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!

HTC Desire Headphone Issues

This is just a random puzzling issue.

I recently went to work without my iPod headphones which I’ve been using with my HTC Desire to listen to music during work, so I tried some others I’d picked up over the summer courtesy of Continental Airlines.

For some reason when I put the headphones in the sound went all echoy and when I tried to fix it the tracks would randomly skip forwards, skip backwards and skip through tracks. I also noticed the headphones icon at the top included what looks to be a headset microphone.

Turns out I’m not the only one… users on Android Forums have been reporting the same issue. Very disappointing from a top-of-the-range Smartphone.

HTC Skimming on Quality to Cut Costs of Flashy Smartphones?

I really like my HTC Desire (purchased from about 2 months ago) and intend to blog a proper review soon.  There are niggles that I have with it but overall I’m very satisfied with it. One major pain in the backside though, is the micro-USB port used both for data transfer and for charging. In a word, it’s shit!

When I first got the phone it didn’t take more than a few days to notice that the connection was loose and it would shut off mid-charge etc. Not good. After leaving my charger in a hotel I bought a replacement from Argos. This was better but still has issues.

It was after this that I realised that the data cable for my work phone, a Nokia 5230, also had a micro-usb connector on the end. Guess what: it seems to fit perfectly!

So are HTC just cutting corners by supplying shit peripherals


SOLVED: No sound after login on Ubuntu Eee PC / Ubuntu Linux

I’ve posted twice recently about my problems following an upgrade of Ubuntu Netbook Remix to Lucid Lynx (10.04).  In short, I upgraded both the BIOS of the netbook (an Asus Eee PC 1008HA) and upgraded Ubuntu from 9.10 (Karmic Koala) to 10.04 (Lucid Lynx).  Once I did this the sound would disappear after the first time I logged in following each boot, and only work properly if I logged out and in again.

One kind commenter (thank you “ThrasherC”) suggested routing code

352732 – Problem in Pulse Audio” href=”″>a solution to a similar problem.  I haven’t followed the story of the bug report and probably don’t know enough about Linux to understand it so I’m not taking responsibility for anyone else doing this. This is a statement of what I did, not advice 🙂

  1. Open a new terminal
  2. Issue command “sudo gedit /etc/pulse/”
  3. Find the line that says “load-module module-device-restore” and comment it out by adding a hash at the start so it reads “#load-module module-device-restore”
  4. Restart

Hope this helps someone – be that you, or me in the future.