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Direct boot into front-end, XP GUI on exit

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  • Direct boot into front-end, XP GUI on exit

    I have read a lot of people want to boot directly into their front-end without running the wXP GUI. It has been said that if you have the registry entry to shell into your front-end, when you run explorer.exe, it only brings up the windows explorer window, not the entire GUI. After playing around with it for an hour, I found that if you boot into your front-end and then edit the registry entry in .....winlogon\shell and enter 'explorer.exe', then run explorer.exe, the full XP GUI will pop up, not just a windows explorer window.

    Because I have programed my own front end in VB.NET, I can write code into it to change the registry entry.

    What I do first when my front-end loads is change the registry entry to shell explorer.exe

    When I click the exit button, it shells explorer.exe, then re-writes the registry entry to shell my front-end, then ends the front-end:


    In the main form load_Load:

    '-----------------------------
    Dim WSH
    WSH = CreateObject("WScript.Shell")
    WSH.RegWrite("HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Microsof t\Windows
    NT\CurrentVersion\Winlogon\Shell", "explorer.exe")
    '-----------------------------


    In the 'exit' button:

    '-----------------------------
    Shell("explorer.exe")
    Dim WSH
    WSH = CreateObject("WScript.Shell")
    WSH.RegWrite("HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Microsof t\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\Winlogon\Shell", My.Application.Info.DirectoryPath & "\Vive.exe")
    End
    '-----------------------------

    Vive.exe is the front-end executable.



    This seems to work fine, hope this helps some people
    ViVE - Volkswagen In Van Entertainment:

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  • #2
    Great idea!

    so all your literally doing is importing registry keys to get the relevant menus, i always thought a restart would be needed b4 the changes would take effect.

    You may wanna change your title to How to!
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    • #3
      Yeah. It's strange that when the Shell entry is "your front-end.exe", and you try and run exporer.exe you only get the explorer windows. And if you change the entry to "explorer.exe", then run explorer.exe, you get the full GUI.

      I thought that this entry is only 'looked' at when XP starts, until I played around with it.
      ViVE - Volkswagen In Van Entertainment:

      VoomPC 2, VIA C7 2GHz
      7" Lilliput
      120Gb Sata drive
      1GB RAM


      [||||||||||] 100% - Planning
      [||||||||||] 100% - Software coding
      [||||||||||] 100% - Built

      (Always tweaking!)

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      • #4
        Originally posted by portreathbeach View Post
        Yeah. It's strange that when the Shell entry is "your front-end.exe", and you try and run exporer.exe you only get the explorer windows. And if you change the entry to "explorer.exe", then run explorer.exe, you get the full GUI.

        I thought that this entry is only 'looked' at when XP starts, until I played around with it.
        I might give it a go, without the correct explorer loading you dont get a start menu/taskbar if im thinking correctly only the file exporer and ability to use taskmgr, i use to boot to front end, but found it annoying when i wnated to get back into windows!
        CarPuter Progress:
        Planning:-----> [||||||||||] 100%
        Hardware Buying:-> [||||||||||] 100%
        Software:-----> [||||||||||] 100%
        Installing:-----> [||||||||||] 100%
        Current Project= Making skins in photoshop...

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        • #5
          Frontends GUI on startup, without explorer running

          Dear friends,

          The easiest and safest way to do such (mentioned in title) thing is to create and use Policies with the Policy Editor,
          which works only on "XP Professional". I mean the sw works on all XP versions, but policies can not be applied only on XP Pro.

          What is great beside a lot of things is that you can tie the frontend only login to a selected user so any problem should happen you can have the admin or any other user to log into and fix things. Also while the frontend is running and you would like to have explorer you can start it up anytime.


          Regards

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          • #6
            The main reason that I alter the 'Shell' in the registry is that if you shell to your front-end, and try and run explorer.exe, you only get the explorer window. You have to change the registry entry to explorer.exe while in the front-end to allow the full GUI to load. I don't really understand why this is, but it seems to work.

            You would have thought that after XP looks at the 'shell' entry and runs the front-end, it wouldn't look at it again, but it does, and explorer.exe will only run the full GUI if the 'shell' entry is explorer.exe.
            ViVE - Volkswagen In Van Entertainment:

            VoomPC 2, VIA C7 2GHz
            7" Lilliput
            120Gb Sata drive
            1GB RAM


            [||||||||||] 100% - Planning
            [||||||||||] 100% - Software coding
            [||||||||||] 100% - Built

            (Always tweaking!)

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            • #7
              Noob question here,

              What is the benefit of starting your HU software this way, versus just adding it to the startup folder, where it loads after explorer/etc?
              2008 Mustang GT CarPC

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              • #8
                Boots quicker, XP doesn't have to load the GUI and programs in the task bar.
                ViVE - Volkswagen In Van Entertainment:

                VoomPC 2, VIA C7 2GHz
                7" Lilliput
                120Gb Sata drive
                1GB RAM


                [||||||||||] 100% - Planning
                [||||||||||] 100% - Software coding
                [||||||||||] 100% - Built

                (Always tweaking!)

                Comment


                • #9
                  Thanks.
                  2008 Mustang GT CarPC

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                  • #10
                    Are there any side affects? e.g. wireless network not loaded etc?

                    Regards, Neil
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                    • #11
                      As LTi said, the *correct* way is to use Win XP pro and make a specific login for your PC startup via Local Group Policy, and then a separate admin login for your maintenance.
                      "If it works this good why F with it?" -KMFDM "Intro"

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                      • #12
                        if i have multiple screens which screen will the front end display on?

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                        • #13
                          I would suggest using the actual registry system class instead of relying on WMI.

                          Like:
                          Registry.SetValue("HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Mic rosoft\Windows
                          NT\CurrentVersion\Winlogon", "Shell", "explorer.exe", RegistryValueKind.String)

                          You will need to add a using or Imports statement for Microsot.Win32

                          This is of course, for .NET only.
                          -James
                          Car: 2004 GTI VR6 24v Turbo 2.8L, GT35R, 630cc, Unitronic, Bosch 044, etc, etc..
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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by portreathbeach View Post
                            You would have thought that after XP looks at the 'shell' entry and runs the front-end, it wouldn't look at it again, but it does, and explorer.exe will only run the full GUI if the 'shell' entry is explorer.exe.
                            I'm guessing that explorer.exe checks the registry every time it gets started. If it is the designated shell, it provides the taskbar and start menu; if it is not, it just opens one little window.

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