Windows

Poll: Windows AutoRun: Love it or hate it?

While some may find Windows' AutoRun feature handy for music CDs and DVDs, Bill Detwiler finds it terribly annoying. What about you?

While some may find Windows' AutoRun feature handy for music CDs and DVDs, I find it terribly annoying. What about you?

And if you're like me and want to disable the AutoRun feature, check out this week's TR Dojo episode, which is about a quick registry hack to disable AutoRun on Windows XP and Vista.

About

Bill Detwiler is Managing Editor of TechRepublic and Tech Pro Research and the host of Cracking Open, CNET and TechRepublic's popular online show. Prior to joining TechRepublic in 2000, Bill was an IT manager, database administrator, and desktop supp...

24 comments
martin
martin

Hate it with an all-consuming passion. Why? I insert a disk, fire up Explorer or other program to do something, and the damn-fool machine plays a jingle or flashes up an unwanted window. Annoying all the time, and a hideous distraction when one is four interrupts deep in a troubleshooting operation.

clearvista
clearvista

Not only do I hate autorun. I even hate the popup windows when I plug in a USB device, external hard drive, iPhone, anything. No I don't want you to scan it, and I don't want you to sync my photos. I want to do what I want to do with it, not what you think I want to do with it. Leave me alone /rant

Tony Hopkinson
Tony Hopkinson

Who said I waned to play the f'ing thing anyway? Who said I wanted the thing spinning up so it could see if it was playable so it could play it if I had it set to auto playable. Damned irritating.

seanferd
seanferd

Turned it off in every version of Windows I've used.

NickNielsen
NickNielsen

Autorun is the most exasperating. I have been through the Autorun configuration a couple of times, always clicking apply after making [u]any[/u] change. Things work the way I want them to for a while, but after the next update, it's back to the irritating defaults. I finally just turned it off using MS' instructions and even that didn't work. Then came the autorun vulnerability and instructions for disabling autorun that actually work. None of my Windows PCs allow Autorun.

firstaborean
firstaborean

Autorun is handy for entertainment discs, such as music CD's and video DVD's, so I have a DVD burner in my desktop computer with Autorun enabled. I also have a CD burner in the same computer, but with Autorun disabled, so that I can put a disc into that drive and check it out. Why should a person be restricted to having it only one way?

alim_wilson01
alim_wilson01

This is a tricky question, I think it bad in the Enterprise if the PC is not completely locked down which most senior users find annoying and you end up making them the local admin on the machine, and has a Desktop Support Analyst these seem to be the machines I send most of my time on. Now on a Home Use PC autorun is great cause most average home users don't have any CD's or DVD that could cause harm to the machine

tsnyder91
tsnyder91

How often does anyone actually put in cd's anymore in the server world?? My IT dept uses a 60gb usb drive, I use a 4 gb flash drive for my uses.... It is quite a waste of resources to burn a cd when you can put it on a flash drive or usb hard drive just as easily. Even for flash media auto run can be useful to choose the browse folders option.

ideason88
ideason88

You mentioned a link to the 10 Hacks blog which I see, but you also mentioned that you would post a list of the DWORD values required to turn off/on the Autorun for each type of device. Did I miss something or did you forget to post it? Thanks!

terry
terry

It is not an issue. It is no great chore to say "No thank you" and optionally apply the answer to this disk & sometimes it is very handy.

phangwi
phangwi

There is actually an easier method to do this. Goto Start run ->Type gpedit.msc ->Tree menu Go to Administrative templates ->System-> and in the panel on the right hand side you will see Turn off Auto Play ->Double click the menu and enable it and select the drive you want to turn off auto play.This is also safe for avoiding viruses.

a_roscoe
a_roscoe

No need to hack the registry, just hold the Shift key down when closing the CD/DVD tray and the disc won't autorun !

bentheli
bentheli

Try holding the Shift key when closing the drive door, hold till the drive light goes out. Best of both worlds no hacks required

Lovs2look
Lovs2look

For a home user, it may be appealing, but as a tech, it's most annoying. I'm constantly swapping disks/usb drives and am of the old school where I like to open explorer (if it's not already) and find what I need myself. More often than not it's only a particular file, don't want to run the whole installer.

Lovs2look
Lovs2look

We use CD/DVDs all the time to send presentations/photos/movies/other media too big to email to a client or customer. Are you going to mail your 4 gig key disk to a client? Or the 60 gig one?? Last time I got a server to set up, it came with no less than 6 CDs containing drivers/updates/applications to install. Are you really going to copy all those CDs to one flash drive and then insert it into your server? CDs still have a place...mainly cause they're cheap and easily sendable.

john3347
john3347

"I use a 4 gb flash drive for my uses.... It is quite a waste of resources to burn a cd when you can put it on a flash drive or usb hard drive just as easily." I find DVDs, both R and RW, for as little as 75 cents each. The last 4 GB flash drive I bought cost on the order of $10. Perhaps I could have saved $2 or $3 each if I had bought them in the same 100 quantity as I do DVDs, but that is still several dollars each. There can be circumstances such as when it is only practical to carry the medium in your pocket that a flash drive would be worth the price penalty, but this would be the exception, not the rule. Generally, the cost difference makes CDs/DVDs the rule.

wdewey@cityofsalem.net
wdewey@cityofsalem.net

If there is config info on the flash drive it can execute code without prompting. Some malware is spread this way. Bill

wdewey@cityofsalem.net
wdewey@cityofsalem.net

Autorun only asks what to do if there is no config on the drive. This is how sony installed anti-piracy software on people's computers and were later charged with distributing a root kit. Bill

melekali
melekali

...it's always best to use the group policy over a registry hack. Excellent recommendation!

terry
terry

System is not there but utility is interesting

blackweaver
blackweaver

i not only disable autoplay for the cdrom, i disable it for all drives; i find it pretty annoying. At one time most of the pcs in my office were infected with a virus 'cos the antivirus didn't detect it. Mine was one of the few that never was as the virus was passed around by flash drives. There was also the time i had an external hard disk with over 4 partitions; having many dialogs pop up when you are doing something just because you plugged in a usb device is REALLY annoying

Oz_Media
Oz_Media

Hold shift until it shuts up and then open it myself in Explorer or dig for the desired files as needed. I also use it for music and video files whe I want ot choos emy player, WMP is crap for most audio and video playack, but I still use it as a default for certain file types and SOMETIMES wish to open those file types with VLC PLayer (which makes WMP really seem useless for anything), or open them for editing in Cakewalk etc.

john3347
john3347

I was unfamiliar with the option to hold the shift key and I have had autorun disabled for several years. Will holding the shift key cause a CD/DVD to autorun when autorun is turned off? This could be a handy step on occasion.

NickNielsen
NickNielsen

I usually insert a CD, DVD, USB device, or floppy with one of two intents: 1. I want to know what's on it. 2. I want to retrieve a specific file. Even if it's an install disk, I'm perfectly capable of locating and double-clicking on setup.exe. In any case, I've already got Explorer ready to go and don't need autorun.

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