For compliance or security reasons you may wish to remove from the logon screen the name of the last user who successfully logged on to a computer. You can achieve this by applying a Group Policy called Interactive logon: Do not display last user name.
Windows 7, unlike older versions of Windows include a registry entry which allows users to replace the logon user interface default background image. In previous versions users had to hack files in order to achieve the same results. When Windows 7 starts, it checks whether the logon UI (User Interface) background option is enabled in the registry and loads the default image as the background picture of the CTRL+ALT+DEL logon screen. To replace the logon UI background image follow the steps below:
When you apply new regional and language settings on your Windows 7 computer such as, a new language pack, the new settings do not apply to the welcome screen, system accounts and new user accounts. For instance, when applying a new language, the logon screen does not display text in that new language by default!
Older versions of Windows Operating Systems (prior to Windows XP and Windows Server 2003) used the Local System account (NT AUTHORITY\LocalSystem) to start Windows services. A Windows service is an application type that runs in the system background without a user interface and is similar to a UNIX daemon process. Some services provide core operating system features, such as event logging, file serving, printing, etc. and need to run under the Local System context, however, there are other services which do not require this elevated context.
In highly secure environments where Smart Cards are the preferred method for authentication, Windows 7 is the system that allows you to use Smart Cards without requiring any specific vendor software. In addition, Windows 7 allows you to fine tune the authentication mechanism through the use of policies. Why Smart Cards? Smart Cards are more secure than other means of authentication such as user names and passwords. They store digital certificates where an administrator can immediately revoke the certificate stored on a lost or stolen Smart Card from the system.
Some installations of Windows 7 are set to allow the default user to log in automatically when the computer starts. However, requesting users to enter their login credentials when the computer starts is highly recommended as it is a security measure. Conversely, when the computer is located in physically secure location, automatic logon might be preferred. Remember, that anyone with physical access to the computer can start the system and access your data if user login is set to auto!
Services are applications that run in the background. They can start up on boot or when required and can run independently of the logged on users. The main tools that you can use when managing services are the Services Console (Services.msc), the Task Manager, the Sc.exe command line utility, and Group Policies. To troubleshoot services during startup use the msconfig utility.
The services console lists all services and provides information about each service such as, logon details, state, etc. To start the Service consoles type services in the Start search text box and click the Services link under programs.