Sign in to follow this  
Followers 0
Javik

Possible to display programs at logon screen?

5 posts in this topic

Is there a way for programs installed with administrative privileges, or as a service, to display on the Windows 7 logon screen, or while logon is progressing?

I believe the Windows logon screen is considered a special area known as the "secure desktop", and normally regular programs cannot be shown there since they could be potentially be exploited if not written well.

There are situations where additional tools or controls at the logon prompt would be helpful. For example, I have no idea how a laptop with VPN software could manually establish a VPN connection to a remote site, BEFORE the user logs on to Windows through the VPN and into a remote domain.

One continuing annoyance for me is that Microsoft provides no feedback about the progress of loading roaming profiles after a user logs on but before the desktop appears. The user ends up staring at basically a blank screen for many minutes without a progress bar, a network traffic graph, or even an option to try to cancel the operation and log off before logon finishes.

I do not have enough knowledge to try completely replacing the Windows logon screen, known as the GINA (graphical identification and authentication), with a new logon screen that has these capabilities.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites



Replacing the GINA, for what you are looking to do at least, would be quite a task. I have done it in a VDI environment for special cases, but it took a lot of effort. My first thought, however, is the "many minutes" your users spend looking at a blank screen. Roaming profiles has never been the fastest thing in the world, but that seems a bit much. Are you doing roaming profiles across a slow link, or are they just large profiles?


√-1 2^3 ∑ π, and it was delicious!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Replacing the GINA, for what you are looking to do at least, would be quite a task. I have done it in a VDI environment for special cases, but it took a lot of effort. My first thought, however, is the "many minutes" your users spend looking at a blank screen. Roaming profiles has never been the fastest thing in the world, but that seems a bit much. Are you doing roaming profiles across a slow link, or are they just large profiles?

 

It's not as bad as it used to be, but we allow people to have gigabytes in their network account, and if they move to different computers, the first time download can be ridiculous before the desktop appears.

For student accounts, I set classroom machines to disable offline files and use folder redirection so files are accessed straight off the server. This however, is not a good solution for staff who take devices like laptops home with them.

I am so glad that firewire / DV is basically dead as a common video format. 14.7 gig per hour of video is about a 20 minute download on a 100 megabit LAN conneciton.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Sounds to me like your profile allowances have far exceeded the intent with Roaming Profiles, I don't think MS ever considered multi-GB profiles. If the ntuser.dat file becomes too large, you will see a definite problem. I understand the desire to give the users "something to look at" while the profile loads, but don't think that will ease the frustration. For very large profiles, I have used ProfileUnity in the past. Might be worth a look.


√-1 2^3 ∑ π, and it was delicious!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

multi-GB profile is definitely your issue here, and you really should reconsider that policy. besides, "user experience" is the least of your worries - i'd be surprised if you told me that your profiles load completely and correctly (at least considerable part of the time).

what you can do is 2 things:

if it's a user 1st logon to a given pc, then force it on a fast connection. this is formal, not technical; just let your users know that's it's for their best interest to comply.

write a small script that compares the size of the server profile folder to the local profile folder (as it increases while the profile loads). a decent interval (say, 5s) can give you enough information to display a progress bar. pre-load all pc's with this script, set it to run in HKLM{whatever}Run, so it runs for each user regardless of profile loading status.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!


Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.


Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  
Followers 0