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Creating an Autorun CD

Has anyone created any Autorun CDs? I've been asked to update a CD business card by adding the autorun feature, a menu and updating a few other fields. I don't have the CD, yet, but I think it's in html. I did a Google search and found some tools for adding the autorun feature. Some are free, some cost. It looks like if I want to the CD to automatically open an html file, I need an autorun.inf file and an executable file that opens the html doc in a browser. This doesn't seem too daunting. I was just wondering if any of you have created these kinds of CDs before and have any advice on tools, pitfalls, etc.

I don't know if this will help, but I have created an autorun cd for teachers that opens Reader on the CD and launches the file. I found helpful information at the Acrobat site about how to do it. It was important that the file I was launching was located in the right place in the directory structure and had no spaces in the file name.

The autorun.inf file only had to have the following text and was created in notepad.

open=Reader\AcroRd32.exe intro.pdf

Reader was a folder with AcroRd32.exe in it. My intro.pdf file was at the root directory.

It is true. Users may have autorun disabled on their computers.

Thought an example might help.

Thanks. That is a good example. I actually didn't know that you could run acrobat reader off of a CD. Cool.

>The autorun.inf file only had to have the following text and was created in
>open=Reader\AcroRd32.exe intro.pdf
>Reader was a folder with AcroRd32.exe in it. My intro.pdf file was at the
>root directory.

You're kidding? It's that simple? <...filing that bit of info away in the "good info" folder...>

>It is true. Users may have autorun disabled on their computers.

How does one do that?

Not sure all you need to know. But, here is what I did.

I put the Acrobat Reader files on the CD. This includes the Reader folder that has the AcroRd32.exe in it. You need to contact Adobe about distribution of Reader, but it is free to distribute. There is just a little paperwork to be done. The form is online as a pdf.

I created a pdf file saved as intro.pdf. This is the first file I want to open when Reader is launched.

I then opened Notepad and wrote the following text exactly.

open=Reader\AcroRd32.exe intro.pdf

I then saved the Notepad file as autorun.inf

The files were all burned on a CD
Reader [a folder]
other Reader files in folders right from an installation disk I kept the
directory structure just like on the Reader CD.

any other pdf files (I linked to lots of files from a main menu document launched from the intro.pdf file. My intro file was mainly eyecandy--a flash movie in a pdf to get them enterested and a Start Program button taking the user to the Main Menu, which had links to all the rest of my files.

I hope this is what you needed. There are instructions on the Acrobat site. I have done this with Reader 4 and now with Reader 5.

When the teacher inserts the CD and if they do not have autorun disabled, Reader is launched and runs from the CD and the into.pdf file opens. Everything runs off the CD.

>Um, actually, I meant how does one disable autorun on a windows machine.

In windows 98:
(should be similar in your version or search HELP for "auto insert notification")

In your CONTROL PANEL, click SYSTEM then DEVICE MANAGER. Click CD-ROM and then highlight your CD drive(s). Click PROPERTIES and then SETTINGS

To prevent CDs from playing automatically, click to clear the AUTO INSERT NOTIFICATION check box. You can also press the SHIFT key while inserting a CD to stop it from playing automatically.

I finally figured out that you wanted to disabilt auto run

here are instructions also at this site

It is helpful to disable the Auto CD Run feature, called AutoPlay, if you swap CDs frequently. Disabling AutoPlay is especially convenient if you change from audio CDs to game CDs to programs.

To disable AutoPlay, follow these instructions.

Click Start.
Click Settings.
Click Control Panel.
Double-click System.
On Device Manager tab, double-click the CD-ROM branch.
Double-click the CD-ROM driver entry.
On the Settings tab, uncheck the Auto Insert Notification box.

To enable AutoPlay, follow the instructions to step six and check the Auto Insert Notification box.

As an added bonus, here is a shortcut to suspend AutoPlay: Hold down the Shift key while inserting a CD.

What type of files were the other files on the CD? Were they all PDF's or were they other types, as well?

Most of the files were pdfs, but we did launch an Authorware application to send results from an activity to headquarters. Some of the pdf files linked to and played sound files using pdf actions.

But primarily for this project the files were pdf, but I would think there would be no problems launching other applications--perhaps a ppt show that had the viewer on the CD. Have not tired that, but it seems it should work especially since we were able to launch an Authorware exe.

>From what I have been reading, you do need an executable file that is
>referred to in the autorun.inf file. If you have that, the first launch
>should work. For the second launch - like for the authorware.exe - did
>you just provide the link to launch it?

For html files, you have to include an executable file that finds the browser on the user's computer and launches the browser. You can download such an executable file that does this from the Web - for free or you can pay for one as part of a package. Many of those executable files can be used with more file types than html files. They just find the application that is associated with the file extension of the file that you supply, and then launch that application with your file as the active file. (That way, you don't have to have an application on the CD.) It would be the same effect as double clicking a file name on your hard drive to open it in its associated application. There is a risk here, though. The user might not have an application associated with the file extension that you use. Or, in the case of html files, someone like a Web developer might have an html file open in their editor, instead of their browser. I guess you just have to make judgements based on your audience as best you can.




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