AutoRunning Your CD Projects
If you distribute products on CD, it always looks impressive if the CD will autorun when inserted into the drive. In this article we will cover one of the many ways to autorun html, exe and most other file types. (.pdf .mov .qtif .mpeg and others)
To create an autorun CD we will use a program which enables the CD to autostart from the CD ROM drive. There are many of these types of free programs available for download on the Internet. The one we will be working with here is called AutorunPro. AutorunPro is a Freeware program which you can use with your CD projects.
If you do not yet have a copy, you can go to the developers download page here: http://www.avdf.com/oct98/art_ot005.html. The AutorunPro download link is right at the bottom of the article under the sub-heading “Updated Utility”.
AutorunPro has the capacity to autorun multiple files at once and can also autorun applications already installed on the users computer like the system clock or Internet Explorer with your website displayed. This magic freeware application was created by Mark Trescowthick with Ross Mack at GUI Computing: http://www.avdf.com/
Unzip AutorunPro.zip to a folder. Keep this folder which contains the files autorun.inf and AutorunPro.exe as your original. You might like to name this folder something like autorun tools (optional).
Copy autorun.inf and AutorunPro.exe into the folder which contains the file you want to autostart. This will be the root directory of the CD.
Open autorun.inf with Notepad. Just double-click it and Notepad should open it. Edit the file so that it looks like the example below:
[Autorun] open=AutoRunPro.exe /s
Replace yourfile.exe with the actual name of your file and save it.
Test to see if the project works correctly by double clicking on AutorunPro.exe. This will start yourfile.
Now open your burning software and drag autorun.inf, AutorunPro.exe and yourfile into the root directory of the CD and burn it onto a blank CD.
Congratulations! You have just created an autorun CD.
How To Autorun HTML
It is a good idea to name the HTML file you want autostarted to index.html or index.htm. The procedure to autorun html files is the same procedure used to autorun exe files except step three is different. All you have to do is modify the .inf file as follows.
Edit or create an inf file with Notepad and insert the following code:
[Autorun] open=AutoRunPro.exe /s
How to Add an Icon
If you want your CD to have it’s own icon displayed in the My Computer window as the CD drive, add an extra line of code so that the autorun inf file looks like the example below:
[Autorun] open=AutoRunPro.exe /s icon=youricon.ico
Replace youricon.ico with the actual name of your icon and ensure that the icon is in the root directory.
Note: You do not need to add the icon= parameter when autorunning exe files because the application will already have an icon and it will be displayed.
Free Icon Editor:
If you would like to create your own icons, you can get a freeware icon editor called IconEdit32 here: http://www.onlythebestfreeware.com/program.asp?program_id=13 5.
Iconedit is pretty straight forward to use, but if you need some help, there is an online tutorial here: http://www.northcode.com/swfstudio/tutorials/iconedit/
Free Autorun CD Menu
If you distribute software and ebooks Offline on a CD, you might like to add a HTML menu to your project. The menu is a HTML page that can be edited with Notepad or any old HTML editor: http://www.ezau.com/latest/articles/0119.shtml.
Free Slideshow Software
While we are talking about autorunning stuff, why not play around with your digital photos and create a slideshow CD with music. Burn your pictures to a CD along with AutorunPro, some MP3’s and this cool freeware Slideshow program called LPJ-Slideshow 1.7.6. Your friends and family will be impressed! Find the download link here: http://hjem.get2net.dk/lpj/Download.htm.
The author, Ed Zivkovic is based on the Gold Coast in
Contact details are available at his web site along with
many helpful webmaster articles: http://www.ezau.com