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 Post subject: Automatically boot to Classic Desktop
PostPosted: Monday 20 Aug 2012 22:10 (UTC +1) 
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Win2008Workstation Admin
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Description
After installing the Desktop Experience feature, Windows suddenly automatically boots to the Start screen instead of the classic desktop. Find the location of the setting which is responsible for that.

Wish satisfied, thanks to Igal Tabachnik with his post at the hmemcpy Blog! Created a new page for it in the Manual.

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 Post subject: Re: Automatically boot to Classic Desktop
PostPosted: Wednesday 22 Aug 2012 17:46 (UTC +1) 
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Win2008Workstation Super Member
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Wow, that's interesting and exactly the opposite of what happed in one of the release previews as I recall! I wonder if what ever is responsible can be found and work on the Windows 8 RTM OS? Would very likely make a lot of Users happy if that were possible as all the solutions thus far slow down the boot and/or have a delay that flashes Metro (which isn't called Metro anymore, but I'll call it Metro).

:geek:


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 Post subject: Re: Automatically boot to Classic Desktop
PostPosted: Friday 24 Aug 2012 15:24 (UTC +1) 
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Fact: We know that Windows starts booting to the Start screen instead of the classic desktop after installing the Desktop Experience feature.

Method to find the key(s)/file(s) responsible: Diffing the file system and registry before and after installing the Desktop Experience feature.

To not get even more output from the diff, I first installed the 'Ink and Handwriting Services' and 'Media Foundation' features which are required for the Desktop Experience feature to install. After that I restarted the OS.

Now using the System State Analyzer from the Software Certification Toolkit (x86/x64) I created a snapshot of all files, the registry, services and drivers prior to and after installing the Desktop Experience feature. The snapshots went fine, however when trying to compare the two snapshots, the tool crashed each time with an ArgumentOutOfRange Exception:
Code:
Problem signature:
P1: sanalyzer.exe
P2: 3.0.0.0
P3: 4be7e57d
P4: mscorlib
P5: 2.0.0.0
P6: 4ef6c131
P7: da
P8: 0
P9: System.ArgumentOutOfRange
P10:

I found the (erroneous) code responsible for this crash using the .net decompiler .NET Reflector: CountDirectoryModified() in the Microsoft.Analyzer.Utility.DirectoryStatistics class which is called by SetDirectory() function in the same class. Using the Reflexil plugin I removed all three function calls from the SetDirectory function, saved the patched .dll and thereby solved the crash while comparing (patched .dll attached).
Attachment:
Microsoft.Analyzer.Utility.DLL

There is however *a lot* of output from this comparison tool, so haven't found out the key(s)/file(s) responsible yet. Both snapshots can be downloaded here.


You do not have the required permissions to view the files attached to this post.

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|[ Mainboard: Asus C8HM70-I/HDMI ]|[ CPU: Intel Celeron 847 ]|[ RAM: 8192 MB (DDR3-1600 SDRAM) ]|[ GPU: Intel HD Graphics 2000 ]|[ OS: Microsoft Windows Server 2012 Enterprise ]|


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 Post subject: Re: Automatically boot to Classic Desktop
PostPosted: Saturday 25 Aug 2012 19:22 (UTC +1) 
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Small update: Using a PE cd I replaced the following files of Windows Server 2012 with Desktop Experience installed by files of a Windows Server 2012 installation which does not have Desktop Experience installed.
Code:
%SystemRoot%\System32\config\SOFTWARE
%SystemRoot%\System32\config\SOFTWARE.LOG
%SystemRoot%\System32\config\SOFTWARE.LOG1
%SystemRoot%\System32\config\SOFTWARE.LOG2

After replacing these files, Windows automatically boots to the classic desktop while the Desktop Experience feature is installed.

These files contain the HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE and HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT branches of the Windows registry.

I have a presumption that at the installation of the Desktop Experience feature some .dll class is registered which automatically triggers the opening of the start menu...

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|[ Mainboard: Asus C8HM70-I/HDMI ]|[ CPU: Intel Celeron 847 ]|[ RAM: 8192 MB (DDR3-1600 SDRAM) ]|[ GPU: Intel HD Graphics 2000 ]|[ OS: Microsoft Windows Server 2012 Enterprise ]|


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 Post subject: Re: Automatically boot to Classic Desktop
PostPosted: Saturday 25 Aug 2012 23:31 (UTC +1) 
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Win2008Workstation Super Member
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Cool Cool! On a perhaps related note, there's a little app called Skip Metro Suite for Windows 8 that does the obvious thing, so perhaps it's output can be diffed for a look at what it's doing....

Also interesting for those that want to avoid any inadvertent interference from Metro (for reasons like these), the Author of Skip Metro Suite posts these registry tweaks to disable the Metro panels...

Edit: I just noticed that the 'ImmersiveShell' section of the Registry is different from Windows 8 and Server 2012; perhaps this section of the registry is where some the shell boot parameters are buried?

Image

:geek:


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 Post subject: Re: Automatically boot to Classic Desktop
PostPosted: Friday 31 Aug 2012 16:16 (UTC +1) 
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Win2008Workstation Super Member
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Update: when I posted a link to this thread on MSFN, a feller named MagicAndre1981 posted the following that may be of interest:

MagicAndre1981 wrote:

hoak wrote:
Impressive work Tihiy! You may also find some of the exploration and method used here in investigating how Server 2012 boots directly to Desktop after Desktop Experience is installed of interest.

this done by a function in the Explorer.exe and the TWinUI.dll called ShouldShowStartMenuOnLogin which checks for Server, next if DE Role is installed and if this role is installed it checks if the license explorer-CanSuppressStartMenuOnLogin is allowed for this edition. Next it checks if the GPO is set to skip Startscreen. if everything is set it allows to boot directly to the desktop.


...might be helpful...


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 Post subject: Re: Automatically boot to Classic Desktop
PostPosted: Thursday 06 Sep 2012 20:08 (UTC +1) 
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hoak wrote:
...might be helpful...
Hmm, I should dive more into Windows reversing/debugging :) In the past days already learned some kernel debugging using VMWare and WinDbg, but there's a lot more to learn! ;)

Anyway, thanks for the info! :geek:

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 Post subject: Re: Automatically boot to Classic Desktop
PostPosted: Sunday 09 Sep 2012 00:10 (UTC +1) 
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Wish satisfied! :) Main topic updated.

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