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  • FAQ: Boot directly into your front end

    Note: Some front-ends work better than others:
    FrodoPlayer - Had no problems
    Cetrafuse - Has an option within the program. See Cirion's comment in post #63
    Mobile Media Center - untested at the moment
    RoadRunner - Works. Test by UK_MP3Car (post #13) (Personally tested with 05-02-06 build as of 24May06)
    Neocar Media Center - Works with 0.7 beta 2. Tested by DJ-FrosT (post #12)

    Make Windows Boot Directly into Your Front End
    Download this document (Right-click Save As)

    (Note: This should be the last configuration in your installation. Get all your hardware and software working before doing this.)

    This tutorial will show you how to make Windows boot directly into your front end of choice. You will not have to click on anything. This process can speed things up and save you a little bit of RAM. If you use your front end to hibernate or standby your machine, it should boot back up into the front end. This is primarily for cold boot setups.

    Step 1: Click Start > Run > regedit
    Step 2: Browse to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE \ SOFTWARE \ Microsoft \ Windows NT \ CurrentVersion \ Winlogon
    Step 3: In the right pane, find and double-click Shell


    Step 4: Change explorer.exe to the complete path of your front end and hit OK. (Note: In this case for FrodoPlayer: C:\Program Files\Frodoplayer\Frodoplayer.exe. Also, note the quotation marks at the beginning and end up the path. These are used to allow long filenames.)


    Technically, that’s all but we’re going to improve it a bit. We’re going to also set up Windows to Auto-Logon and not display any messages during boot-up and shutdown.
    Progress [||-------]
    View my Worklog to see some of my progress.
    Downgraded Progress - Starting with another car... 09/13/06

  • #2
    Disable Status Messages During Boot, Logon, Logoff, & Shutdown
    Step 1: Click Start > Run > regedit
    Step 2: Browse to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE \ SOFTWARE \ Microsoft \ Windows \ CurrentVersion \ policies \ system \
    Step 3: In the right pane, find and double click DisableStatusMessages
    Step 3b: If you do not have it, click Edit > New > DWord Value. Name the new DWord as DisableStatusMessages


    Step 4: Double click DisableStatusMessages and change the value to 1 and hit OK
    Progress [||-------]
    View my Worklog to see some of my progress.
    Downgraded Progress - Starting with another car... 09/13/06

    Comment


    • #3
      Auto Logon Windows
      Step 1: Click Start > Control Panel > Display > Screensaver
      Step 2: Uncheck On resume, password protect (if you have a screensaver set)


      Step 3: Click the Power button followed by the Advanced tab
      Step 4: Uncheck Prompt for password when computer resumes from standby

      Step 5: Using the Microsoft Powertoy called Tweak UI, select Logon > AutoLogon
      Step 6: Enter your username and password (if any) and hit OK


      Note: To suppress autologon, hold the shift key while the system is starting.
      Progress [||-------]
      View my Worklog to see some of my progress.
      Downgraded Progress - Starting with another car... 09/13/06

      Comment


      • #4
        To Make the Logon Screen Black/Not Shown
        Step 1: Click Start > Control Panel > Display > Desktop
        Step 2: Change the wallpaper to None and select the color black


        Step 3: Click Start > Control Panel > User Accounts > Change the way users log on or off
        Step 4: Uncheck Use the Welcome screen


        Step 6: Using the Microsoft Powertoy called Tweak UI, select Logon > Settings
        Step 7: Check Colors & Wallpaper and hit Copy Now followed by OK twice


        Hint: If you would like to have your logon screen display a picture instead of just a solid color, change your desktop background to the desired picture. Using TweakUI > Logon > Settings, select Wallpaper and click Copy Now. When you reboot, your current picture will be shown while the computer is Auto-Logging In.

        Note: If you change your login screen and do not uncheck Use the Welcome Screen, the login screen’s bitmap will still be shown. This could be beneficial but for the purpose of this tutorial, I am going to assume you have not changed your logon screen and am I going to tell you how. Search. It's actually easier to change backgrounds using the hint about and will save some system resources with turning off the Welcome Screen and Fast User Switching (off with W/S). This is what my current logon screen would look like with Use the Welcome Screen checked and Auto Logon set.


        Here's a good idea from thanatos106
        We should add the way to kill the "windows scheme" (because nobody that is booting directly into the front end wants to hear those).

        So the way to do it is going to control panel\sound and audio devices\sounds
        and kill all the schemes (global ) by puting "no sounds" in the firts box or killing one by one in the second box.
        Take a look at post #16 for a pic that he posted.
        Progress [||-------]
        View my Worklog to see some of my progress.
        Downgraded Progress - Starting with another car... 09/13/06

        Comment


        • #5
          Thanks! Nice write up. Added to the FAQ of FAQ's.
          Originally posted by ghettocruzer
          I was gung ho on building a PC [until] just recently. However, between my new phone having internet and GPS and all...and this kit...Im starting to have trouble justfiying it haha.
          Want to:
          -Find out about the new iBug iPad install?
          -Find out about carPC's in just 5 minutes? View the Car PC 101 video

          Comment


          • #6
            A user sent me a PM and presented me with this question:
            "I followed the shell into front end instructions. Now, when I close my front end, I just see the background and nothing else. How to I get back into explorer?"
            Windows was booted with the shell of your front end. The shell is your GUI (Graphical User Interface). When you exit the front end, you have no more GUI.

            To jumpstart explorer, hit CTRL+ALT+DEL to bring up the Task Manager (if you see an NT logon box, click the Task Manager button). Click File > New Task (Run...) and enter explorer.exe When you hit OK or enter, magically explorer starts up complete with taskbar and all you icons and such.

            Hint: You can jump right into regedit and change the shell back to explorer should you change your mind or have problems.

            Derek
            Progress [||-------]
            View my Worklog to see some of my progress.
            Downgraded Progress - Starting with another car... 09/13/06

            Comment


            • #7
              If you are using a front end that allows you to launch an application, you can put explorer.exe as a program that can be launched. If you need to access explorer, you can launch it from the front end.
              Originally posted by ghettocruzer
              I was gung ho on building a PC [until] just recently. However, between my new phone having internet and GPS and all...and this kit...Im starting to have trouble justfiying it haha.
              Want to:
              -Find out about the new iBug iPad install?
              -Find out about carPC's in just 5 minutes? View the Car PC 101 video

              Comment


              • #8
                Altering the shell executable registry entry isn't the best way to automatically launch an application when windows starts, unless ofcourse you don't want the explorer interface (start menu, system tray, etc) to load. If you still want explorer running when your computer boots up do this instead:

                1) Open regedit
                2) Goto the key HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\Curr entVersion\Run
                3) Create a new string value in this key, name it something that you'll be able to easily recognize, most likely the name of the program you're using as your front end, ie. "Frodoplayer"
                4) Edit that new string value and put in the full path of the front end executable. Quotes are required if the path contains spaces, ie. "C:\Program Files". Quotes are NOT required for long file names.

                Alternatively, I believe you can just add the path to the program after "explorer.exe" in the shell string value at HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\Winlogon. So the data for the Shell value would be 'explorer.exe "C:\Program Files\Frodoplayer\Frodoplayer.exe"', without the single quotes ofcourse. This will load both explorer and Frodoplayer when the shell loads (not 100% sure about this).


                If you want to autologon to windows and don't want to use TweakUI (program for n00bs says I :P) then you can do this all in the registry as well:
                1) Open regedit
                2) Goto the key HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\Winlogon
                3) Edit or create the string value AutoAdminLogon with the data 1 or 0. 1 enables autologon, 0 disables it.
                4) Edit or create the string value ForceAutoLogon with the data 1 or 0. 1 enables forcing autologon, 0 disables it.
                5) Edit or create the string value DefaultUserName with the data <username>, where <username> is your windows username.
                6) Edit or create the string value DefaultPassword with the data <password>, where <password> is the password to the windows username you specified. If your password is blank, then leave this blank as well.

                If you want to totally disable autologon, just change AutoAdminLogon to 0. As stated in the posting above, to bypass autologon on a single boot, hold down the shift key while windows is starting up.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Thanks for the tip. Although I tried making Centrafuse the SHell application, and Centrafuse did not like the fact that Explorer (and/or some other components) weren't loaded. So it crapped out on me!
                  2002 Honda CR-V
                  Carputer progress: 90% [▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓ -]
                  Spent so far: $1105.90


                  Download the NEXUS Skin for Centrafuse
                  ...or even Listen to my music

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    heh.. i did something like this to my boss.. i made solitare as the only thing that loaded =D

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by shauns
                      heh.. i did something like this to my boss.. i made solitare as the only thing that loaded =D

                      Off-topic: I took a screen shot of my supervisor's desktop (complete with icons and taskbar. I saved the screenshot as a .bmp and made it into his desktop's wallpaper. Then I hid all his icons and moved his taskbar to the top of the screen and made it auto-hide. The result is a desktop that appears to have all its icons and the taskbar but for some reason can't seem to open anything...

                      Derek
                      Progress [||-------]
                      View my Worklog to see some of my progress.
                      Downgraded Progress - Starting with another car... 09/13/06

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        just to let you all know.... this works for neocar media center 0.7 beta 2.... I have tryed it today... works like a charm...

                        oh and btw hi, I'm new to the carputer scene... just installed my box this week... I have screenshots of the neocar working here www.cardomain.com/id/djfrost
                        come check out my ride here www.cardomain.com/id/djfrost

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Also works for RoadRunner, this is how I've been running my CarPC for months.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            A quick note: For me, when bringing up the Task Manager, and using the New Task (Run...) feature, if I type explorer.exe or explorer, all I get is a browse window. It does not load the full explorer desktop etc.

                            Any ideas?
                            2002 Honda CR-V
                            Carputer progress: 90% [▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓ -]
                            Spent so far: $1105.90


                            Download the NEXUS Skin for Centrafuse
                            ...or even Listen to my music

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by justintime
                              A quick note: For me, when bringing up the Task Manager, and using the New Task (Run...) feature, if I type explorer.exe or explorer, all I get is a browse window. It does not load the full explorer desktop etc.

                              Any ideas?
                              Try going to the New Task (Run...) feature, and entering "c:" (or another valid hard disk drive). You should get an error message and the shell should reload. I'm not sure if explorer.exe will load, though, or your shell - I've always used this trick on desktop computers.

                              Comment

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