Autorun from USB
It is not possible to autorun applications stored on an USB stick when you connect it to a PC running the Microsoft Windows operating system. The only option you have to change this is to run a program on the computer that monitors the computer's USB ports for devices that get connected to it.
APO usb autorun suite makes it pretty easy to make automatic use of autorun information on USB drives. The tool checks whether a connected USB drive contains autorun information and if it does, will execute them on the system without user input.
The suite contains three programs: first USB autorun which checks the connected USB devices, second the autorun.inf builder which you use to create autostart entries, and last but not least the autoruns starter which you can use to display information when files are autostarted from the USB device.
APO USB Autorun enables you to add autorun functionality to your USB drive. It automatically searches for the standard autorun.inf (as used with CDs) and executes it.
This simple, but very handy functionality allows you to create an autorun menus in the same way you would for a CD and use it with your USB drive, or launch playlists, html pages and any other type of file as soon as the USB drive is inserted.
In addition to the autorun functionality, the program also allows you to quickly access the files on the USB drive(s) from the tray icon menu. APO Usb Autorun now comes with plugins to backup/restore folder upon drive insertion.
The big question is if this is useful to at least some users and I think it is. It is not only possible to start executable files using this method but also playlists, documents, HTML pages and everything else you can think of.
I've published an article some weeks ago about using true crypt to encrypt part of your mobile device so that no one would get access to those files without the program true crypt and the key that you specified when creating the container.
So, you can make use of the program to start the True Crypt client software automatically whenever the USB drive with the encrypted container is connected to the operating system so that you only have to type in the password to mount it.
Update: Development of the program has been discontinued, according to the author's website. Microsoft in recent time has changed the way autorun works in Windows 7. The operating system won't use the autostart information anymore unless they are on optical drives.
This basically means that all autorun information files on USB drives are ignored by the operating system, with no option to turn the feature back on. This would have rendered the program unusable as well.
We have uploaded the latest release version of the program to our own server for archiving purposes. Note that we don't support the program in any way. You can download it with a click on the following link: Autorun USB
Actually, with SP2 on Windows, you can autorun USB devices without installing another application on your computer. I have a complete tutorial on doing just that. You can find it at http://www.dailycupoftech.com/usb-drive-autoruninf-tweaking/.
I love the TrueCrypt idea. I have actually been doing this for a couple of years and talk about it in http://www.dailycupoftech.com/zen-and-the-art-of-the-usb-drive/.
I really like the blog. Keep up the good work and good information.
You’re not truely autorunning w/ your solution – some user interaction is still required. Note that the “always perform this action” is not an option when you create an Autorun.inf file on a USB drive.
However, there are many programs out there, one actually written by me (BusRunner, if you want a copy give me a shout brandonATbc3techDOTnet) that will sit in your system tray and launch programs you specify based on configurations stored on your USB drive. Very effective.
A simple registry change in XP will enable autorun for removable devices. Keep in mind not all usb flash drives are the same flavor of device.