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What is the industry-standard solution for touchscreen "kiosk" embdedded computers (in public places) running Windows to hide things as much as possible when the machine boots, until the main application starts?

Are there customized BIOS for this + customized Windows Professional versions for this application?

For example, I read that many ATM cash machines still use Windows 7 (or even XP in some cases!), idem for train ticket machines in train stations.

Example of screens that would be necessary to remove:

  • BIOS POST screen (usually white font on black background)

  • Windows "Safe mode" boot menu if the previous shutdown was not done properly

  • Windows splash screen: I know it can be customized on Windows 7, and Windows 10 has Unbranded Boot feature for embedded computers

  • Logon screen

  • Brief view of the Window Desktop + Taskbar during a few seconds, before my app automatically starts

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  • How often do you need to boot the machine so that this becomes an issue? What are you trying to accomplish by hiding the splashscreens? How are you going to troubleshoot the machine in the future without POST output? Jul 14, 2022 at 10:56
  • @mashuptwice When this kiosk embedded computer is installed in a public place (or internally by a customer's place), we typically want to avoid this as much as possible. Ideally, when the machine starts, we should see our product's logo / brand, and nothing else.
    – Basj
    Jul 14, 2022 at 17:52
  • @mashuptwice 2/2 POST shouldn't be visible from the end user in the public place. If something doesn't work correctly, our support team should do maintenance, but displaying BIOS POST, Window boot splash screen, etc. is really unwanted for our product when it will be powered on once or twice per day.
    – Basj
    Jul 14, 2022 at 17:53
  • Windows Embedded/IoT allows customizing just about anything.
    – Daniel B
    Jul 17, 2022 at 18:28
  • @DanielB Thanks. There are so many versions: Embedded, IoT, Core, Core Pro, Server, Embedded Server etc. I don't see where we can get an ISO / buy a license from microsoft.com/en-us/windows/compare-windows-10-home-vs-pro. Are these versions available for a small company, or do we need to be big enterprises to have access to these versions?
    – Basj
    Jul 17, 2022 at 18:56

1 Answer 1

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+150

A simple workaround is to connect 2 monitors. The primary monitor, the one that displays the BIOS screen etc, should be hidden (or fake!) so that users cannot see it.

You can buy a "display emulator" or "dummy monitor". (e.g. via Amazon)

Google "Customize bios splash screen" & "customize windows boot logo" for more customization options (you could configure them to display the same image), or see How do I change the Windows 7 boot animation?

Another trick is to use "Unbranded Boot", specifically the "HideAllBootUI" option. See also itigic.com

Windows IoT enterprise licenses are available via microsoft.com. Contacting a distributor is probably the easiest way.

p.s. For those who googled this question and prefer a Raspberry Pi solution: https://raspberrypi.stackexchange.com/questions/60033/hiding-boot-screen-for-kiosk-usage

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  • Good idea indeed! Is there an adapter or a cable to fake a dummy monitor? (I don't want to connect a real second monitor for nothing :)) Is there a /dev/null cable that would the video card think a real monitor is connected?
    – Basj
    Jul 17, 2022 at 19:33
  • It would be great to put a "fixed image" (a single PNG or JPG) "Product XYZ is starting..." on the real monitor on power-on of the computer, until the app starts. Do you see a way to do this?
    – Basj
    Jul 17, 2022 at 19:37
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    @Basj - That is beyond the scope of your question
    – Ramhound
    Jul 17, 2022 at 20:18
  • @Ramhound Yes, but it might be possible that a general solution to the original question solves all these requirements at the same time (I think it is quite common for a public place kiosk product to have a custom logo during booting instead of BIOS POST+Windows startup logo+Windows desktop)
    – Basj
    Jul 17, 2022 at 20:20
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    @Basj - Your system displaying a company logo wasn’t part of your requirements. You really should avoid the fallacy of a continuous change of your requirements
    – Ramhound
    Jul 17, 2022 at 20:21

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