Sysinternals BGInfo - automatic startup

BGInfo is a great utility to display machine information in the Desktop Background.  Having the information displayed for the systems that you’re working with, makes it very easy to see some of the basic information about the machine and lets you know quickly which servers or VM you connected to. This utility comes from the Sysinternals suite and is available for download at Microsoft Technet Sysinternals.

Bginfo is often a necessity in a server or lab environment, but it can be used anywhere.  Some of the most popular information to display is:

  • OS version
  • SP version
  • IP address
  • Boot time
  • Disk “Free Space”

…but there are lot's more options. In fact, you can configure bginfo to display just about any attribute of the system.

Automatically Run at Startup

It's best to run bginfo at startup silently and unattended.  To do so, you need to edit the following registry key:


Create a new REG_SZ value under the “Run” key named “bginfo”, or whatever you want.  The value of the key will be the path to bginfo.exe, and any parameters you want to pass.  The three most common are:  /silent /accepteula /timer:0 to run bginfo silently at startup. Don't use the /all parameter. For some reason unless the user has admin rights, using the /ALL switch throws up an error message.

Something else to be aware of — especially if you intend to run bginfo in an enterprise with UAC turned on and GPOs applied — is to keep the output bitmap file in a location that the logged on user has write permissions.  The reason for this is that bginfo runs in the user context to display on the user’s desktop; and because the information is “dynamic” — at least at each user logon — the output bitmap file needs to be updated.  You can change where bginfo stores the .bmp under the Bitmap -> Location… menu.  The default location is in the user’s TEMP directory, which should be okay.

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