purchased a netbook for £68, now all I had to do was get a copy of Windows 7 to install using the product-key which was still stuck underneath.

In the mean time I installed the new Ubuntu 11.04 and set up a number of partitions to get it ready. I set up a /boot partition of about 500MB (for Grub etc.?), a / partition for Ubuntu and a /home partition for my documents.  I also set up a “Win” partition to leave a space for Windows and a final NTFS partition to use for documents etc. when I was booted into Windows or to share across to Linux.  Linux seemed to be working fine and I got on the internet etc.  It was all very smooth, much more so than when I installed Ubuntu 9.10 or whatever it was back in the day.

I got hold of a copy of Windows and began trying to install it from SD card.  When it came to selecting a partition for Windows to live on, I picked my 40GB Win partition but Windows started throwing a strop and told me something it seems to have told a few others before me:

Setup was unable to create a new system partition or locate an existing system partition. See the Setup log files for more information.

Not impressed, I booted into Linux and tried to set a boot flag on this partition.  That took it off my original boot partition though, as a hard drive can only have one boot partition.

In the end I gave up and wiped all the partitions using the Windows installer.  I then created a 40GB partition for Windows, which proceeded to also create a 100MB “system” partition at the start of the drive.  I’m wondering if I’d left my room for Windows at the start of the drive in the first place if maybe I would have avoided this, but as it is – I now have to install Ubuntu all over again.  Fail!!  Thanks Micro$oft!

No Sound After Upgrading Asus EeePC to Ubuntu 10.04 (Lucid Lynx)

Right, at the weekend I upgraded my Asus Eee PC (1008HA for those of you interested) to Ubuntu 10.04 LTS – Lucid Lynx from the previous version, 9.10.  Everything seemed fine (I think).

Update: The problem described in this post has subsequently been investigated and solved.

On Monday or Tuesday night I then upgraded the BIOS to see if it would fix the fact that the wireless was shite when I was using Ubuntu.  (Incidentially either the BIOS or OS upgrade seems to have fixed the probelms I had connecting to one specific router)

I didn’t notice a problem at the time because I’m dual booting Windows XP and was using that, but when I booted into Ubuntu again on Thursday night, the audio didn’t seem to be working.  I quickly discovered that the sound did indeed work at the login screen, but once I logged in there was nothing (including no welcome sound).  The audio/volume functions on the Fn keys also now do nothing (though brightness ones still work!)

I think the sound was fine following the Ubuntu upgrade, but I’m not sure, so I think the BIOS upgrade has ballsed it up.  Which is a pain.  It looks like I’ll have to try reverting the BIOS and/or Ubuntu to a previous version.  Watch this space…