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Configuring Out-of-Order and Error Screens

There are certain conditions that cause the Microsoft Surface software to display an error screen or an out-of-order screen:

  • The Microsoft Surface unit encounters an unrecoverable failure (both the error and out-of-order screens appear).

  • Someone remotely logs on to the Microsoft Surface unit (the out-of-order screen appears).

  • The Windows Vista logon screen is supposed to appear on first log on (instead, the out-of-order screen appears).

    noteNote
    If you plan to install localized applications on a Microsoft Surface unit, you should also provide localized out-of-order and error screens. For more information about how to provide these localized screens, see Deploying Localized Microsoft Surface Applications.

The default error screen looks like the following illustration.

The default error screen

The default out-of-order screen looks like the following illustration.

The default out-of-order screen

Changing the Wording and Images in the Out-of-Order and Error Screens

You can change the wording and images for the error and out-of-order screens. Like most of the other Microsoft Surface customization, you specify alternate error and out-of-order words and images in an XML file. This XML file is not included with Microsoft Surface units, so you must create a file named SurfaceOutOfOrder.xml and put it in the %ProgramData%\Microsoft\Surface\v1.0\ folder.

If your XML file contains any schema problems or if there are any problems with the images, the Microsoft Surface unit displays the default wording or images instead.

The following code example shows a template for the SurfaceOutOfOrder.xml file. You can copy and paste this example as a starting point for your own SurfaceOutOfOrder.xml file. The following sections explain the important lines in detail.

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="utf-8" ?>
<OutOfOrder xmlns="http://www.microsoft.com/Surface/1.0/Shell/OutOfOrderSchema">
   <ErrorScreen>
      <PrimaryText>First error line</PrimaryText>
      <SecondaryText>Second error line</SecondaryText>
      <ImageFile>%SystemDrive%\path\filename</ImageFile>
   </ErrorScreen>
   <OutOfOrderScreen>
      <PrimaryText>First out of order line</PrimaryText>
      <SecondaryText>Second out of order line</SecondaryText>
      <Images>
          <ImageFile>%SystemDrive%\path\filename1</ImageFile>
          <ImageFile>%SystemDrive%\path\filename2</ImageFile>
          <ImageFile>%SystemDrive%\path\filename3</ImageFile>
          <ImageFile>%SystemDrive%\path\filename4</ImageFile>
          <ImageFile>%SystemDrive%\path\filename5</ImageFile>
          <ImageFile>%SystemDrive%\path\filename6</ImageFile>
          <ImageFile>%SystemDrive%\path\filename7</ImageFile>
          <ImageFile>%SystemDrive%\path\filename8</ImageFile>
          <ImageFile>%SystemDrive%\path\filename9</ImageFile>
          <ImageFile>%SystemDrive%\path\filename10</ImageFile>
          <ImageFile>%SystemDrive%\path\filename11</ImageFile>
          <ImageFile>%SystemDrive%\path\filename12</ImageFile>
          <ImageFile>%SystemDrive%\path\filename13</ImageFile>
          <ImageFile>%SystemDrive%\path\filename14</ImageFile>
          <ImageFile>%SystemDrive%\path\filename15</ImageFile>
          <ImageFile>%SystemDrive%\path\filename16</ImageFile>
          <ImageFile>%SystemDrive%\path\filename17</ImageFile>
          <ImageFile>%SystemDrive%\path\filename18</ImageFile>
          <ImageFile>%SystemDrive%\path\filename19</ImageFile>
          <ImageFile>%SystemDrive%\path\filename20</ImageFile>
      </Images>
   </OutOfOrderScreen>
</OutOfOrder>
ImportantImportant
Remember that XML is case-sensitive.

ErrorScreen

The ErrorScreen element and its subelements (PrimaryText, SecondaryText, and ImageFile) determine what is displayed when an error condition occurs.

Error screen - <PrimaryText> and <SecondaryText>

The error screen appears if one of the following situations occurs:

  • Surface Shell or Surface Input fails several times.

  • Surface Shell or Surface Input could not be loaded.

  • The Windows Vista user interface has been suppressed several times.

  • User interface elements from a non-Microsoft Surface application could not be suppressed.

  • The attract application could not be started.

PrimaryText and SecondaryText

The PrimaryText and SecondaryText elements specify the first and second line of error text, respectively. The space for this text is limited so you should test the text before you deploy the customized XML file. If the text is too long, your text is truncated and ellipses (…) appear. For information about how to test the text and images, see the following "Testing Your Custom Error and Out of Order Screens" section.

You cannot change the font, font size, position, or orientation of the text.

If you do not want to include one or both lines of the error text, leave the associated XML element empty. Do not omit the element. If you do not include the element, the default Microsoft Surface error text is used.

ImageFile

The ImageFile element specifies the background image to use for the error message. You must use a .PNG image file for the background image.

The ideal image size is 1024 × 768 pixels, but the Microsoft Surface software enlarges or reduces an image appropriately so that it fills the Microsoft Surface screen.

OutOfOrderScreen

The OutOfOrderScreen element and its subelements (PrimaryText, SecondaryText, Images, and ImageFile) determine what is displayed when an out-of-order condition occurs.

Out-of-order - <PrimaryText> and <SecondaryText>

The out-of-order screen appears if one of the following situations occurs:

  • An administrator has remotely logged on the Microsoft Surface unit.

  • Windows Vista does not finish an auto logon operation. (For example, this condition can occur when updates are installed silently and the unit is restarted, but no one puts the unit into user mode.)

  • A malicious user connects a keyboard and mouse to the Microsoft Surface unit and logs off user mode or switches to a different user.

    noteNote
    If you have a developer unit, you will not see the out-of-order screen when any of the previous conditions occur. Instead, you will the Windows Vista logon screen. To test out-of-order customizations in a SurfaceOutOfOrder.xml file, see the following "Testing Your Custom Error and Out of Order Screens" section.

On commercial units, the out-of-order executable file (SurfaceOutOfOrder.exe) is registered as the default screen saver. On developer units, this file is not the default screen saver.

PrimaryText and SecondaryText

The PrimaryText and SecondaryText elements specify the first and second line of the out-of-order text, respectively. The space for this text is limited so you should test the text before you deploy the customized XML file. If the text is too long, your text is truncated and ellipses (…) appear. For information about how to test the text and images, see the following “Testing Your Custom Error and Out of Order Screens” section.

You cannot change the font, font size, position, or orientation of the text.

ImageFile

You can specify from 1 through 20 background images for the out-of-order screen. These images are shown in the order in which they are listed in your SurfaceOutOfOrder.xml file, slowly fading from one image to the next and then repeating. If you do not specify an image file, the default background image is used.

The ImageFile element specifies one background image to use for the out-of-order screen. You must use .PNG image files for the background images.

The ideal image size is 1024 × 768 pixels, but the Microsoft Surface software enlarges or reduces an image appropriately so that it fills the Microsoft Surface screen.

Testing Your Custom Error and Out of Order Screens

You should always test your new SurfaceOutOfOrder.xml file or any changes that you make to an existing SurfaceOutOfOrder.xml file before you deploy the XML file.

To test the error and out-of-order screens

  1. Log on the Microsoft Surface unit, or use Remote Desktop Connection to remotely connect to the Microsoft Surface unit.

  2. To display the error screen, in a Command Prompt window, run "C:\Program Files\Microsoft Surface\v1.0\SurfaceOutofOrder" (including the quotation marks).

    The Microsoft Surface screen displays the error screen.

  3. To display the out-of-order screen, in a Command Prompt window, run "C:\Program Files\Microsoft Surface\v1.0\SurfaceOutofOrder" /s. The Microsoft Surface screen displays the out-of-order screens.

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