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Network Admin

Branding Your Machines - Windows Vista / Windows 7 / Windows 2008 / Windows 2008 R2

This article is for Windows Vista and Windows 7. If you are using Windows 2000/XP/2003 then you should follow this article.

If you have purchased a machine from one of the big manufacturers, you will have seen that they have customised the "System Properties" window with their own logo. This is what you see when you right click on Computer and choose Properties. In addition, there will be a link to their support site. 
This information is known as OEM information, and can be easily replaced with your own.

This is useful if you build your own computers, or in a larger office allowing you to place the company branding on the machines along with details on how to contact your internal support department.

The screenshot below shows what will be customised, the custom information has been highlighted in a red box.

Screenshot - Vista System Properties with our OEM information.

Support Information Text

Text Creation

The text is set via registry settings, and certain information is used in more than one place. The "Manufacturer information is used not only for the "Manufacturer" field, but also to precede the word "Support" in the second box.

To create the code, copy and paste the below text in to notepad and save it as a file ending in .reg. Then change the text as required. If you do not wish some text to appear, then remove the line completely. If you do not set a manufacturer then OEM will appear instead.

The entry "Logo" points to the location of the image file. This can be anywhere on the local system and the name of the file can be anything that you like, as long as it is a bmp format. Note the \\ in the file path.   

Support Information Logo

The rules for the image are quite strict. The image needs to be square - 120 pixels by 120 pixels. It also must be saved in bmp format. Best results are found when the background is white with solid items on top, as shown in our example image. Images of other shapes will either be cropped or shrunk proportionally. To ensure that it looks how intended, stick to the maximum size above.

Deploying the Settings

The image file is easy to deploy, simply copy it to the correct location.

However the registry changes are more complex, as Windows Vista and higher appear to have problems with registry files stored on a network. Therefore copy the completed registry file to local machine and then apply it from there by right clicking on the file and choosing Merge.

You can use a login script to deploy the changes for you, using OS detection techniques (More Information - external site) and then applying the registry change (more information on applying registry changes via login scripts - external site). However your script would need to copy the registry file to the local machine first, then then apply it.


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