Sunday, August 13, 2006


Years ago, I was trying to create a CD for a customer to hand out as samples. She wanted it to automatically run when inserted. I had created her a lot of content as a web site so I wanted to reuse as much of that as possible. I decided to just load her web site onto the CD and make it autorun the index.htm page.

Wasn't as easy as it seemed. The situation is that the autorun.inf process will only "run" executables. One way to work around this is to use the "start" command.
open=start mydocument.ext
The downside of this is the DOS command window flashes by.

I finally found a program called winstart.exe from a guy in Australia. What this program does is launch whatever program is associated with the file you specify. This is confusing to explain but works very cleverly.

For instance, in my case I wanted to launch the user's browser and load index.htm. So my autorun.inf simply looked like this:
open=WINSTART.EXE index.htm
This causes the browser to open (without that unsightly command window flash) with the index.htm page.

I have squirreled away a copy of winstart.exe but when I sat down to write this, I went looking for a reference for it. When I Googled "winstart.exe" I got pages of hits talking about worms and viruses. The winstart.exe that I am talking about is NOT malicious.

The author (Jeff Turner) still hosts this on this page.

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