How to change lock screen image in Windows 8.1

If you wish to change lock screen image in Windows 8.1 (this should work with Windows 8 as well), follow these steps –

On start screen, search for GPEDIT.MSC to open Local Group Policy Editor.

Go to Computer Configuration\Administrative Templates\Control Panel\Personalization and open setting “Force a specific default lock screen image”.

LockScreenSettings MSC

Select “Enable” option and enter path to the image file to display on lock screen.


Click on Apply to apply the changes. Next time you restart your computer, lock screen will display new image.


How to enable Secure Sign-in (Ctrl+Alt+Del) in Windows 8 and 8.1

Enabling secure sign-in in Windows 8 and 8.1 will require users to press Ctrl+Alt+Del to get to login screen.

To enable secure sign-in, search for “netplwiz” from start screen.

When User Accounts screen opens, click on Advanced tab. Under Secure sign-in section, check “Require users to press Ctrl+Alt+Delete” option.

Click OK to close User Accounts screen. Next time you are logging into your computer, you will be prompted to press Ctrl+Alt+Del first.

Win8 CtrlAltDel

Task Scheduler failed to start – Error Value: 2147943645

I had set up a couple of task scheduler jobs on a server to restart couple of services.
After checking on those jobs the next morning, I saw that both of them failed with error message –

Task Scheduler failed to start “\xyz” task for user “Domain\MyUserName”. Additional Data: Error Value: 2147943645.

I kicked off both jobs manually and they ran fine. After having another look at the setup, it turned out I forgot to set the option to run the jobs even if user account under which the jobs run is not logged in. After changing this setting everything worked fine.

Task Scheduler

SQL Server Management Studio – CTRL+R shortcut for hiding/showing results pane not working

After starting up SQL Server Management Studio today, I noticed that CTR+R shortcut for showing and hiding results pane was not working any more.

The issue appears to be a corrupt .vssettings file, as per following Microsoft KB article –

The solution is to reset keyboard options. Go to Tools -> Options -> Keyboard and click on Reset button. This will make CTRL+R shortcut work again.