Customize Your Logon Background in Windows 7

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There have been rumors on the net about a new login background in the latest build of Windows 7. Whether or not that’s true is yet to be confirmed, but there is a way to customize your background now using a registry hack and pictures saved on your own hard drive.

The first step is to create a new DWORD value named OEMBackground in the HKLM\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Authentication\LogonUI\Background key. Set this to 1 (enabled) to turn the feature on and 0 (disabled) to turn the feature off. Depending on your system, this value may or may not already exist. The next step is to create a folder called %windir%\system32\oobe\info\backgrounds. In this folder, the following files are supported:

  • backgroundDefault.jpg
  • background768×1280.jpg  (0.6)
  • background900×1440.jpg  (0.625)
  • background960×1280.jpg  (0.75)
  • background1024×1280.jpg (0.8)
  • background1280×1024.jpg (1.25)
  • background1024×768.jpg  (1.33-)
  • background1280×960.jpg  (1.33-)
  • background1600×1200.jpg (1.33-)
  • background1440×900.jpg  (1.6)
  • background1920×1200.jpg (1.6)
  • background1280×768.jpg  (1.66-)
  • background1360×768.jpg  (1.770833-)

These files must be less than 256 KB in size that they must be named as listed above. When a resolution/ratio-specific background cannot be found, the backgroundDefault.jpg image will be loaded. (You can grab some decent wallpapers from here).

For customizers like myself, this hack totally rocks. (And yes, I tried it and it works!) 

Thanks to Rafael of the Within Windows blog for discovering this.

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