Hyper-V PowerShell Windows Server 2016 Windows Server 2019 Windows Server 2022

PowerShell: BgInfo deployment script for Windows Server 2016, 2019 and 2022 (preview)


Probably everyone knows the Windows Sysinternals tool BgInfo (currently version 4.28). For those who don’t, it’s a great free tool from Microsoft which captures system information form a workstation or server (probably where it is the most useful) and displays that relevant data directly on the desktop of that particular machine. It can show useful information like, DNS settings, used IP Addresses, computer name, domain name, OS version, memory, service pack version, etc.

Whenever I create a new Windows Server 2016 or 2019, or these days a 2022 (currently in preview) Virtual Machine (VM) template for customers, I mostly add this tool in the base image (also called golden image) and set it so it starts up automatically whenever a user logs on to the server. To automate this process, I wrote a PowerShell script which automates the complete BgInfo installation and configuration.

This script will do all of the following:

  • Create the BgInfo folder on the C: drive if the folder does not already exist.
  • Download the latest BgInfo tool from the Sysinternals webpage.
  • Extract and cleanup the BGInfo.zip file in the BgInfo folder.
  • Download the logon.bgi file which holds the preferred settings.
  • Extract and cleanup the LogonBgi.zip file in the BgInfo folder.
  • Create the registry key (regkey) to AutoStart the BgInfo tool in combination with the logon.bgi config file.
  • Start BgInfo for the first time.
  • Exit the PowerShell window upon completion.


Prerequisites

  • OS: Windows Server 2016, 2019 or 2022
  • PowerShell: Windows PowerShell 5.1
  • Other: Internet connectivity


PowerShell Script

<#
.SYNOPSIS

A script used to download, install and configure the latest BgInfo version on a Windows Server 2016, 2019 or 2022.

.DESCRIPTION

A script used to download, install and configure the latest BgInfo version (v4.28) on a Windows Server 2016, 2019 or 2022. The BgInfo folder will be created on the C: drive if the folder does not already exist. 
Then the latest BgInfo.zip file will be downloaded and extracted in the BgInfo folder. The LogonBgi.zip file which holds the preferred settings will also be downloaded and extracted to the BgInfo folder. 
After extraction both .zip files will be deleted. A registry key (regkey) to AutoStart the BgInfo tool in combination with the logon.bgi config file will be created. At the end of the script BgInfo will 
be started for the first time and the PowerShell window will be closed.

.NOTES

File Name:      Deploy-BgInfo-WS2016-WS2019-WS2022.ps1
Created:        08/09/2019
Last modified:  26/07/2021
Author:         Wim Matthyssen
PowerShell:     5.1 or above 
Requires:       -RunAsAdministrator
OS:             Windows Server 2016, Windows Server 2019 and Windows Server 2022 (Preview)
Version:        3.0
Action:         Change variables were needed to fit your needs
Disclaimer:     This script is provided "As Is" with no warranties.

.EXAMPLE

.\Deploy-BgInfo-WS2016-WS2019-WS2022.ps1

.LINK

https://tinyurl.com/y3wmsh7o
#>

## ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

## Variables

$bgInfoFolder = "C:\BgInfo"
$bgInfoFolderContent = $bgInfoFolder + "\*"
$itemType = "Directory"
$bgInfoUrl = "https://download.sysinternals.com/files/BGInfo.zip"
$bgInfoZip = "C:\BgInfo\BGInfo.zip"
$bgInfoEula = "C:\BgInfo\Eula.txt"
$logonBgiUrl = "https://tinyurl.com/yxlxbgun"
$logonBgiZip = "C:\BgInfo\LogonBgi.zip"
$bgInfoRegPath = "HKLM:\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Run"
$bgInfoRegKey = "BgInfo"
$bgInfoRegType = "String"
$bgInfoRegKeyValue = "C:\BgInfo\Bginfo64.exe C:\BgInfo\logon.bgi /timer:0 /nolicprompt"
$regKeyExists = (Get-Item $bgInfoRegPath -EA Ignore).Property -contains $bgInfoRegkey

$global:currenttime= Set-PSBreakpoint -Variable currenttime -Mode Read -Action {$global:currenttime= Get-Date -UFormat "%A %m/%d/%Y %R"}
$foregroundColor1 = "Red"
$foregroundColor2 = "Yellow"
$writeEmptyLine = "`n"
$writeSeperatorSpaces = " - "

## ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

## Download started

Write-Host ($writeEmptyLine + "# BgInfo download started" + $writeSeperatorSpaces + $currentTime)`
-foregroundcolor $foregroundColor1 $writeEmptyLine 

## ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

## Create BgInfo folder on C: if it not exists, else delete it's content

If (!(Test-Path -Path $bgInfoFolder)){New-Item -ItemType $itemType -Force -Path $bgInfoFolder
   Write-Host ($writeEmptyLine + "# BgInfo folder created" + $writeSeperatorSpaces + $currentTime)`
   -foregroundcolor $foregroundColor2 $writeEmptyLine
}Else {Write-Host ($writeEmptyLine + "# BgInfo folder already exists" + $writeSeperatorSpaces + $currentTime)`
   -foregroundcolor $foregroundColor1 $writeEmptyLine
   Remove-Item $bgInfoFolderContent -Force -Recurse -ErrorAction SilentlyContinue
   Write-Host ($writeEmptyLine + "# Content existing BgInfo folder deleted" + $writeSeperatorSpaces + $currentTime)`
   -foregroundcolor $foregroundColor1 $writeEmptyLine}

## ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

## Download, save and extract latest BGInfo software to C:\BgInfo

Import-Module BitsTransfer
Start-BitsTransfer -Source $bgInfoUrl -Destination $bgInfoZip
Expand-Archive -LiteralPath $bgInfoZip -DestinationPath $bgInfoFolder -Force
Remove-Item $bgInfoZip
Remove-Item $bgInfoEula

Write-Host ($writeEmptyLine + "# bginfo.exe available" + $writeSeperatorSpaces + $currentTime)`
-foregroundcolor $foregroundColor2 $writeEmptyLine

## ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

## Download, save and extract logon.bgi file to C:\BgInfo

Invoke-WebRequest -Uri $logonBgiUrl -OutFile $logonBgiZip
Expand-Archive -LiteralPath $logonBgiZip -DestinationPath $bgInfoFolder -Force
Remove-Item $logonBgiZip

Write-Host ($writeEmptyLine + "# logon.bgi available" + $writeSeperatorSpaces + $currentTime)`
-foregroundcolor $foregroundColor2 $writeEmptyLine

## ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

## Create BgInfo Registry Key to AutoStart

If ($regKeyExists -eq $True){Write-Host ($writeEmptyLine + "# BgInfo regkey exists, script wil go on" + $writeSeperatorSpaces + $currentTime)`
-foregroundcolor $foregroundColor1 $writeEmptyLine
}Else{
New-ItemProperty -Path $bgInfoRegPath -Name $bgInfoRegkey -PropertyType $bgInfoRegType -Value $bgInfoRegkeyValue

Write-Host ($writeEmptyLine + "# BgInfo regkey added" + $writeSeperatorSpaces + $currentTime)`
-foregroundcolor $foregroundColor2 $writeEmptyLine}

## ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

## Run BgInfo

C:\BgInfo\Bginfo64.exe C:\BgInfo\logon.bgi /timer:0 /nolicprompt

Write-Host ($writeEmptyLine + "# BgInfo has ran for the first time" + $writeSeperatorSpaces + $currentTime)`
-foregroundcolor $foregroundColor2 $writeEmptyLine 

## ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

## Exit PowerShell window 3 seconds after completion

Write-Host ($writeEmptyLine + "# Script completed, the PowerShell window will close in 3 seconds" + $writeSeperatorSpaces + $currentTime)`
-foregroundcolor $foregroundColor1 $writeEmptyLine
Start-Sleep 3 
stop-process -Id $PID 

## ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------





To use the script copy and save the above as Deploy-BgInfo-WS2016-WS2019-WS2022.ps1 or download it from GitHub. Afterwards run the script with Administrator privileges from the server you wish to use for your VM template.


If you are still running Windows Server 2012 R2, you can look at this blogpost or download the relevant Deploy-BgInfo-WS2012-R2.ps1 PowerShell script from GitHub.








At the moment when running BgInfo on a Windows Server 2022 (preview), it displays OS version “Windows Server 2016”. This will probably be fixed in a new release or update.


Customize logon.bgi

If you want to change any configuration setting (for example the font style or published info), just open the logon.bgi file and adjust the settings to your preferences. Click OK to save and set the new settings.



Hope this script comes in handy for you. If you have any questions or recommendations about it, feel free to contact me through my Twitter handle.

8 comments on “PowerShell: BgInfo deployment script for Windows Server 2016, 2019 and 2022 (preview)

  1. Pingback: PowerShell: BgInfo Automation script for Windows Server 2012 R2 – Wim Matthyssen

  2. Pingback: PowerShell: Set customizations for a Windows Server 2016 or 2019 base image – Wim Matthyssen

  3. Awesome Matt, thank you for the script, saved me a ton of time!

    Like

  4. Hi Matt, great script saves a lot of time..thanks, I looking for some condition base background wallpaper, if std windows blue and for cluster role servers a brown in color..is this can be achieved..?

    Like

  5. Hey Wim,

    How would you tackle the way varonis exploits BGINFO?
    I would but the BGI file on a “protected” location of the OS, but not sure if thats sufficiant.
    https://www.varonis.com/blog/exploiting-bginfo-to-infiltrate-a-corporate-network/

    Like

    • Hi Kris, I only use the script on servers, so I don’t directly see the problem (except maybe on RDS servers). I suppose you want to use it on a Windows 10 device. If so, you can block the .bgi extension via Exchange (but it depends which license your using off course, to be able to also block it in a .ZIP file), otherwise block it in your antivirus or you could use application whitelisting using Software Restriction Policies for all users except local administrators.

      Like

  6. It did not run on 2019 servers. I opened with Admin Powershell.

    S C:\Temp> .\Deploy-BgInfo-WS2016-WS2019-WS2022.ps1
    At C:\Temp\Deploy-BgInfo-WS2016-WS2019-WS2022.ps1:200 char:21
    + Sign up
    + ~
    The ampersand (&) character is not allowed. The & operator is reserved for future use; wrap an ampersand in double
    quotation marks (“&”) to pass it as part of a string.
    At C:\Temp\Deploy-BgInfo-WS2016-WS2019-WS2022.ps1:227 char:189
    + … ata-ga-click=”(Logged out) Header, go to Features”>Features <span cla …
    + ~
    The '→Mobile <span cla …
    + ~
    The '→Actions <span cla …
    + ~
    The '→Codespaces <span cla …
    + ~
    The '→Packages <span cla …
    + ~
    The '<' operator is reserved for future use.
    Not all parse errors were reported. Correct the reported errors and try again.
    + CategoryInfo : ParserError: (:) [], ParseExce

    Like

    • Hello Arindam,

      It runs without any problems. How did you used the script. Did you copied it from the website or do you use the GitHub source? If so, I think you have copied some wrong characters on the lines specified. Could you validate?

      Like

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