Prep Windows machine for fulltime exhibition setup

How to run 24-7 installations

Blair Neal posted the very useful How to make an installation stay up 4evr (Mac OS X version). I’ve been collecting my own list for setting up installations with Windows machines for a while now. I am pushing it online here, with the plan to add more useful tips in the future.

This is a Windows 7 guide!

1. Power Options

You don’t want your computer falling asleep due to a lack of mouse/keyboard input.

> Control Panel
> Hardware and Sound
> Power Options
> Change when the computer sleeps

Set the computer sleep setting to “Never”. If your installation outputs visuals, you also have to set the display to turn off “Never”.


Put the computer to sleep > “Never”

2. Deactivate Screensaver

If your application produces visual output you don’t want a screensaver interrupting that.

> Control Panel
> Appearance and Personalization
> Personalization
> Screen Saver

Set the screen saver menu to (None).


Select (None) as screensaver.

3. System Updates

How to avoid annoying system popups informing you of new operating system updates.

> Control Panel
> System and Security
> Windows Update
> Change settings

Set to “Never check for updates”.

4. Auto Shutdown

How to setup the machine to shut down automatically at the same time every day.

> Control Panel
> System and Security
> Administrative Tools
> Task Scheduler

> Action Menu
> Create Basic Task …
> Add title and description
> Task Trigger: select Daily
> Set your shut-down time and recurrence
> Action: select Start a program
> Program/script: C:\Windows\System32\shutdown.exe
> Add arguments: /s
> Finish

To disable or edit a task, select the task in Task Scheduler Library and right-click.


Set the recurrence of the task to “Daily”.

The task will execute shutdown.exe.

5. Autostart machine

How to setup the machine to boot automatically at the same time every day.

> Restart machine
> Press F12 to enter BIOS setup when prompted
> Power Management Setup
> Resume by Alarm: set “Enabled”
> Date(of Month) Alarm: set “Everyday”
> Time(hh:mm:ss) Alarm: set boot-up time
> Save and Exit


Enter Power Management Setup to set boot time

Set recurrence and time of automatic system boot

6. No GUI boot

To avoid the Windows login screen when booting, follow the instruction to deactivate it.

> Start Menu search bar
> Type msconfig
> Boot tab
> Select No GUI boot
> Apply and Restart


Deactivate the login screen when booting

7. Startup applications

First, have a close look at all the programs that are automatically executed when starting the machine.

> Start Menu search bar
> Type msconfig
> Startup tab
> Disable whatever you don’t need


Disable all startup applications that you don’t need.

8. Startup your application

Then, add your application to the startup folder:

> Start Menu search bar
> Type shell:startup
> Explorer folder opens (C:\ Users\ eva\ AppData\ Roaming\ Microsoft\ Windows\ Start Menu\ Programs\ Startup)
> Create a shortcut to your application here


Create a shortcut to your application in the startup folder.

9. Remote monitoring

You might want to install a remote monitoring software like Teamviewer, to be able to log into the computer remotely to check up on its well-being or to debug problems.

When installing Teamviewer, setup the computer for unattended remote access. It will automatically be added to the startup applications.

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