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Do normal flash drives not autoplay then?

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Last seen: 9 years 2 months ago
Joined: 2006-10-05 08:41
Do normal flash drives not autoplay then?

I have a u3 drive - (£15.99 Sandisk Cruzer 1Gb, not bad!) and am impressed by the u3 launcher etc, but wondered if it is really true that normal flash disks don't auto play - I am sure that they normally try to auto play - if you put an autoplay.inf file on them doesn't it open it? Essentially what is the point of having a special u3 drive if you could replicate this functionality on a normal disk?

Secondarily, what is a good replacement for the u3 launcher? I had a quick look at pstart, but its not that amazing looking etc... are there any other options?


Last seen: 15 years 3 months ago
Joined: 2006-03-29 16:16
Mixed bag

As the author of AutoStart I have some knowledge of what will and will not autoplay on 'new windows' OSes (i.e. Windows 2000 and up).

Most if not all USB Flash Drives present themselves to the PC as a Removable Disk. For these types of drives I've observed the following behavior:

On Windows 2000 and Windows XP SP1 autoplay does _not_ work at all.
On Windows XP SP 2 the OS shows a popup window that lets you choose what program to run based on the media files it finds on the flash drive. So it has different behavior for drives with just music, just pictures, just video or mixed content.
The closest thing you can get to real autorun is to have a program that installs itself on the PC as an Autoplay handler. You then can go into the properties dialog for a USB Flash Drive and select that application to run when inserting the drive instead of showing you the popup dialog. (Actually AutoStart installs itself as an autoplay handler for mixed content)

For USB Hard Drives other rules apply. These fall in the category of Local Disks and have autoplay enabled even in Windows 2000 ! There are some caveats though. On Windows 2000 it doesn't differentiate between the autoplay application defined via open=xxxx and the entry for the default command in the menu defined via shell=xxxxx.

Don't even get me started on Guest accounts or limited user accounts because different rules apply.

Did I mention AutoStart does a proper job of taking away most autoplay pain. Doesn't look pretty like U3 launcher yet, but that is being worked on. In the mean time you can set it up with a launcher like PStart that is started when you left click a drive icon.

Ryan McCue
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Last seen: 12 years 10 months ago
Joined: 2006-01-06 21:27

and for the "pretty" side, I'm working on a Libertà skin, with others available.
Renè, reply to that email I sent about it. }:)
R McCue
Cube Games
People who didn't need people needed people around to know that they were
the kind of people who didn't need people.

"If you're not part of the solution, you're part of the precipitate."

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