Bill Detwiler: I don't know about you, but I always find it a bit annoying that when I insert a TechNet CD and have Windows open Internet Explorer and display a bunch of information I don't care about. I would rather just be able to navigate through the disc's file system and go directly to what I need.
I'm Bill Detwiler, and during this TR Dojo video, I'll show you a handy registry hack the will disable AutoRun on Windows XP and Vista.
Now before we get started, let me give you my standard warning about editing the Windows registry. Before making any changes, take a few moments to back it up. Improperly editing the registry can damage your Windows installation.
Also, you can disable AutoRun through Group Policy, but this method doesn't work on Windows Vista Home or XP Home. So, we're back to a registry edit.
Lastly, before you can disable Autorun capabilities you must install have installed specific Windows updates that solve a problem causing autorun to activity even after it's been disabled. If you've kept your system up to date, you should already have this update. But if autorun still runs after you make the following tweaks, you'll want to double check. I'll provide a list of the required updates on the TR Dojo blog.
With those warnings out of the way, let's get to the tweak.
Open the registry editor and navigate to the key:
Create a DWORD (32-bit) value named NoDriveTypeAutoRun. If it doesn't already exist.
Right-click the new value and click Modify. Set the hexadecimal value to 000000FF (the decimal equivalent of 255). Now, you can type all the preceding zeros, but you don't need to. You can just enter FF.
This will disable AutoRun on all types of drives, but you can be a bit more selective in which drives you choose. For example, you can disable AutoRun on just removable drives by setting the hexadecimal value to 00000004.
There are several other options, including combinations of disabled drives. For example you could disable Autorun for removable drives and for network drives, by adding the corresponding hexadecimal DWORD values 00000004 and 00000010 and using the result as the DWORD value. In this case 0x4 + 0x10 = 0x14. Thus, you would set the value of the NoDriveTypeAutoRun entry to 0x14 (or the decimal value of 20).
Now, I'll provide the complete list of the appropriate DWORD values in the TR Dojo blog.
If you would like to see the full list of Windows registry hacks, see Brien Posey's post, "10 common issues you can fix with a registry hack" and then let us know which hacks you find the most helpful. Also, let us know if you have scouted out your own hacks by commenting in the TR Dojo blog.
And as always, for more teachings on your path to becoming an IT Ninja, visit trdojo.techrepublic.com. And please let us know if this tip was helpful.
You can also submit your favorite IT Ninja tips by e-mailing them to us at firstname.lastname@example.org. If we use them for an episode of TR Dojo, we'll send you a TechRepublic coffee mug.
I'm Bill Detwiler. Thanks for visiting the TR Dojo.