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In Windows 2003 I was able to change the registry key as follows to display the actualy computer name on the desktop using the Computer Desktop Icon.

System Key: [HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\CLSID\{20D04FE0-3AEA-1069-A2D8-08002B30309D}] Change "LocalizedString" value to %COMPUTERNAME%

I'm getting access denied messages using regedit for this key and I'm unable to give full rights to this specific key as well as administrator.

Does anyone have a better solution for displaying the computer name on the desktop?

Thanks.

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2 Answers

up vote 1 down vote accepted

There is always the Sysinternal's (now part of Microsoft) BgInfo:

It automatically displays relevant information about a Windows computer on the desktop's background, such as the computer name, IP address, service pack version, and more. You can edit any field as well as the font and background colors, and can place it in your startup folder so that it runs every boot, or even configure it to display as the background for the logon screen.

Update: To fix the problem of the desktop icon in W2k3 R2 as per Mouffette comments below based upon this TechNet thread:

Right click on the registry key in regedit, select permissions then in the advanced tab change the owner from TrustedInstaller to Administrators, hit apply then you are able to grant administrators full control over the key. At that point you can edit the LocalizedString and save then hit refresh on the desktop and it works!

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bginfo is an unofficial final step addendum to all of my server build docs. :-) –  Chris_K May 24 '10 at 3:32
    
tried that utility a while ago in 2008 but had security problems with that as well. everytime i logged in it would prompt for security access. Worse than that though is that if you disconnect and resume your active session the screen is cleared. That was a show stopper for this tool.. –  Mouffette May 24 '10 at 3:50
    
It has been updated since then so it might be worth looking at again. –  Sim May 24 '10 at 5:29
    
Cool. I'll check it out. The desktop icon has a lot less moving parts so I'm still hoping there's something I'm missing there. –  Mouffette May 24 '10 at 5:46
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That last comment did the trick. You right click on the registry key in regedit, select permissions then in the advanced tab change the owner from TrustedInstaller to Administrators, hit apply then you are able to grant adminitrators full control over the key. At that point you can edit the LocalizedString and save then hit refresh on the desktop and it works! Thanks for your help Sim. –  Mouffette May 24 '10 at 15:26
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I realize this question has an answer that's been accepted, and maybe I'm missing something, but why not right click the Computer icon on the desktop and select "Rename" and name it based on the computer\server name? I've been doing it for years and it works on W2K8 just as it did going all the way back to Win9x.

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I use serveral accounts and actually use this in my LocalizedString "%USERNAME% on %COMPUTERNAME%" –  Mouffette May 26 '10 at 5:40
    
To answer your question of why use the registry. Your way requires doing it on every single computer you want to have it available on. If you work in a large office environment and use imaging for deployment do it once in registry and deployed workstaions don't have to individually be changed. You can even push a script to change the registry of existing workstations. –  user84822 Jun 17 '11 at 0:53
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