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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.

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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.

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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.

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Next you select a ‘New’ user defined field.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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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