On this site, you will find information and tips about the key points of the Autoplay CD and the Autoplay front end menu.
Autorun and Autoplay
Autorun, autoplay and autostart are different terms for the same function, that is, the function that starts a program automatically when a data-storage medium is changed.
CD and DVD
To an operating, there is no difference between a CD and a DVD. Everything that is stated in this section about CDs also applies to DVDs.
The Autoplay function is part of the Windows operating system and has been designed to react in a given way when a storage medium such as a CD ROM or DVD ROM is changed or inserted into the drive. A good practical example of how this system works is offered by Autoplay CDs containing a multi-media presentation. When such a CD is inserted into the drive it will start automatically along with the player or viewer needed to enjoy the presentation.
There has been a huge increase in the use of digital multimedia presentations over the past few years. CD business cards, product, business and project presentations represent just a few of the applications for CDs and DVDs that have been gathering pace. CDs and DVDs offer a large amount of data storage potential and are inexpensive.
One of the most important things to bear in mind when creating a CD or DVD presentation, however, is that the whole experience should be made as easy as possible for the user, and that means not expecting he or she to have to search the CD for the application or presentation file that needs starting. Indeed, it is set against this background that "Autoplay" was introduced for the Windows operating system. It makes it possible for the main application to be started automatically when the CD is inserted into the drive without the user having to do anything.
An Autoplay CD or DVD has a file called "Autorun.inf" in its root directory. When a CD containing this file is inserted into a PC drive, the Windows operating system implements the instructions contained within the Autorun.inf file automatically. This means that all a user has to do is insert the CD or DVD and everything else is taken care of automatically.How does Autoplay work? The computer hardware recognizes that a data-storage medium has been changed and sends an interrupt request to the operating system. The first thing that the operating system does is to check the registry entries as to whether the drive is enabled for Autoplay. If it is, the operating system then searches for a text file by the name of "Autorun.inf" in the root directory of the data-storage medium. If this file is found, its contents are read, interpreted and executed.
The computer hardware recognizes that a data-storage medium has been changed and sends an interrupt request to the operating system. The first thing that the operating system does is to check the registry entries as to whether the drive is enabled for Autoplay. If it is, the operating system then searches for a text file by the name of "Autorun.inf" in the root directory of the data-storage medium. If this file is found, its contents are read, interpreted and executed.
The solution: Use a front end menu as the Autoplay application. In this application, the user is immediately provided with an interface that informs them about the contents of the CD. The presentations, documents, or programs can be accessed using buttons. You can find more informatino on this topic at The Front End Menu.
A USB Flash Drive (also known as a USB stick) is a data-storage device that connects directly into the computer's USB port. The memory storage capacity of these devices ranges between 32 MB and 64 GB. Not only are USB flash drives small in size, they also boast higher storage capacities, faster access times and higher transfer rates than CDs and DVDs. Because the price of memory chips has fallen dramatically, USB stick prices are becoming increasingly attractive. This means that USB sticks are replacing floppy disks, CDs and DVDs as a way of storing data.
Examples of USB flash drives (USB sticks)
Are you interested in using a USB stick to distribute your marketing messages or product and company presentations? Why not have the casing customized with your logo or company name! Together with a professional Autoplay presentation, USB sticks offer an impressive way to get your messages and presentations across.
Microsoft will be blocking the auto-run function for USB sticks (USB flash drive) for future Windows updates. This is because USB sticks have been used to infect computers with viruses. Nevertheless, it still makes sense to use a menu program for USB sticks and you can read why here (see below)
Does it make sense to use a menu program for USB sticks?
Yes! - It still makes sense to include an menu program, even if the Autoplay function is not activated.
The people who program malware (viruses, worms and spyware) have recently started using USB flash drives as a medium for transferring their "work". These work by changing the Autorun.inf file and linking it to a destructive program contained on the storage medium. This is done when the USB stick is inserted into the computer.
If you decide to use USB sticks for storing your presentations or files, it is essential that you take measures to protect your customers from harmful programs.
Make sure that you only use USB sticks with mechanical write protection. This feature usually takes the form of a small sliding switch on the casing of the USB stick, which uses hardware to prevent data from being overwritten. Make sure that you slide the switch to "write protection" after you have copied your data to the stick.
Include a message with your USB stick explaining that your company takes security very seriously and that this is the reason why you have used write-protected USB sticks for your presentation.