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BgInfo Working For You In Windows 10

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BgInfo – I am a great fan of the SysInternals tool BgInfo. I use it all over the place, especially in Virtual Machines. I also apply it to my development machine to display useful info about my system. Apart from the standard info tags that ship with BgInfo, you can define some custom ones. Here is my take on defining a custom info tag for BgInfo to display the state of a Windows Service, in my case SQL Server.

BgInfo

Get started by downloading BgInfo if you have not done so already. Next type the Windows Key+R and enter ‘shell:startup’. Copy the BgInfo exe into your startup folder so that it runs whenever your Windows 10 PC …. well, starts up.

BgInfo

You can see from my BgInfo configuration that I have defined two custom fields for SQL Server and SQL Server Agent. I want to see at all times if these Windows Services are started or stopped. You can obviously check the state of any Windows Service as well as get info about many other WMI Classes. To define a custom field, click on the ‘Custom’ button.

BgInfo

Next you select a ‘New’ user defined field.

BgInfo

On the ‘Define New Field’ form, select WMI Query and click on the ‘browse’ button. BgInfo allows you to replace the identifier with a host of other system info sources too, so if you prefer VBScript for example you can define that as the source of your info.

BgInfo

Next, the WMI Query Selection screen will open up. Then you need to open up the Windows Services screen and find the service you want to monitor.

BgInfo

Right click the service in the list and select ‘Properties’. You will see the name defined in the Service Name field on the Properties screen.

BgInfo

Returning to the WMI Query Selection screen of BgInfo, select the correct WMI Class for services and select the property to return. I want to find the state of my service, so I select State from the Class Property list. I then add a WHERE condition to the WMI Query to only return the state for a service with the name of my SQL Service ‘MSSQL$SQLSERVER’. Clicking Evaluate will show you the results of your query.

BgInfo

After you are satisfied that the WMI Query is working, click OK and you will return to your User Defined Fields list. As you can see I have already added another Windows Service to monitor in addition to my SQL Server service.

BgInfo

You can now customize the display of the BgInfo items on your desktop. You can define where it is positioned as well as the font and color of the text to display. I chose Consolas and an off white (or light grey) color.

BgInfo

When you are satisfied with the information displayed, you click OK and BgInfo will display your custom fields on your desktop for you.

Here are some more useful WMI Queries. BgInfo is a really neat little tool and will be of use (and already IS of use) to many developers and network administrators out there.

Dirk Strauss
Dirk is a Software Developer and Microsoft MVP from South Africa. He loves all things Technology and is slightly addicted to Twitter and Jimi Hendrix. Apart from writing code, he also enjoys writing human readable articles. "I love sharing knowledge and connecting with people from around the world. It's the diversity that makes life so beautiful." Dirk feels very strongly that pizza is simply not complete without Tabasco, that you can never have too much garlic, and that cooking the perfect steak is an art he has yet to master.

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  • Stefan

    Great article! I’m using BGInfo for a very long time, too. But I didn’t knew that you can implement WMI data.

    If you run “shell:startup” the startup of BGInfo is only running for the current user. If you want to run it for all users BGInfo should be placed in C:ProgramDataMicrosoftWindowsStart MenuProgramsStartUp. I’m using a link to a batch script and store BGInfo in the “Program Files” folder.

    BGInfo shows Windows 10 as Windows 8.1 when using the variable . In the past BGInfo got a new release for new OS versions. Hopefully this will be done again soon. Or is there a possibility to change this?

    • Hi Stefan. Thanks for the great feedback! You’re absolutely correct, BgInfo will only run for the current user if it is in the “shell;startup” folder. I have also noticed that it displays Windows 8.1 in Windows 10 which is a bit frustrating.

      Lastly, I find that I need to run BgInfo every few minutes via a task using the timer:0 switch so that it refreshes the info of the running services. BgInfo does the snapshot at startup and creates a new wallpaper image with the BgInfo on. So this means that a service could stop, but the info on your desktop is not automatically refreshed (unless you use a windows task to run BgInfo again silently).

      • Leif Magne Finstad

        1. Edit the settings the way you want BGInfo to appear.

        2. Save the file to a settings file called f.ex “Settings.bgi” in the same location where BGInfo.exe is located.

        3. Create a shortcut to BGInfo.exe

        4. Edit the shortcut properties, Target: “C:BGInfoBGInfo.exe C:BGInfoSettings.bgi /Accepteula /Timer:0

        5 Run: “Shell:common startup” and place the shortcut there.

        Now all users will have the same info and no nags.

        WMI is great for customization, I use it especially when I have several network adapters that are not in use and reports 0.0.0.0

        SELECT IPAddress FROM Win32_NetworkAdapterConfiguration WHERE IPEnabled=TRUE

        Remember to give the custom field another name then IP Address. You cannot overwrite the built in values. I set f.ex IPaddress instead of IP Address.

  • Lee

    Howdy,

    In Run window, type “shell:common start menu” for convenient access to the startup folder for all users.

    BGInfo showing OS version as “Windows NT 6.2” on my Windows 10 systems … aside from being somewhat amusing, have you seen this at all?

  • Lee

    Edit to my previous: BGInfo 4.20 does indeed show “Windows 8.1” on Windows 10. Sort of an improvement, I guess.

    • Hey Lee. Yeah, I’m also seeing Windows 8.1 on my Windows 10 OS. I thought that for me, I wouldn’t want to see that info anyway seeing as it is my personal machine. Having said that, it is a quirk (read bug) that needs fixing. 🙂

  • Ian B

    You can get the correct version number/description for Windows 10 using one of the following WMI Queries:

    Description
    SELECT Caption FROM Win32_OperatingSystem

    Version Number
    SELECT Version FROM Win32_OperatingSystem

    Not perfect, but it will do until BGInfo is updated!

    • Awesome tip!! Thanks Ian!

    • SoBlindWolf

      You can also do this script:

      Script Name: OSArchitecture.vbs
      Code: http://pastebin.com/fJqMxLwR

      Script Name: OperatingSystemInformation.vbs
      Code: http://pastebin.com/XH5nvxrK

      Please Note: I did not create the scripts I am only sharing them because they work good for my Win10 as well as Win7 and Win8/8.1

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