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One New Thing
Friday, June 25, 2004
 
One New Thing: How to create an autorun for a CD-ROM

It always involves a file you create in Notepad (or other text editor) which you call “autorun.inf”. Inside this file is the lines:
[autorun]
open=filename.exe

I had no trouble finding this info on the web, but the thing is I didn’t have an exe file to run – just a HTML doc. And the above syntax won’t work for HTML files.

After poking around forever I found a neat little utility at Whirly Wiry Web called ShellExe. Adding a bit of extra info to your autorun.inf and putting this 37kb (when extracted) file in the root directory of your CD makes your HTML or any other file you want the auto-running file. ShellExe even lets you select a list of alternative files to show if your audience doesn’t have the application for the file you’d like them to see.

And now, be glad that I didn’t try to explain the above using pictures. It could have led to something similar to the sights you are about to see in the Hall of Technical Documentation Weirdness. (Warning: This is one of those sites that makes you laugh out loud on the ref desk and get concerned looks from patrons. Does anyone want to make a picture to help me deliver this warning?) :)

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