AUTORUN.INF - How To Create Autorun Menu?

Autorun.inf basics

When CD is inserted and AUTORUN.INF file is located in the root folder of that CD, then Windows follows the instructions in this file to run a program.

With autorun.inf you can start a document, however there is no way to show a menu!

How to create autorun menu hassle-free?

1st AutoRun Express allows you to create autorun menu with a few clicks, without any design or programming required. And you can ensure that users will have the appropriate software on their computers!

Why Autorun.inf does not work on my or user's computer?

Your CD users may have switched off autorun. This might be because they are concerned about viruses. Also, if they press the Shift key down while inserting the CD, AutoRun is disabled. In Windows NT4, 2000 and XP systems, only Administrators and Power Users can use AutoRun.

There is no way to force your users to use AutoRun. It is therefore good practice to provide instructions so that users know how to start your CD, eg tell them to open file index.htm in their browser. These instructions are also required if your CD might be viewed by non-Windows users.

How to disable Autorun.inf?

To test AutoRun you need to have it enabled on your computer. A registry setting can be used to disable AutoRun. Click Start|Run then type in regedit. Select Edit|Find and type in NoDriveTypeAutoRun. This value should be found in this key: HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Policies\Explorer.

The NoDriveTypeAutoRun value should be hexadecimal 95 if AutoRun is enabled on all CDs, or B5 if disabled for CDs. (If you want to test AutoRun on a floppy disk, set this value to 91.) You may need to change more than one instance of NoDriveTypeAutoRun in the registry. You usually need to reboot for a new value to take effect.

In Windows 95/98/Me the NoDriveTypeAutoRun value is displayed as 95 00 00 00. In Windows NT4, 2000 and XP this value is displayed as 0x00000095 or hexadecimal 95. If you modify the NoDriveTypeAutoRun value make sure it is still in the correct format.

There are two other - uncommon - ways of disabling AutoRun. The NoDriveAutoRun registry value is in the same key as NoDriveTypeAutoRun. Each bit represents each drive, so hexadecimal 01 disables AutoRun for floppy drive A, 04 disables AutoRun for drive C, 10 disables AutoRun on E. Values can be combined, so 19 disables AutoRun on E, D and A.

If either NoDriveTypeAutoRun or NoDriveAutoRun specify that AutoRun should be disabled for a drive, then it is disabled for that drive.

Finally, programmers might like to know that AutoRun can also be disabled by the program that controls the foreground window by handling the "QueryCancelAutoPlay" Windows message. Please consult the Microsoft documentation for more details.

How to test Autorun.inf?

If you are using 1st AutoRun Express to create autorun cd, then you may test how autorun will run directly from inside the program.

Autorun.inf and mixed cds

Enhanced CDs contain both music audio and computer data, so they can be played on audio equipment and used on a computer. (Enhanced CDs are also known as CD Extra or CD Plus CDs.) Note that the Mixed-mode CDs also contain audio and data, but these may not be playable on audio equipment.

Note that not all Windows computers will recognise the data on an Enhanced CD, although the audio is always seen. (Windows Me, 2000 and XP usually seem to recognise Enhanced CD data, but it may be drive dependent.) Therefore, do not use this format if you want to be sure that your data is available.

If the Enhanced CD data does not have an AUTORUN.INF file, then Windows will usually start playing the CD when it is inserted. However, if an AUTORUN.INF is present, then Windows will follow the instructions in there rather than playing the CD.

The data on an Enhanced CD can only use short filenames or folder names. Long filenames will be truncated to an "8.3" form, eg "index.html" may appear as "INDEX~1.HTM".