Autorun programs are ideally used on CD or DVD media so that when users put them on the PC, it will automatically start. You usually see this implemented on installer CDs so that it will be easier for you to access the installer without even browsing the contents first using Explorer.
In this article we will show you how easy it is to create your own autorun program using a free tool called Autorun.inf Editor from Moon Valley software.
Moon Valley’s homepage: http://autorun.moonvalley.com/
Download.com direct link: http://download.cnet.com/Autorun-Inf-Editor/3000-2084_4-10238044.html?tag=mncol
The Autorun.inf Editor is a straightforward tool that you can use to build an autorun.inf file. For example, if you want to create a CD that automatically runs an installer, just put the executable’s filename on the program field along with your own label description and icon.
In the example below I used the editor to make a CD installer of XAMPP so I put XAMPP’s installer, a descriptive label, and XAMPP’s icon:
Clicking the preview button will show you the preview of the autorun.inf output:
Click save to generate the actual autorun.inf file.
Make sure to save it using autorun.inf and then burn it along with the exe file and icon file on the root directory of the CD media.
If you try to look under the hood and see the contents of the autorun.inf using Notepad you should see the code you have generated when you click Save:
This is only a sample so it looks very simple. You may create more complex autorun.inf scripts that could, for example, handle which executable to run depending on a base hardware platform.
You may also use it to prevent other people from copying your music cd, just like how the guys at Capitol Records did it on a Beastie Boys CD. Just make sure you are not violating any laws.
Although handy, autorun.inf is also a common way for malware and virus developers to get in to your computer and run bad software. It is advisable to have a good antivirus running on active real time protection to make sure your system won’t get infected.
Ben shows you how it’s done.