How to enable Kiosk mode and autostart for Windows 8.1?

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Hi,

We've been using Chromeboxes to deploy about 30 digital signage TVs so far. The Chromeboxes are setup in kiosk mode. So whenever these Chromeboxes are powered on, they auto-start a full screen Rise Vision presentation. You don't have to logon, or launch the app upon startup. You just power on the Chromebox, and the schedule assigned to that particular Chromebox just starts playing. (Supposedly you can't even get the Chromebox out of the kiosk mode without re-installing the Chrome OS. If true, that's good too.)

So ... the main (and only?) problem with using Chromeboxes is the inability to manage and interact with the Chromeboxes. In other words, we'd like a central management interface where one can see all the devices, their state, what they are currently playing, be able to remote into the Chromebox to handle OS issues, etc ... The 'last connected' stats shown on the RV Devices tab provides little to no useful information for actual device management.

So my boss has bought us a Dell micro, which is about the same form factor and cost as the Chromebox, for testing. If these work as well as the Chromeboxes, and since they are PCs, we could use services like Remote Desktop or LogMeIn for at least the remote OS managment part of a centralized management system.

But ... I'm now having trouble finding out how to put this Windows box into kiosk mode and/or have it auto-start.

Is there a kiosk mode for Windows? (i.e. a way to set the Windows that it can ONLY play the RV player when it is powered on?)

And as far as the auto-start, I've found two different directions on the RV site as how to accomplish this:

The first, which seems to be the older version, employs the 'make a shortcut of the app and put it into the Windows Startup folder' method:
"For Windows:
 a. Open a Tab in Chrome, and browse to chrome://apps. Right click on the Rise Vision Chrome App Player, and select Create Shortcuts. Create a Shortcut for the Desktop.
 b. Copy and paste the Desktop shortcut into “C:\ProgramData\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu\Programs\Startup\”. Restart your Display, and the Rise Vision Chrome App Player will start automatically."
http://www.risevision.com/help/configuring-windows-linux-mac-rise-vision-chrome-app-player/#?cid=809...


The second set of directions uses the Application Monitor:

Configure Application Monitor
  1. Download the Application Monitor install package from http://www.jockersoft.com/scripts/dl_count.php?fileId=2
  2. Right click on the zip file and select Extract All
  3. Move the newly created appmonitor folder to c:\
  4. Launch Application Monitor from the folder.
    • In the open file dialog, make sure that Always ask... is NOT checked
    • If prompted, follow the steps to install the .net framework 3.5
  5. Once the application is launched, click Add
    • Name: Rise Player
    • Path: C:\Program Files\Google\Chrome\Application\chrome.exe
    • Arguments: --profile-directory=Default --app-id=mfpgpdablffhbfofnhlpgmokokbahooi
    • Check Every: 0.50 minutes
    • Select create
  6. In the top menu, select Tools, Settings
  7. Check Load with Windows and click save.
  8. Select the checkbox next to the Rise Player entry.
  9. Reboot to test.
https://help.risevision.com/user/advanced/display/chrome-player-windows?cid=8098203d-4fae-4d94-bfc2-...


Since this Dell Micro came with Windows 8.1, I tried the second set of directions. (Is the Application Monitor meant to replace the 'shortcut in the startup folder' method? Or should I put a shortcut into the startup folder also?)

So far, I've installed the Chrome Player into the Chrome browser and set the Application Monitor as the directions indicate. But when I startup (or restart) this Dell Micro with Windows 8.1, you're still required to login to Windows first before the RV player starts.

Just like the Chromeboxes, I need this Dell Micro to both auto-login and auto-start the RV player, without user input. 

Has anyone else figured this out? Assistance is appreciated.

Robert
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rcruse

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Posted 3 years ago

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rcruse

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Two more questions relating to using Windows 8.1 boxes as RV media players:

What is the RV community's  recommendations  for software to remotely manage and troubleshoot these Windows 8.1 boxes once they've been installed in their remote locations?

What are the recommendations for using anti-virus and anti-spyware software for RV Windows 8.1  media players?

Will remote management or anti-virus software interfere with a Windows 8.1  RV player's playback  ability when a presentation schedule is in progress? For example, would these stop or hinder the operation of the Windows 8.1 media players while in use?
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Ray Durkin

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Hi Robert,

There isn't a kiosk mode for Windows.  You can get the Rise Application to auto start by configuring the Application Monitor.  The instructions to set that up are on this page at the bottom: https://help.risevision.com/user/advanced/display/chrome-player-windows?cid=f114ad26-949d-44b4-87e9-8528afc76ce4

Thanks!
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rcruse

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Funny. This is the same link and instructions I sent to you! It doesn't seem to work for auto-login however.

As I mentioned,  I need the Windows box to both auto-login to Windows 8.1 AND auto-start the Rise Vision player, as our Chromeboxes do. Is that possible with Windows using the Application Monitor? Else, what steps do I need to take?

(And it'd be nice if it was locked down so that users could not hit Ctrl-Alt-Del or similar to get into the Windows OS?)
(Edited)
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Ray Durkin

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Right - Autologin to windows isn't in there as that's not a function of the Rise Vision software.  But the Application Monitor settings get the Rise Vision software to autostart for you right?
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rcruse

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No.

1. I got the Windows 8.1 box to auto-login, but it goes right to the Windows 8.1 "Tile" screen and waits for input, not auto-start the RV player.  If I then click on the "Desktop" tile to go the Windows desktop, then the RV player will run. In Windows 8.1 auto-login, how does one bypass the "Tile screen" and go to the desktop?

If the computer can't auto-start and auto-launch the RV player, these Windows 8.1 boxes aren't going to work for our signage deployment.

2. Once the RV player is running, it still shows the Windows menu bar at the bottom of the screen. I imagine this is a result of having to click on the Desktop tile after Windows startup in order for the RV player to run.

Is there a way to hide everything but the signage presentation when using auto-start of the RV player?

Thanks,
Robert
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rcruse

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So ...
1. I suppose this means that we'll have to create a generic 'signage' user account on the Windows 8.1 box, and then set Windows to auto-login to that generic account? If so, do you have recommendations on what kind of user (admin, power user, etc.) is best, and what permissions do they need?

2. What are you recommendations for running an anti-virus software on the Windows 8.1 box while using it as a Rise Vision media player? For example, would regular automatic virus scans running in the background affect a currently running presentation on the same Windows 8.1 box?

Thanks
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Ray Durkin

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Hi - here is a good link that shows how to set up Windows 8 to auto login - http://www.howtogeek.com/112919/how-to-make-your-windows-8-computer-logon-automatically/

Regarding the antivirus, we don't provide recommendations for any particular product, and the one recommendation I would have is to set it up to run overnight.  The effect on the presentation  has many variables including the antivirus software itself, the complexity of the presentation and the horsepower of the media player.

Thanks!
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rcruse

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I suppose this means that we'll have to create a generic 'signage' user account on the Windows 8.1 box, and then set Windows to auto-login to that generic account? If so, do you have recommendations on what kind of user (admin, power user, etc.) is best, and what permissions do they need?
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Matthew Fisher

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Robert,

A general user account is fine.  There is no need for that account to have elevated privileges (admin, power user, etc.) as the only thing that account should be doing is launching a browser and installed browser extension.

Thanks,

Matthew
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rcruse

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Thanks Matthew. I like concise answers.