Putting System Information on the Desktop

If you maintain more than three or four servers, it can be difficult to distinguish them when you are logged onto the console or logged on with Terminal Services. And if you support multiple vendor models that have different hardware, it can be even more difficult to remember what is installed on each computer. Fortunately, there is a simple, yet elegant solution. Why not just put system information on the desktop background so that as soon as you log in, you can see how much memory is installed, view the disk configuration, find out how many CPUs are installed, etc.? The guys at Sysinternals have come through for us yet again by providing the BGInfo utility that can do exactly this. It is a highly customizable tool that lets you put just about anything you could think of on the desktop background.

You can configure where the information should be positioned in the background, you can use any background color or wallpaper you want, and you can even choose to configure whether only Terminal Services users should see it or whether it should be available to anyone that logs on.

Using a graphical user interface

  1. Open the Sysinternals BGInfo program on the target server.
  2. The default configuration information is displayed. You can modify it directly or select a new setting in the Fields box and click the Add button. You can also create your own custom settings by clicking the Custom button.
  3. Click the Background button to customize the background color or bitmap.
  4. Click the Position button to customize where the BGInfo is displayed on the desktop.
  5. Click the Desktops button to configure the desktops where you want this information displayed. You can put it only on your desktop, on all console users’ desktops, or on Terminal Services user’s desktop.
  6. Click the Preview button to see what the new background would look like.
  7. Click the Apply button to commit the changes.