BgInfo is a Windows Sysinternals tool that displays relevant information about the Windows computers on its desktop. This article will outline deploying this tool via Group Policy. Our goal will be to deploy one policy with more information for administrators for our server environment, and a second Group Policy that simply shows the hostname and IP address for end user workstations.
BgInfo can be downloaded at:
Once downloaded, extract the files. The extracted directory will have (3) files: Bginfo.exe, Bginfox64.exe, and Eula.txt.
When opening up the Bginfo.exe, it will pull up the default configuration.
One issue is with the IP address field. This will show 0.0.0.0 IP addresses for unassigned adapters, which can create confusion. Per a post by Zlatin Kostov, he shows how we can use a WMI query with the IPEnabled flag to remove these unassigned adapters:
Zlatin also shows how we can query a registry value to identify the virtual host. We will use this value for our server policy.
Following his example, we will create a new custom field named “IPAddress” (must differ in name from current IP Address field), using a WMI Query.
Choose from the WMI Class:
Choose from the Class Property:
IPAddress WMI Query
When the WMI Query populates, append it with the entry WHERE IPEnabled=TRUE, so the complete query will reflect:
SELECT IPAddress FROM Win32_NetworkAdapterConfiguration WHERE IPEnabled=True
Choose the “Evaluate” button to test your query.
For the Virtual Host, create a ne.w custom field named “VM Host”
Choose “Registry Value” and “64-bit registry view”
For path insert:
Click “OK” if you receive the message “The specified registry value does not exist” click “OK” to proceed.
Once done with the custom entries, go ahead and configure BgInfo for your servers. Once done with fonts, position, and your entries, choose “Save As” and save with a name for this deployment, i.e. “Server_BgInfo”.
Repeat to create your settings you want for your desktop deployment. Save your configuration, i.e. “Desktop_BgInfo”.
Next we will copy bginfo.exe, and our two (2) new “.bgi” files to the active directory netlogon directory, creating a folder for these items named “BgInfo”:
We will now create our Group Policies. Open “Group Policy Management” and create or modify a policy.
This is where I deviate from Zlatin’s post – he used Group Policy Preferences to copy the files to each host, then create a shortcut to launch them – instead I propose we use Group Policy Preferences to skip to the shortcut part, but launch from the netlogon share…
I propose we use Group Policy Preferences to create a shortcut that launches for all users that points to the netlogon folder; within Group Policy Management, go to:
Computer Configuration -> Preferences -> Windows Settings -> Shortcuts -> “New Shortcut”
Target Type: File System Object
Location: All Users Startup
\\domainname\netlogon\BgInfo\Server_BgInfo.bgi /SILENT /TIMER:0 /NOLICPROMPT
Finally – we may see trust issues in launching this application.
First, browse to the netlogon directory \\domainname\netlogon\BgInfo\ and right click on BgInfo.exe. Check the “Unblock” button on the general tab:
Secondly, we need to force trust to our netlogon directory. Within your Group Policy Management console, most likely modifying your Default Domain Policy, and browse to:
Computer Configuration -> Administrative Templates -> Windows Components -> Internet Explorer -> Internet Control Panel -> Security Page
Choose “Site to Zone Assignment List”, ENABLE the policy, then “SHOW”
For Value, add your domain name, and set a value of “1” (for Intranet).
Assign your policy to the correct Organizational Unit. Test by using “gpupdate /force” via the command line.
Setup a second policy for desktops, making sure that it is assigned to the correct Organizational Unit.