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Need help with Scheduling a task for Halloween

By Tink! ·
I want to automate/schedule the display properties (WinXP Pro) to change the desktop wallpaper to a specific picture.

I need to schedule this to happen because it shows the wallpaper before you logon to the network and will ruin the scare.

If the scare works perfectly, the scream will play as Windows loads, and the desktop paper will appear scaring the daylights out of my co-worker!

P.S. I still need a nice scream and have decided to look for a nice closeup of a big spider.

Thanks for any help from the rest of you pranksters!

(by the way when she was gone for a few days last week I plastic wrapped her phone, typewriter, keyboard, walkie-talkie and pen tray) she thought that was a riot.


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by NickNielsen In reply to Need help with Scheduling ...

This sounds like fun, but I don't think it can be done with a single command. I think you'll have to use a script, but I have no idea which commands would apply here. Let me do some research.

Hmm, change the startup sound...change the default log-in background...mumble...mumble...

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by zlitocook In reply to Hoo!

Local group policy.

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by NickNielsen In reply to Need help with Scheduling ...

This page is the first of many from a Google search for "spider close-up":

Don't know where you could find a good scream

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Scary spider...ooohhh

by Big Rod In reply to Spiders
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Needs a script

by neilb@uk In reply to Need help with Scheduling ...

If you have Admin rights to the user's PC, you can copy on a script and change the wallpaper at a preset time by remotely creating a scheduled task. You can also minimize all of the windows so you get the full effect. Then you change it back again.

I did this a few years ago to flash up a quarter second of a bit of soft porn on a colleague's PC at random intervals. Everyone else was in on the joke and denied seeing the change.

That was two jobs ago so I may have some problems finding the script as I'm off on vacation in a couple of days but I'll see what I can do,


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Here's a start

by neilb@uk In reply to Needs a script

The following vbscript will minimise all icons, change the wallpaper to a bmp of your choice, wait 10 seconds and then put it all back. The example used is one of the windows bmps but I suspect that you'll change that...


Set oShell = CreateObject("WScript.Shell")
Set oFSO = CreateObject("Scripting.FileSystemObject")
set oDesktop=CreateObject("Shell.Application")

' Minimise all of the windows for full effect


' Get and save the old wallpaper

sOldWallpaper = oShell.RegRead("HKCU\Control Panel\Desktop\Wallpaper")

' New wallpaper
' Replace the following two lines with
' sWallPaper="Path to your gruesome file"

sWinDir = oFSO.GetSpecialFolder(0)
sWallPaper = sWinDir & "\Prairie wind.bmp"

' Update in registry

oShell.RegWrite "HKCU\Control Panel\Desktop\Wallpaper", sWallPaper

' Let the system know about the change

oShell.Run _
"%windir%\System32\RUNDLL32.EXE user32.dll,UpdatePerUserSystemParameters", _
1, True

' Play a sound

sSoundFile = "c:\windows\media\tada.wav"

sCommand = "sndrec32 /play /close " & chr(34) & sSoundFile & chr(34)
oShell.Run sCommand, 0, True

wscript.sleep 10000 ' Time to sleep in ms

' Put it all back
' Update in registry

oShell.RegWrite "HKCU\Control Panel\Desktop\Wallpaper", sOldWallPaper

' Let the system know about the change

oShell.Run _
"%windir%\System32\RUNDLL32.EXE user32.dll,UpdatePerUserSystemParameters", _
1, True

oDesktop.UndoMinimizeAll 'windows back


You will need to set this as a task on the user's PC timed to go off several times during the day. That way, you can have the camera ready!

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by Tink! In reply to Here's a start

I think this is what I"m looking for but here's a stupid question...where do I put the script?

Tink :)

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Stupid answer

by NickNielsen In reply to cool!

In a file... :^0

Actually, since it's vbscript, I would say save it as a .vbs file (scream.vbs ?) and schedule it.

But vbs is not my forte, so Neil would probably be the better one to answer this question.

Take it away, Neil...

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