Saturday, October 16, 2004 2:06 AM bart

Branding a Virtual PC startup (or better: the startup of the guest OS being W2K3)

It's pretty useful to have the ability during a demo to "recognize" the role of a particular Virtual PC. To do so, I came across a nice (but rather dark) feature of Windows XP/2003 to change the boot screen of the system by altering boot.ini (thx to Mark Russinovich). The result looks as follows:

I really like this! On my master image of Windows Server 2003 I'm now having the configuration set right by default, the only thing I have to do is change the boot.bmp file in the Windows folder to have another text in it. General guidelines:

  1. Create a 640x460 16-bits BMP and store it as boot.bmp in the windows folder. This file will be the background for the boot logo during system startup and will appear shortly before the Windows logo appears as well. For this reason, use a black background and make sure you're writing on a position that's not being used by the boot screen elements (Windows logo, progress bar, copyright, etc).

    Note: you can change the logos of the bootscreen as well through various tools but this is much more dangerous since it's altering ntoskrnl.exe's embedded resources. By using boot.ini's KERNEL parameter you can point to another (tweaked) file that contains the kernel (a modified copy of the original file).
  2. Alter boot.ini like this (change is bold):

    [boot loader]
    timeout=30
    default=multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(1)\WINDOWS
    [operating systems]
    multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(1)\WINDOWS="Windows Server 2003, Standard" /fastdetect /bootlogo

That's it.

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Comments

# Distinguish Your VMs!

Tuesday, November 02, 2004 5:37 AM by TrackBack

# Distinguish Your VMs!

Tuesday, November 02, 2004 5:37 AM by TrackBack

# re: Branding a Virtual PC startup (or better: the startup of the guest OS being W2K3)

Sunday, November 14, 2004 7:44 PM by bart

I'm having trouble actually creating the BMP file. I'm a professional graphic designer, so it's not for lack of ability : )

It's the technical spec for the image you outlined. On another site [http://www.sysinternals.com/ntw2k/info/bootini.shtml] the image requirements are listed as: "a 16-color (any 16 colors) 640x480 bitmap".

The listed image sizes are different, also 4bit = 16 colours, where as 16bit = 32 million colours.

I'm not sure which are the correct specs, but I'm going to try both.

Thanks,

S.