If you purchase a system with Windows Vista preinstalled from a major computer manufacturer, such as Dell or Hewlett-Packard, the manufacturer's logo and technical support contact information is on Vista's System page. Figure A shows the System page on one of my Vista test machines.
Major computer manufacturers put their logos on the System page in Windows Vista.If you install Vista on your system from scratch, you'll notice that the area reserved for the company logo on the System page is blank. Figure B shows such a page.
If you installed Windows Vista on your system, the area reserved for the company logo on the System page is blank.
It's easy to add a logo and technical support contact information to the System page once you know the procedure. You might wish to do this if you run a local computer store and manufacture your own systems, or if you provide technical support and would like to use this area of the System page to display your logo and help desk information.
In this edition of the Windows Vista Report, I'll show you how to add a logo and technical support information to Vista's System page.
Creating the logo
If you already have a logo image — or plan to create one in Paint — size it to 120 pixels by 120 pixels, convert it to a 24-bit bitmap, and save it as oemlogo.bmp.
Once you save your oemlogo.bmp file, copy it to the C:\Windows\System32 folder. The System32 folder is a protected folder, so you will encounter a User Account Control dialog box when you attempt to copy the file to that folder — you will need to respond accordingly.
Adding the logo and technical support information
To add the logo and information on Vista's System page, it involves editing the registry and creating five new entries.
Follow these steps to get started:
- Click the Start button and type Regedit in the Start Search box and press [Enter].
- Respond accordingly to the User Account Control dialog box.
- When the Registry Editor appears, navigate to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\ CurrentVersion\OEMInformation.
- Once you open the OEMInformation key window (Figure C), go to the Edit menu and select New | String Value.
Once you open the OEMInformation key, you'll see that, by default, it doesn't contain any information.
- Assign the new value the name Logo and press [Enter] twice.
- In the Edit String dialog box, when you see the Value Name text box, type the path to your logo file in the Value Data text box (Figure D) and click OK.
Type the path to your logo file in the Value Data text box.
- Pull down the Edit menu again, select New | String Value, and assign the new value the name Manufacturer.
- When you open the Edit String dialog box, type your company's name in the Value Data text box (Figure E) and click OK.
When you create the Manufacturer string value, you'll type your company name in the Value Data text box.
- Repeat steps 7 and 8 three more times and create string values called SupportHours, SupportPhone, and SupportURL. As you do, you'll fill in the Value Data text boxes with the appropriate information. Your OEMInformation key window will look similar to the one in Figure F.
When you're done, your OEMInformation key window will look similar to this one.
- When you're finished, close the Registry Editor.
Your System page will now show your logo and technical support contact information.
Manually creating a Restore Point
Remember that editing the registry can be a dangerous operation, so manually create a Restore Point (a reference snapshot of your computer) and make sure that you have a recent backup.
Follow these steps to create a Restore Point:
- Click the Start button and type System in the Start Search box.
- In the Results pane, select System to open the System page.
- In the Tasks pane, select System Protection and respond accordingly to the User Account Control dialog box.
- When the System Properties dialog box appears, click the Create button on the System Protection tab.
- In the System Protection dialog box, type a description (Figure H) and click Create.
Manually creating a Restore Point in Vista is easy.
Are you ready to add your logo and support information?
If you're ready to add your logo and technical support contact information to Vista's System page, will you use this technique on business systems or on a home system? Post your thoughts in this article's discussion.
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Greg Shultz is a freelance Technical Writer. Previously, he has worked as Documentation Specialist in the software industry, a Technical Support Specialist in educational industry, and a Technical Journalist in the computer publishing industry.