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View Full Version : Hiding Windows - run GBPVR from the start



drewkaree
2005-07-23, 12:22 AM
I want to hide any and all traces of Windows and simply have GBPVR be the first thing that shows up.

In addition, I'd like to know if, after hiding Windows, there is anything (or steps for me to follow) I can do to lock ANYONE out from accessing Windows unless they use a specific set of keys to avoid the accidental "the kids hit a button and now we can't figure out how to get it back" scenario.

Is this possible, and how would I go about doing/enabling it?

drewkaree
2005-07-23, 12:53 AM
Also noticed "Exit" ALWAYS exits to Windows. Is there a way to make "Exit" shut down the PC?

bgowland
2005-07-23, 03:55 AM
I can't help feeling this ought to be a topic for the General Discussion forum as it isn't really a GB-PVR issue. What you're talking about (if I'm understanding you right) is creating a locked down user profile within Windows that just runs one application and shuts down windows when it exits. ???

Yes this can be done (depending on the version of Windows you're using) but you need to setup a mandatory user profile.

The easiest thing would be to buy an MVP and lock the computer away somewhere so nobody can fiddle with it.

Cheers,
Brian

replaytv
2005-07-23, 04:15 AM
How about using the Shutdown plugin to replace the Exit button, and the Switch User of XP Home so other user can use computer but your GBPVR session still untouch.

Dan L.

Shader
2005-07-23, 06:51 AM
In the early days of windows there was a way to replace the shell by some other software just by changing a config file of windows...
I tried that with litestep and it worked perfect.

For windows Xp read this:
http://docs.geoshell.com/R4?pagename=ReplacementShellForWindows

It might work... ???

drewkaree
2005-07-23, 01:40 PM
I can't help feeling this ought to be a topic for the General Discussion forum as it isn't really a GB-PVR issue.
Not a problem. If a mod could move it there for me, it's appreciated. I wasn't certain where this fit, and this seemed to be correct.


What you're talking about (if I'm understanding you right) is creating a locked down user profile within Windows that just runs one application and shuts down windows when it exits. ???
You hit the nail RIGHT ON the head! Exactly. I'd like the capability to run other apps within that profile, but if I have to switch users to run 'em, THAT would work as well.


Yes this can be done (depending on the version of Windows you're using) but you need to setup a mandatory user profile.
I'm using a slipstreamed version of XP Pro, and by default I have it set to create 2 users, one as admin, the other as a "general" user. Is that setup what you are referring to as a "mandatory user profile", or is there more I should be implementing?


The easiest thing would be to buy an MVP and lock the computer away somewhere so nobody can fiddle with it.I'm trying to avoid spending ANY more money on this thing. We were gonna go TIVO, but I put the used-car-salesman act on the wife to go this route, and it's turned into more than the TIVO, so additional expenditures at this point aren't going to go over well, if at all :D

Thanks thus far Brian!

Dan, I just woke up. I'm gonna look into that suggestion immediately after posting this, as well as Shader's suggestions. Thanks for the idea. I'll post back on it. Right now, it seems like that's for XP Home, and since I never posted that I'm using XP Pro (my fault...boo on me) I dunno if it'll work.

*EDIT*
The shutdown plug-in is a P-E-R-F-E-C-T solution for shutdown, I can see....and ctrl-alt-del should allow me to log out and log in as another user, so using the OTHER user profile to do various things I'd like won't be completely out of the question....a bit of a hassle, but it's at least a solution thus far. Now to get learnin' on shader's suggestion!

Shader, I've done similar stuff in the past with Win98, never with XP, so this sounds like I can pull it off with a little practice. I'm checking it out!

THANKS A BUNCH GUYS!

bgowland
2005-07-24, 01:09 AM
I'm using a slipstreamed version of XP Pro, and by default I have it set to create 2 users, one as admin, the other as a "general" user. Is that setup what you are referring to as a "mandatory user profile", or is there more I should be implementing?I probably used the wrong term - mandatory user profiles are more related to networked environments (sorry it was late when I posted my message). You basically need an 'enforced' user environment but I guess you know that already as that's what you were asking about. :D

Try TweakUI from the MS Power Toys download page http://www.microsoft.com/windowsxp/downloads/powertoys/xppowertoys.mspx (make sure you get the right one - there is a 32-bit and 64-bit version). It will allow you to specify a certain amount of what can be seen on the desktop, start menu etc. It also has a quick entry point for the Local Group Policy editor (gpedit.msc) which can go a lot further with lockdowns and customising the user environment.

Cheers,
Brian

drewkaree
2005-07-24, 08:56 PM
Well, I tried going my own route and running GBPVR as a shell. I've done this in the past with another program, so figured I'd be able to try it and see if it was a quick and dirty solution. No dice.

"VBRN9 (or something similar) is not recognized by this system" is the error message I get, and I think unless it's integrated into GBPVR, this route won't work.

Off to try the suggestions you guys brought up, just thought I'd let you know what I've done so far, in case anyone else is trying this as well.

drewkaree
2005-07-24, 09:06 PM
Dropping a shortcut to GBPVR in "Startup" technically "works", but I have a large gap of time where the desktop is viewable, spoiling the illusion.

I know I'm missing something here. The shell replacement thing is bugging me - I know if I can get it to work, it's exactly what I'm looking for :(

drewkaree
2005-07-24, 09:54 PM
BOOYA!

Got it to work after some looking around and realized I was missing a step. I'll write it up shortly.

drewkaree
2005-07-24, 10:28 PM
To change the "Windows XP" and the moving progress bar before login, use BootXP. I dunno if there's a better or FREE-er program out there, but I bought this a while back so this is what I'll be using. That is really the last step I've got to do, and the lowest on the priority list.

To get GBPVR to run as a shell and start with no user invervention, your computer must ONLY be part of a workgroup. You'll need to first create 2 accounts with Admin priveledges. One should be the user that will run GBPVR.

Now, you'll want to set up XP to automate the login process. Click Start, Run, and enter "Control Userpasswords2" (MINUS the quotation marks). Uncheck the "Users must enter a username and password to use this computer" box. Click "Apply". Enter the user name and password you want to auto-login with, and click OK. Hit OK again, and you're good to go.

Make sure GBPVR is set up the way you want it before proceeding with the next steps.

Now to run GBPVR as your shell. Open regedit under the user you want to run GBPVR as. Open your registry folders as follows:

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE
SOFTWARE
Microsoft
Windows NT
CurrentVersion
IniFileMapping
system.ini
boot

If there is a value "shell", change the first 3 letters which read SYS to USR.

ex: SYS:BLAH\BLABETY\BLABLA\BLABOO should now look like:
USR:BLAH\BLABETY\BLABLA\BLABOO.

This tells windows to ignore the system's shell values and load up a shell value on a user by user basis. If you don't do this it will never even look for the shell value in the current user key, meaning the next part won't ever be seen.

Now (still in regedit) open these registry folders as follows:

HKEY_CURRENT_USER
Software
Microsoft
Windows NT
CurrentVersion
Winlogon

Create a value for Shell and put the path to your new shell. You'll have to find the path to gbpvr.exe on your computer and enter it.

ex: C:\Program Files\devnz\gbpvr\gbpvr.exe (YOURS may be different, use YOUR OWN path to the exe!)

Log out as the auto-login user and log back in as another user with administrative rights. (You DID create 2 accounts with adminstrative priveledges like I suggested, right? ;) )

Change the auto-login user to a standard user. This limits anyone to having more access than you want them to have.

To log out, ctrl alt del and log into another user which you're free to use as whatever.

The rest simply has to do with hiding/changing the startup/shutdown screens and hiding the mouse pointer (if you so wish)

Change from the default windows XP welcome screen to the other style by going to Control Panels>User Accounts>Change the way users logon or off. Deselect the "Use Welcome Screen" checkbox.
To get rid of the startup and shutdown messages via regedit:
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE
Software
Microsoft
Windows
CurrentVersion
Policies
System

If there's a DisableStatusMessages dword there, change it to 1, otherwise add it and change it to 1.

Change the login background color. Login is disabled, but background color still shows up. It can be found here (regedit again):
HKEY_USERS
DEFAULT
Control Panel
Colors
Background

It's a 3 digit RGB Color. Black is 0 0 0

Should you ever care to go back to the way things were, after firing up gbpvr, simply hit ctrl alt del and run regedit again, and delete the shell entry you created. POOF! Everything's back to "normal" again!

lobopac
2005-08-05, 07:20 AM
thanks for the detailed post.....but maybe i'm missing something.

i've created two accounts....one to make the changes and also a GBPVR account. there's also an Administrator account already on the computer. the problem i have is that each time i restart, it defaults back to administrator account and not the GBPVR account. any ideas? do i need to delete the adminstrator account and keep the other one created that has administrator privileges?

lobopac
2005-08-05, 07:37 AM
well....i got it to start up in the gbpvr account, but still no luck in just starting the program. am i missing something?

lobopac
2005-08-05, 07:50 AM
hmmm....still doesn't work. i guess i'll have to live with just having the shortcut to gbpvr in the startup folder. getting late, i'll have to mess with it later.

drewkaree
2005-08-06, 11:20 PM
i've created two accounts....one to make the changes and also a GBPVR account. there's also an Administrator account already on the computer. the problem i have is that each time i restart, it defaults back to administrator account and not the GBPVR account. any ideas? do i need to delete the adminstrator account and keep the other one created that has administrator privileges?

I seem to remember dealing with this somewhere in the mix, and I definitely DID delete that account, but it recreated itself later, so I'm not POSITIVE that it needs to be done.

I just got everything back up and running (setting up wireless network through the house) and got the notice of your post - I'll try to help out as much as possible - I KNOW just how frustrating it is to try this :rolleyes:

I'm not positive from your replies, but are BOTH of the accounts you created set up with Admin priveledges? The "changes" account AND the gbpvr account need to start with admin priveledges.

It almost sounds as if you set up the auto-login account as something other than the gbpvr account

Also, the shell must be set up to be looked for using the "USR" registry key instead of the "SYS" key. I may have missed something or wrote it up incorrectly. I'm gonna check that out to see if I missed something.

I PROMISE that this IS possible, as I've done it with other programs (2 MAME setups and a jukebox), but this is my very first experience doing it with XP. I've always used 98SE in the past - the other projects have been done with XP by numerous others who helped me with the setups I've already done....also, if I can get this running, NO ONE should give up hope :D

blader_se
2005-08-07, 08:52 PM
I really liked this, so I added it to the wiki at Tips/BootIntoGBPVR (http://gbpvr.com/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Tips/BootIntoGBPVR)
Feel free to edit/update it...

daphatty
2005-08-10, 01:41 AM
Agreed. This is excellent. If I ever build a dedicated HTPC (I fiddle with my current box way too much) I am going to follow this writeup.

drewkaree
2005-08-11, 10:15 PM
Thanks for the compliments guys, but I have to give credit to the guys at www.arcadecontrols.com (http://www.arcadecontrols.com) :)

My other previous projects like this were done with their help, and I prolly wouldn't have even thought twice about it until I saw how cool a "dedicated" machine looks when you can't tell it's actually a PC running the show - even my geek friends couldn't tell at first :D

Lobopac, from everything I've seen, I don't see a missed step other than removing that "extra" admin account, so I'm at a loss. I'm kinda new to XP too, so mebbe someone more XP-knowledgeable can point out what's going on.

n@boleo
2005-11-08, 03:50 PM
Anybody succeed launching gbpvr as shell with remote control ?
I can do it by hand just starting ir.exe after gbpvr came up but trying to use a script instead of gbpvr.exe for shell within registry does not work fine and stops after first command


shell.cmd =

"C:\Program Files\WinTV\Ir.exe" /QUIET
C:\gbpvr\gbpvr.exe

Any idea ?

n@boleo
2005-11-08, 08:32 PM
I've found a workaround !
Using

"C:\Program Files\WinTV\Ir.exe" /QUIET
I did set a scheduled task witch activate each time somebody logons at my computer. This way it works fine !
Just be sure to remove the "Kill if task is running more tha 72h" witch is enabled by default

n@boleo
2005-11-09, 04:03 PM
Fix to my workaround. Exploring all the fonction available using XP with gbpvr.exe running as shell, i noticed that my previous workaround was only working partially. All navigation fonction are ok, but sound commands (Vol up, vol down, and mute) were not working any more. So it installed a little tool (nircmd) (http://www.nirsoft.net/utils/nircmd.html) and changed my default section into irremote.ini to
MUTE={run(c:\gbpvr\nircmd.exe mutesysvolume 2)}
VOLUP={run(c:\gbpvr\nircmd.exe changesysvolume 2000)}
VOLDOWN={run(c:\gbpvr\nircmd.exe changesysvolume -2000)}
Sound control is now available again

Enjoy and let's hope there will not have any more surprise like this

wannabepvr
2005-11-11, 04:14 AM
Firstly, I like the sound of the effect of these solutions. :cool:
But it all sounds a bit, well, difficult. :o

For we simple folk this can sort of be achieved by:

1. Putting GBPVR.exe shortcut in 'startup' folder (already discussed)
2. hiding all windows desktop icons (Display properties > Desktop > customise desktop.)
3. setting desktop to black (or even a background image of GBPVR with 'loading' or 'please wait' if you like.)
4. Auto hide task bar.

The only thing that sucks is you can't turn off the 'recycle bin' icon so I had to drag it down off screen corner out of sight. (align to gid off)

Not as effective or elegant as some other solutions... but simple.

dneprrider
2005-11-11, 01:59 PM
The only thing that sucks is you can't turn off the 'recycle bin' icon so I had to drag it down off screen corner out of sight. (align to gid off)

Not as effective or elegant as some other solutions... but simple.

Try the TweakUI for XP, this allows you to select which desktop items you wish to display or not. So you can choose to turn recycle bin icon off.

http://www.microsoft.com/windowsxp/downloads/powertoys/xppowertoys.mspx

wannabepvr
2005-11-13, 10:25 PM
Cool. I give it a try!

drewkaree
2005-12-04, 06:51 PM
First, I thought I had e-mail on responses checked, and MAN am I surprised to see all the responses and workarounds! Second, I've got a "fix" for some stuff and some comments:


Firstly, I like the sound of the effect of these solutions. :cool:
But it all sounds a bit, well, difficult. :o


Nah. I didn't know JACK about running a shell, and after dicking around with DOS for another project (a MAME pc) and getting frustrated enough to give up on THAT, this is a breeze. I will admit it looks (and sounds) intimidating, but the end result is like the cherry on top of the icing on the cake :D




The only thing that sucks is you can't turn off the 'recycle bin' icon so I had to drag it down off screen corner out of sight. (align to gid off)



IF, and ONLY if, you happen to be the proud possessor of XP Professional (to clarify even more, this DOES NOT APPLY to XP Home), hit the start button, click run, and type in gpedit.msc (group policy editor). Under "User Configuration", hit the "Administrative Templates" folder, then the "Desktop" folder. On the right hand side of the screen, you should see an option labeled "Remove Recycle Bin icon from the Desktop". Double click it. Select "Enabled", click "OK", and close. Reboot, and that hideously ugly Recycle Bin should be a thing of the past. It WILL still be accessable, just won't have the icon on yer desktop.

I dunno if XP has the same issues when throwing the program in the Startup folder, but it sounds like you gave that a shot so mebbe you can tell us - does the mouse cursor still show up as well during boot (w/hourglass :rolleyes: )

wannabepvr
2005-12-04, 08:20 PM
- no problems at all with a shortcut in the startup folder. (XP prof SP2)
- yes ugly cursor / hourglass are visable for a few moments.

Word
2006-03-10, 09:40 PM
I have set my normal account as the auto-login user and get a 'Your system does not appear to support VMR9, please use a different renderer' has not having the GB-PVR being the auto-login account caused this problem? Or what did I do wrong?

amaddux
2006-03-31, 04:28 PM
I'm using the GBPVR on a computer that doubles as a TV in our guest bedroom. I have followed the instructions, and successfully changed the Windows XP Pro shell for a single user to use GBPVR. However, when the user exits GBPVR, I expected windows to logoff that user.

Any ideas how to change this? I know there is a plugin that relates to making the exit button logoff, but I'd rather have this occur only for this new user.

I'm trying to make using the television as simple as possible to start and stop for the convenience of those who are technically savvy.

Thanks for any ideas...

amaddux
2006-03-31, 05:36 PM
Actually, the plugin works fine for me after looking at it. I didn't realize it had some many choices and thought it would just log off the user.

Now, I simply need to work on getting the remote to work with the sound. The post above talks about some code for it, but I'm left wondering...does that code go into the batch file that was scheduled to start at login?

Could it also be accomplished by putting it into the run at startup section of the registry?

n@boleo
2006-03-31, 06:01 PM
I'm using the GBPVR on a computer that doubles as a TV in our guest bedroom. I have followed the instructions, and successfully changed the Windows XP Pro shell for a single user to use GBPVR. However, when the user exits GBPVR, I expected windows to logoff that user.
Have you tried to add the following line at the end of your [whatever directory]\gbpvr\stop.bat ?

shutdown -l -f -t 0It should allow automatic logoff everytime gbpvr is closed...


Now, I simply need to work on getting the remote to work with the sound. The post above talks about some code for it, but I'm left wondering...does that code go into the batch file that was scheduled to start at login?Code should be placed into the c:\windows\irremote.ini (assuming your are using hauppauge RC)

Mister Vertigo
2007-02-22, 08:53 AM
I hate to resurrect an old thread, but it's the only one I found in my search that related to my issue. I went through all the steps in the wiki to hide Windows XP, and it's working great. My install now boots right into a gbpvr shell. I used the Scheduled Task workaround posted above to start my ir.exe program at login.

Once gbpvr launches however, I can't navigate any of the menus with my remote or keyboard (I'm still testing, so I still have the keyboard and mouse hooked up). However, I can click Ctrl-Alt-Del to bring up the Task Manager. Once I do that, everything works perfectly. I can use the mouse to close the Task Manager, and then my remote works perfectly.

Anyone have any ideas or suggestions as to what I may be doing wrong? Any help is appreciated! Thank you all!

Mister Vertigo
2007-02-22, 09:55 AM
OK, I just realized that the remote didn't work because gbpvr doesn't have focus in Windows. I've seen other threads discussing that issue, so I'll start looking there.

drewkaree
2007-02-23, 07:02 PM
What version of GBPVR are you using?

This also happened to me after I updated the wiki, but I was having problems with my remote, and I simply attributed it to that, since I could always hit "Live TV" and from that point on, everything worked.