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Thread: Removing Windows Screens from Boot (MAME) and other handy tips.

  1. #1
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    Removing Windows Screens from Boot (MAME) and other handy tips.

    Quoted from BYOAC

    There have been alot of threads on here posted by some very knowledgeable people about how to best hide XP from the boot up screens, and how to auto login, etc. but there doesn't seem to be a single start-to-finish post on the subject. Much of what we want done to XP can be sorted by a single application by Tom Spiers HERE

    1. Changing/removing the boot screen
    2. Removing the Welcome screen
    3. Removing the "Loading settings" and other startup messages
    4. Change the login background color
    5. Turn-off popup balloons
    6. Loading straight to Mamewah (and exiting to Explorer)
    7. Don't want ESCAPE to leave Mamewah
    8. Mamewah preview movies don't show
    9. Optimising which System services to use.
    10. Speeding up XP in general
    11. Bootvis

    1. Changing the boot screen

    You can either remove the bootscreen from XP via the NOGUIBOOT option in msconfig, or for Mame/Mamewah users you can replace the bootscreen with an animated MAME boot menu (my preference)

    a) Removing boot screen altogether

    i) In XP, click START -> RUN and enter msconfig
    ii) select BOOT.ini tab
    iii) click /NOGUIBOOT then OK

    b) Changing boot screen to animated Mame screen

    (click to enlarge)

    i) Download and install Stardocks Bootskin program. HERE
    ii) Download the MAME bootskin by Apocalpse_67 from HERE
    iii) Remove the .zip suffix from the filename once downloaded.
    iv) Run Bootskin and select File->Import and point to your mame.bootskin file.


    2. Getting rid of the Welcome screen

    i) Start Menu -> Control Panel + select User Accounts.
    ii) Select "Change the way users log on or off"
    iii) Un-tick the "Use the Welcome screen" + apply options. Close the User Accounts window.
    iv) Start Menu -> Run and enter control userpasswords2
    v) Un-tick the "User must enter a username and password to use this computer"
    vi) Enter the password for the person you want to login as.


    3. Getting rid of the "Loading settings" screens

    i) Start Menu -> Run and enter regedit
    ii) Navigate to entry: HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE>Software>Microsoft>Windows>Curr entVersion>Policies>System
    iii) If there is an entry for "DisableStatusMessages" set it to 1

    If there is no entry, right-mouse click the "System" word, and select New->DWORD value, and enter "DisableStatusMessages", right-mouse to edit the value of it, and enter 1

    4. Changing the login background color

    i) Start Menu -> Run and enter regedit
    ii) Navigate to entry: HKEY_USERS>.DEFAULT>Control Panel>Colors
    iii) Right-mouse click the "Background" item, and select modify
    iv) Enter 3 RGB (Red Green Blue) numbers in the range 0-255 each. Black is 0 0 0 White is 255 255 255.

    5. Turn off Pop Up balloons

    If your cab is running in 640x480 or you have XP Security Center running you'll often get those annoying pop up balloons in the bottom right of your screen (great when you're in the middle of a great game of Galaxians..), to turn them off:

    i) Start Menu -> Run and enter regedit
    ii) Navigate to entry: HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\Curre ntVersion\Explorer\Advanced
    iii) If there is an entry for "EnableBalloonTips" set it to the decimal 0 (the digit zero)

    If there is no entry, right-mouse click the "Advanced" word, and select New->DWORD value, and enter "EnableBalloonTips", right-mouse to edit the value of it, and enter the decimal 0 (the digit zero).


    6. Loading straight into frontend of your choice

    You can either boot into Explorer and have your front-end load as one of your "Startup" items or you can tell Windows to not bother loading Explorer and go straight to your front end. This is sometimes known as "shelling" Mamewah. The second method is quicker to load, and won't show a desktop briefly before loading your front-end, however it is more involved and riskier (if you goof up). For the purpose of this exercise we'll assume we're using Mamewah as our front end.

    a) Adding Mamewah to your startup items

    i) Start Menu->All Programs->StartUp and right-mouse click the Startup word and select Explore
    ii) In another window find where your Mamewah executable is, and click right-mouse and select Copy.
    iii) In your "Startup" window, right mouse click and select Paste Shortcut

    b) Putting Mamewah in windows shell

    Because we're running Mamewah as the shell and not explorer, if we quit Mamewah we want it to startup explorer for us, otherwise we'll just have a blank screen and not (easily) be able to do anything.

    i) Go to your Mamewah folder and edit your mamewah.ini file
    ii) Near the bottom of the list of options is app_to_run_on_exit enter explorer.exe next to it and save the file.
    i) Start Menu->Run and enter regedit
    ii) Navigate to the item HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\IniFileMapping\system.ini\boot
    iii) If there is an item in there called Shell right-mouse click and select modify
    iv) Change the first three letters from SYS to USR
    v) Navigate to the item HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\Winlogon
    vi) Right-mouse click "Winlogon" and select New->String Value
    v) Name it Shell then right mouse click Shell and select modify and enter the full path to your Mamewah executeable eg. c:\emu\mamewah\mamewah.exe

    7. Don't want ESCAPE to leave Mamewah

    By default the ESCAPE button is the quit button on most cabinets, and is ideal for leaving your current MAME game.. but if you want a turnkey solution for your cabinet, you don't want the users to quit Mamewah by mistake, because you're without a keyboard and firing up Mamewah will probably need a reboot. So..

    i) Go to your Mamewah folder and find the ctrlr sub-folder.
    ii) Edit the default.ini file and navigate to the EXIT_TO_WINDOWS item
    iii) Change the entry to "DIK_TAB & DIK_ESCAPE"

    This way you can use "tab + escape" if want to quit Mamewah quickly via VNC if you're controlling it remotely.

    8. Mamewah preview movies don't show

    a) To get game previews to work in Mamewah, first make sure you've told Mamewah about them

    i) Go to your Mamewah folder, and enter the ini sub-folder
    ii) Edit the ini file relating to the emulator you want previews for (mostly mame.ini or 01mame.ini for Mame)
    iii) Find the movie_preview_path value and enter the path to the movies.

    b) Make sure you have the right movie codec

    i) Most preview movies out there require the Xvid codec, which can be found HERE
    ii) If you're not sure which codec you need, install the codec utility Gspot which can be found HERE

    c) Try this: Start Menu -> Run and type regsvr32 mpg4dmod.dll


    9. Optimising which services to user

    To access your list of services:

    i) Start Menu->Control Panel
    ii) Select Administrative Tools and then Services

    This topic is very subjective, so I'm not going to cover it personally, but give links to resources I found useful on the subject:

    Black Vipers Service Configurations

    Qwerty Maniac

    NOTE: If you're going to use Bootvis (below) to optimise your startup further, then do NOT deactivate the Task Scheduler service, as it's required by Bootvis.


    10. Speeding up XP in general

    If you're configuring XP to work in your cabinet you don't need any of the fancy features that XP automatically loads on startup like smooth fonts, fading menu items or visual styles.

    i) Get to System Properties.
    a) If you have the "My Computer" icon on your desktop right mouse click it and select Properties, if not
    b) Start Menu->Run and enter sysdm.cpl

    ii) Click the Advanced tab and then under the Performance heading, click Settings
    iii) Click Adjust for best performance

    Many people say that System Restore adds a fair overhead too, you can deactivate that also in the same System Properties box and select the System Restore tab and tick "Turn off System Restore on all drives"


    11. Bootvis

    OK, so you've deactivated all the services you don't want, you've got the cabinet booting to how you want, you've done a defrag but it's just taking a bit longer to boot than you would like.

    Bootvis, designed by Microsoft, analyses your boot processes and with the aid of graphs, shows you what processes / drivers are in your startup, but also how long they're taking and what your disk / CPU usage is.

    i) Get Bootvis HERE and install + run it
    ii) Choose File->New>Next Boot+Drivers Trace
    ii) Enter number of repetitions 2 and select OK
    iii) Wait for BootVis to reboot your machine twice
    iv) When it's rebooted the second time and finished analysing your boot process run Bootvis again
    v) Choose File->Open and open the TRACE_BOOT+DRIVERS_1_1.BIN file (in your Bootvis folder)
    vi) See how long it takes to boot the first time, then open TRACE_BOOT+DRIVERS_1_2.BIN file.
    vii) The second boot should be quicker.
    iix) Selecting the Trace->optimize option will reboot your machine and then defrag your boot items to make them load faster. (you will need to wait a few minutes while it does this)
    ix) Repeat steps ii) to vi) to see how long it takes to boot now. ( Change initial number starting to 3 to not overwrite the first boot logs)

    NOTE: If your system is dual boot you may see errors relating to "0 drives found"


    I take zero credit for this post. Thanks go to all the peeps that have contributed to it.

  2. #2
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    Fantastic

    A great reference

  3. #3
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    Sweet a new mame boot screen I been useing the old one
    good info
    The best action is wrist action!!!!!!

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    This thread is invaluable! thanks heaps.

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    The man's a legend (for the all in one program I know the original info isnt his) is he on AA?, when I was trying to get GameEx working he was among those answering back to my dumb questions and even added a fix to one of my issues on a update, now that's service Never been that bothered by seeing xp for a few seconds till the front end loads but might give this a bash over the weekend, I haven't tinkered, broke something and had to tinker some more with the mame cab for a couple of weeks now so the things probably feeling neglected.

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    some links are no longer valid

  7. #7
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    I'd like to add my humble thanks for this Sticky post - really useful and answers questions in one spot that I hadn't seen covered in the areas I'd read so far.

  8. #8
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