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Wednesday, October 11, 2006

IT Pro Tips and Tricks #1: Removing the Terminal Services Wallpaper on Windows 2003 Dell Servers

dellI'm going to do my best to do two things. First, be more active in this blog. And secondly, try to start a series of tips and tricks that help make all of our lives better. I bet there are a lot of other tips and tricks you guys can teach me to make my life better too. Let’s see how many of you out there are either supporting in-house servers, or are doing third party IT support for other clients.

One of the most annoying things I've ran into recently, is the slow scrolling action you see every time you terminal service into a new Dell SBS server that has their new background. It literally scrolls down very reminiscent of back in 1995 when you were trying to view great pictures of Cindy Crawford over your 28.8 modem connection to the internet. And the slower the connection, the more pain you have to experience waiting for it to finish.

Well, there is a very simple answer to alleviate your pain. Just follow these instructions, and enjoy.

(Insert annoying disclaimer telling you that anytime you edit the registry, you are taking your own life, and that of the server into risk. If you break it, ITS NOT MY FAULT!)

1. On the server, open the registry by going to start - run - regedit
2. Navigate to the following Key: HKEY_USERS\.DEFAULT\Control Panel\Desktop
3. Delete the WALLPAPER key entirely. Some people recommend clearing the contents out, or creating a new wallpaper named the same, but its much simpler to just delete it.
4. Close registry editor, and enjoy

Please feel free to put in your own tips and tricks in the comments section. We'll post the good ones.


  • erm...isn't that quite obvious, even for a junior IT pro?

    By Blogger Relógio Adiantado, at 5:12 AM  

  • Rel: not that obvious, because on Dell Windows 2003 servers, even if you remove the wallpaper manually via the display properties, it stays there when you access the server via terminal services.. the wallpaper is about 2MB big.. so it's really a pain in the * to log on with this in the background.

    By Blogger Kiltak, at 10:57 AM  

  • Relogio,

    Its not rocket science, but you'd be surprised how many people still wait and watch that screen scroll along.

    Obvously lots of people have figured this out.


    By Blogger Chief911, at 1:29 PM  

  • i admire the effort of trying to get nice tips that will make IT people's life easier around the world...but this item can be shortened to: "if you want to speed up your rdp experience, make sure you don't use a bitmap wallpaper on the remote server"...

    If an IT pro doesn't figure this one out...i pity the clients that rely on him.

    (don't get me wrong...i'm only bashing this based on how obvious it is...not a really useful tip...this is normal pratice)

    By Blogger Relógio Adiantado, at 1:44 PM  

  • Rel-
    It doesn't hurt to give specific instructions like this. I agree with Kiltak, it's not obvious. I for one had no idea that this was even an issue, let alone that a registry tweak was necessary to fix the problem. I'm a web developer who spends far more time deploying code on Enterprise Linux machines than working remotely on a Win2k3 server box. Does this mean my clients deserve your pity?

    I don't know who all reads blog regularly, but I get the feeling that we attract a pretty broad range of people. The term "IT Pro" covers a rather wide range of professions and a huge variety of skill sets.

    What may seem to be n00bile trivia to one person may be a nice helpful tidbit that'll help someone else solve a minor, nagging problem that they may not have had time to figure out, or even think about.

    I, for one, do my best to gobble up any little bit of trivia or useful tidbits like this that I happen to come across. Chief, do your thing!

    By Blogger theMatt, at 2:17 AM  

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