Win XP started changing background and screen saver
June 5, 2006 10:29 AM   Subscribe

I prefer no background, and my wife wants a panda-movie screensaver. After the latest set of patches, Win XP (SP-2) suddenly started changing them, putting a new random one up on each reboot. I've repeatedly gone into Control Panel | Display and reset them, being careful to click Apply each time, but they don't stick. I assume it takes a registry hack. Can anyone help?
posted by KRS to Computers & Internet (6 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
It sounds like your panda-movie-loving wife installed a program to rotate the wallpaper. XP does not give the option to randomly change wallpaper out of the box.

If you're talking about screensavers, same rule applies. Out of the box, XP doesn't rotate screensavers either.

You may wish to avoid this type of family strife in the future by setting up separate accounts on for you and your wife. The applications will be shared, but you can customize your desktop and icons and whatnot as you see fit.
posted by birdherder at 10:38 AM on June 5, 2006

Have you looked for a corresponding panda-movie entry in the Add/Remove Programs control panel and tried removing it?
posted by pmbuko at 10:41 AM on June 5, 2006

Separate user accounts are key. I've got mine, she's got hers, and I don't have to look at pictures of bad 80's bands every time I log on. In case you're not sure, here's how to do it.
posted by pdb at 10:45 AM on June 5, 2006

Response by poster: The background I meant is the desktop background, which I want to be plain blue. That has worked fine for over a year.

The panda screensaver has been on the comptuer for over a year and has worked fine. The problem isn't that it's there, but that it goes away.

The problem is that both of these go away, and on each bootup I get a different desktop background and screen saver, which I don't want.

This happens even though I go into Control Panel, and then Video, and designate the desktop background I want and the screensaver I want, clicking Accept and OK each time. Nevertheless, I get something else each time I turn on the computer in the morning. (Please, no advice to leave the computer on overnight. I want to fix the actual problem, not find a kludge.)
posted by KRS at 2:35 PM on June 5, 2006

It does not take a registry hack. It takes an uninstall of whatever screensaver- and wallpaper-rotating software is on the machine. Most likely culprit is Webshots (although I didn't think it rotated screensavers, just wallpapers).

Also, in your latest post (4:35pm) you said that you are going to the Video control panel. But in the original post, you said you went to the Display control panel. Do you have a "Video" control panel? If so, that's weird, because by default, XP does not have a Video control panel...

Let us know...
posted by chota at 4:47 PM on June 5, 2006

Sounds like you need to take a look at the auto-run section of the registry and do some dunging out:


But be really careful about deleting things if you're not sure what they are.
posted by Steven C. Den Beste at 6:44 PM on June 5, 2006

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