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Windows 7 user profile creation overwrites custom wallpaper

    Question

  • Hi,
    I have a scenario wherein I create a new user profile in Windows 7 using the "Default" profile as the template. After that, I load the NTUser.dat file of the newly created user and make changes to the user's Wallpaper setting by changing the "HKU\Control Panel\Desktop\Wallpaper" registry entry to point to my custom wallpaper file. I then unload the NTUser.dat and login to the new user that I created.
    The user profile loads up with the default wallpaper of Windows 7 instead of the wallpaper that I configured in the above mentioned registry entry. When I checked the registry entry, I found that it was overwritten by the default wallpaper location which is "C:\Users\<Username>\Appdata\Roaming\Microsoft\Windows\Themes\TranscodedWallpaper.jpg".
    If I modify the registry entry manually from now, it gets reflected properly. This suggests that Windows 7 does something when a new user logs in for the first time.

    I have tried one more case:
    I have tried to copy my file into the default wallpaper location of Windows 7 and renamed it to "TranscodedWallpaper.jpg". However, when the profile loaded, my custom wallpaper jpg file got replaced with the default jpg wallpaper of Windows 7.

    Could anyone please help me understand the new logic that Windows 7 follows when creating a new profile? The above mentioned procedure works great on XP and Vista, but not on Windows 7.

    Thanks in Advance

    Thursday, October 29, 2009 5:34 PM

All replies

  • I have the same issue. I use a script to setup the default user profile when deploying through MDT, but I have the same wallpaper issue. The other registry changes seem to work (desktop icons fx.), just not the wallpaper.

    Have you found a solution? Or a better alternative for changing this? (I guess I could change it in RunOnce, but would rather just do it once for the default user profile)
    Wednesday, November 11, 2009 2:26 PM
  • We could not find any solution yet. However we did try the runonce thing and that too did not work. May be you can have a script which changes the wallpaper after first log-in and then logout from system. At second log-in the wallpaper will come properly.

    Looks like Win7 always reset the wallpaper on first login of the user/profile.

    Friday, November 13, 2009 3:48 PM
  • I have been searching quite a bit as well, but doesn't seem to be possible, at least not that simple. I change wallpaper in RunOnce now, but I can't get it to refresh with out log off / log on. RUNDLL32.EXE user32.dll, UpdatePerUserSystemParameters command doesn't work any more, but I hope to find some workaround at some point.
    Wednesday, November 18, 2009 1:35 PM
  • I spent all day yesterday with this as well. The only way I can think of right now is creating a themepack and having it ran via script or runonce.

    Edit: Simple solution. I have a string value to run the themepack file in RunOnce along with a string value for a "tskill explorer exit" batch file to immediately close the Personalization window. So every new user that logs in will have the themepack with the custom wallpaper ran once.
    Wednesday, November 18, 2009 7:20 PM
  • Hi guys,

    I had the same problem, however the fix was quite easy simple. Maybe it will work for you as well:

    When logged in as the user I later copy to "C:\Users\Default", I set the correct desktop wallpaper up, then I opened the registry (as madhu.nu said HKU\Control Panel\Desktop\Wallpaper) and changed the value from

    "C:\Users\MyUserName\Appdata\Roaming\Microsoft\Windows\Themes\TranscodedWallpaper.jpg"

    to

    "C:\Users\%USERNAME%\Appdata\Roaming\Microsoft\Windows\Themes\TranscodedWallpaper.jpg

    Then I  finished setting up the profile and rebooted, logged on as admin and copied the profile to "Default".
    This has worked fine ever since...


    Jesper Haggren
    • Proposed as answer by marelisejvr Thursday, March 29, 2012 12:56 PM
    Monday, November 30, 2009 3:12 PM
  • Well I don't do manual copy of user to default user. (It is not recommended by Microsoft any more.) I script the changes I need. Besides the wallpaper I use is BMP, so it shouldn't transcode it to my knowledge and it is place inside c:\Windows\Web\Wallpapers, so the path is the same for all users.
    Wednesday, December 02, 2009 1:00 PM
  • But are calling your script every new user to configure the wallpaper, I mean using ActiveSetup?

    I am asking because I did this one, but I had some problems with my GPO's that are disabling changes on Wallpaper/Theme.

    If you, guys, have another way to perform this action please advise.

    Regards,


    JimoT -------------------------- Don't stop the music
    Tuesday, December 15, 2009 11:10 AM
  • But are calling your script every new user to configure the wallpaper, I mean using ActiveSetup?

    On installation I run a script that customizes the default user. Ie. it loads the default user reg.db. and makes changes to the wallpaper, dekstop icon, trusted sites etc. (As said, this has to work on machines not in AD as well) On Windows 7 I add a RunOnce key that sets the wallpaper. This works, just not on first login.
    Tuesday, December 15, 2009 11:18 AM
  • Thanks!

    Yes, I am using the ActiveSetup registry entry to configure at first logon. Now I made some changes in my script to call my Theme directly and Now it is working!

    Thanks one more time.


    JimoT -------------------------- Don't stop the music
    Tuesday, December 15, 2009 11:34 AM
  • The answer to change the default background for a new user in windows 7 is quite simple. (after a 1/2 day of figuring it out)

    It does not take a registry hack or profile overwrite.

    The file it pulls from is:

    C:\Windows\Web\Wallpaper\Windows\img0.jpg

    Make your background 1920 x 1200 pixels

    96 dpi

    24 bit

    Boot up from a CD or USB drive

    Replace the the img0.jpg with your version named img0.jpg.

         The default background wallpaper will now be yours for any new user.  

              Have fun :-)

     
    • Proposed as answer by PirateDave Tuesday, August 03, 2010 3:20 AM
    Friday, January 29, 2010 5:58 AM
  • The answer to change the default background for a new user in windows 7 is quite simple. (after a 1/2 day of figuring it out)

    It does not take a registry hack or profile overwrite.

    The file it pulls from is:

    C:\Windows\Web\Wallpaper\Windows\img0.jpg

    Make your background 1920 x 1200 pixels

    96 dpi

    24 bit

    Boot up from a CD or USB drive

    Replace the the img0.jpg with your version named img0.jpg.

         The default background wallpaper will now be yours for any new user.  

              Have fun :-)

     

    Here what do you mean by Boot form USB or CD , can u explain it ?
    Thursday, April 29, 2010 5:26 AM
  • Well I don't do manual copy of user to default user. (It is not recommended by Microsoft any more.) I script the changes I need. Besides the wallpaper I use is BMP, so it shouldn't transcode it to my knowledge and it is place inside c:\Windows\Web\Wallpapers, so the path is the same for all users.


    Well I try to work with the Unaattend file and set CopyProfile to true , but not success :(

    Please have a look at the post at :

    http://social.technet.microsoft.com/Forums/en-US/winserversetup/thread/7063739a-6261-4c7e-83b2-75d99647a215

    Saturday, May 01, 2010 7:56 AM
  • Hi,

    Thanks a lot for the tip !!!! It worked for me as well. Thanks u so much.

    Saturday, May 01, 2010 7:57 AM
  • Hi guys,

    I had the same problem, however the fix was quite easy simple. Maybe it will work for you as well:

    When logged in as the user I later copy to "C:\Users\Default", I set the correct desktop wallpaper up, then I opened the registry (as madhu.nu said HKU\Control Panel\Desktop\Wallpaper) and changed the value from

    "C:\Users\MyUserName\Appdata\Roaming\Microsoft\Windows\Themes\TranscodedWallpaper.jpg"

    to

    "C:\Users\%USERNAME%\Appdata\Roaming\Microsoft\Windows\Themes\TranscodedWallpaper.jpg

    Then I  finished setting up the profile and rebooted, logged on as admin and copied the profile to "Default".
    This has worked fine ever since...


    Jesper Haggren

    Hi,

    Thanks a lot for the tip !!!! It worked for me as well. Thanks u so much.

    • Proposed as answer by marelisejvr Thursday, March 29, 2012 12:56 PM
    • Unproposed as answer by marelisejvr Thursday, March 29, 2012 12:56 PM
    Saturday, May 01, 2010 7:58 AM
  • By booting from a CD rom or USB, an external boot disk that at the least lets you change the attrib of a file and copy or overwrite the file. A graphical file manager is much easier.  Hirens or create a Microsoft PE disk.  (google it!)

    If all you want is to change the default wallpaper, my personal opinion is it is safer, and way simpler,  just to change the default image that the background is pulled from rather then do a registry hack. Almost any graphics program (including paint) will change a .bmp to a .jpg. It has to be named right with the proper specs. (1920 x 1200 pixels, 96 dpi, 24 bit), and put in C:\Windows\Web\Wallpaper\Windows\img0.jpg  a graphic is a graphic is a graphic, there is no secret code embedded in the default background. If it matches the specs, it will work.

      If there is more you want to change on a default profile then the backgroung desktop, you can set up a whole environment as another user, boot from an external and copy the profile (or rename it) to default.  

    Saturday, May 01, 2010 8:34 PM
  • Hey Guys!

    I made my theme default just setting up the group local policy.

    User Configuration/Administrative Templates/Control Panel/Personalization

    "Load an Specific Theme"

     


    JimoT -------------------------- Don't stop the music
    Sunday, May 02, 2010 11:32 AM
  • Microsoft will not support manual copy profile + plus you may always have issues if you use this way, Microsoft Prepare article to copy to default user profile

    You may check the following link:

    http://support.microsoft.com/?id=973289


    Best Regards --- Abduljalil Abolzahab Technical Specialist - Microsoft Technical Forum: http://Forum.fourtyfivecorp.net
    Monday, July 12, 2010 7:18 AM
  • Thank you for the reply ! I agree that manual process is not recomended but what to do when unattend files always have problems , sysprep charshes and finnaly OS non-functional.

     

    Tuesday, July 13, 2010 10:20 AM
  • I used the following guide and everything work fine with me

    http://www.ms-csm.com/SCCM/?p=99

     

     


    Best Regards --- Abduljalil Abolzahab Technical Specialist - Microsoft Technical Forum: http://Forum.fourtyfivecorp.net
    • Proposed as answer by N A Malik Wednesday, July 14, 2010 4:42 PM
    Tuesday, July 13, 2010 10:22 AM
  • Hi,

    Now my Unattend file works and it copies the profile as well.... but still I have question... I have customized the task bar and added the application icons there (near to IE, Windows Explorer etc) but these settings are not applied when new user account is created. Whereas the WallPapers, IE links etc are OK.

    Friday, July 16, 2010 9:53 AM
  • Grover-

     

    Just wanted to let you know, that I tried this, and it worked brilliantly!  A fairly simple answer.  So much easier than trying to go and use Windows AIK to create a new default account.  THANKS!

     

    -PirateDave

    Tuesday, August 03, 2010 3:22 AM
  • Thanks for the nod PirateDave ...

         I have been working in IT since the early 90's, member of Technet and MSDN so long, I have the original 1st launch CD's. It amazes me that people just try to overthink the obvious with reg hacks, scripts, GPO's and other complex answers and do not look at the logical simple solution. The graphic was a no brainer once I did a search and found the location and got the specs.  The same is true with the default user proflie. The system pulls the template from a simple location .. nothing complex about it.  I had that post up 6 mos. and it is amazing that only a couple of people got the concept...  The regestry may be very complex and large, but every object entry in and of itself, is quite simple as an object is just one unique item.. just a simple object.  

         Your welcome PirateDave...     

    Tuesday, August 03, 2010 6:47 AM
  • This trick works great, thanks!

    However, one question to follow up...  New users appear to come in on "Fill" rather than "Stretch" so my wallpaper ends up going off the right side of the screen.  Is there a simple workaround for this to always have new users be "Stretched" so at least the wallpaper all shows up on the screen (it's a stylized version of our logo, so distortion is okay)

    Thanks

    Carl Sundermann

    Monday, December 27, 2010 7:16 PM
  • Hi

    did anyone actually resolve this? To just set the the default background for a new user you do not have to copy any profile.

     

    just create this key:

    [HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Themes]

    key: DesktopBackground
    Type: REG_EXPAND_SZ
    Value: (example) c:\windows\system32\backgrounds\somejpgfile.jpg

     

    the manufacturers use this value, the path should be to an image you have, if you don't understand what to do, then perhaps you shouldn't be in the registry.

     

    cheers.

     

    Thursday, January 20, 2011 4:51 AM
  • I used a boot script (Computer Policy, windows\startup) to copy the new default background to this location:

    takeown /F c:\Windows\Web\Wallpaper\Windows\img0.jpg
    echo y| cacls c:\Windows\Web\Wallpaper\Windows\img0.jpg /E /G “system”:F
    echo y| cacls c:\Windows\Web\Wallpaper\Windows\img0.jpg /E /G “users”:R
    copy “\\fs01\Algemeen\img0.jpg” “c:\Windows\Web\Wallpaper\Windows\img0.jpg” /Y
    Friday, March 04, 2011 12:31 PM
  • Hi

    did anyone actually resolve this? To just set the the default background for a new user you do not have to copy any profile.

     

    just create this key:

    [HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Themes]

    key: DesktopBackground
    Type: REG_EXPAND_SZ
    Value: (example) c:\windows\system32\backgrounds\somejpgfile.jpg

     

    the manufacturers use this value, the path should be to an image you have, if you don't understand what to do, then perhaps you shouldn't be in the registry.

     

    cheers.

     

    I just confirmed on a new HP machine and changed the JPG file from hp1.jpg to hp2.jpg and it worked perfectly! I will check on a brand new dell asap.

    Thanks for the great info "Chris in AU"

    Wednesday, March 30, 2011 2:17 PM
  • Instead of booting from a CD/USB you can simply go in to the security permissions of the c:\windows\web\wallpaper\windows folder and take ownership of the folder.  At that point you can give the administrator account full permissions over the file.
    John Harness
    Friday, May 06, 2011 2:27 PM
  • what was the advice given on

    http://www.ms-csm.com/SCCM/?p=99

    the page is down....

    i'm struggling with the wlallpaper problem

    Wednesday, June 22, 2011 11:40 PM
  • what was the advice given on

    http://www.ms-csm.com/SCCM/?p=99

    the page is down....

    i'm struggling with the wlallpaper problem


    What kind of wallpaper problem do have ?

    Are you copying the user profile?

    Tell me in more details.


    N.A.Malik
    • Proposed as answer by N A Malik Friday, March 30, 2012 6:43 PM
    • Unproposed as answer by N A Malik Friday, March 30, 2012 6:43 PM
    Friday, June 24, 2011 10:26 PM
  • THIS WORKS!!!!!!  AWESOME!!!!!  I HAVE BEEN SEARCHING FOR THE EASY SOLUTION AND CHRIS HIT IT ON THE NAIL!!!  Thanks you very much
    Friday, September 09, 2011 7:22 PM
  • This worked perfectly! Thank you so much!
    Thursday, March 29, 2012 12:57 PM
  • Hi,
    I have a scenario wherein I create a new user profile in Windows 7 using the "Default" profile as the template. After that, I load the NTUser.dat file of the newly created user and make changes to the user's Wallpaper setting by changing the "HKU\Control Panel\Desktop\Wallpaper" registry entry to point to my custom wallpaper file. I then unload the NTUser.dat and login to the new user that I created.
    The user profile loads up with the default wallpaper of Windows 7 instead of the wallpaper that I configured in the above mentioned registry entry. When I checked the registry entry, I found that it was overwritten by the default wallpaper location which is "C:\Users\<Username>\Appdata\Roaming\Microsoft\Windows\Themes\TranscodedWallpaper.jpg".
    If I modify the registry entry manually from now, it gets reflected properly. This suggests that Windows 7 does something when a new user logs in for the first time.

    I have tried one more case:
    I have tried to copy my file into the default wallpaper location of Windows 7 and renamed it to "TranscodedWallpaper.jpg". However, when the profile loaded, my custom wallpaper jpg file got replaced with the default jpg wallpaper of Windows 7.

    Could anyone please help me understand the new logic that Windows 7 follows when creating a new profile? The above mentioned procedure works great on XP and Vista, but not on Windows 7.

    Thanks in Advance

    Hi

    The only method recomended by MS is to use sysprep with unattend XML file to copy user profile.
    Enable and login with the default Administrator user account (net user administrator /active:yes)
    Now change the background and any other customizations you want and run the sysprep, ,,, now all users will get the customizations you have configured.

    A step by step guide is available that may be of your interest:
    http://theitbros.com/sysprep-a-windows-7-machine-%E2%80%93-start-to-finish 


    N.A.Malik

    • Proposed as answer by N A Malik Friday, March 30, 2012 6:49 PM
    Friday, March 30, 2012 6:49 PM
  • This is not work for me on my laptop, but it is pretty locked down with SafeEnd encryption as well as a pretty hefty domain security policy. I could not change the permissions of the folder either. I was able to create the registry key, but it had no effect when a new profile was created; it still pulled the img0.jpg graphic.
    Monday, May 07, 2012 10:50 PM
  • Try this...

    Replace the C:\Windows\WEB\Wallpaper\Windows\img0.jpg with your wallpaper but the name has to stay img0.jpg

    Creat a new test user account and the users should have your wallpaper and not the Windows default .

    Should work for all new accounts on the computer.

    Hope that helps, it worked for my company image.

    More Info.. about the scurity premissions on this folder.

    I had to add the everyone group to the last folder in the path listed above so I could delete the img0.jpg and copy in my own wallaper named img0.jpg

    John Butler IV

    Thursday, July 05, 2012 4:57 PM
  • Windows 7 BGINFO

    The trick is to delete the TranscodedWallpaper.jpg in the user profile first then bginfo.exe will work. Or the whatever background is being used in the user profile.

    Here is the bat file I use for User Configuration Group Policy login script.

    del %AppData%\Microsoft\Windows\Themes\TranscodedWallpaper.jpg

    bginfo.exe \\FQDN\NETLOGON\BGInfo\bginfo.bgi /timer:0 /nolicprompt /silent

    I also enabled Loop back processing on the Computer Side Group Policy since many users use the same pc in one day  in our environment. (this doesn't really matter) just fyi.


    • Edited by Bond06 Wednesday, June 11, 2014 1:35 AM
    Wednesday, June 11, 2014 1:33 AM