Monday, December 07, 2009

Windows 7: "hidden" wallpaper

I have spent most of the weekend tweaking a new Acer Aspire 5332 for Penny's aunt, and it's got Windows 7 Home Basic on it. For some incomprehensible reason it's the 64-bit version, even though the laptop only has 2GB RAM. "Windows Home Basic 64" just sounds wrong.
I noticed that there were only a few pictures for the desktop wallpaper, but on closer inspection found around 100 more pictures hidden away in the
folder. Some installs only have a few country locations there, such as AU, GB, CA, US and ZA, while others have a lot more. The MCT folder is hidden in some way.
A workaround is to create a c:\temp folder and then using the command prompt you can change to the c:\windows folder and type
xcopy *.jpg c:\temp /s
and explore through the files you find. Some of the pictures are quite good. I use the "Fun Desktop Wallpaper Changer" program to get a new desktop wallpaper every day. It works on Vista and Windows 7, as well as older versions of Windows.
Of course, if you want a whole load more images, you could visit the Bing Image Archive. Some of the images have been doctored to have a darker area where the Bing search box goes, but many of them are quite passable.
Update: I have posted the pictures I found here, since my installation of Windows 7 Home Premium doesn't seem to have them.

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