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This topic is a reference for the entries that can be used in an Autorun.inf file. An entry consists of a key and a value.
The action entry specifies the text that is used in the Autoplay dialog for the handler representing the program specified in the open or shellexecute entry in the media's Autorun.inf file. The value can be expressed as either text or as a resource stored in a binary.
The action key is only used in Microsoft Windows XP Service Pack 2 (SP2) or later. It is only supported for drives of type DRIVE_REMOVABLE and DRIVE_FIXED. In the case of DRIVE_REMOVABLE, the action key is required. An action command in the Autorun.inf file of an audio CD or movie DVD is ignored and these media continue to behave as in Windows XPВ Service Pack 1 (SP1) and earlier.
The string displayed in the Autoplay dialog is constructed by combining the text specified in the action entry with hard-coded text naming the provider, provided by the Shell. The icon is displayed next to it. This entry always appears as the first option in the Autoplay dialog and is selected by default. If the user accepts the option, the application specified by the open or shellexecute entry in the media's Autorun.inf file is launched. The Always do the selected action option is not available in this situation.
The action and icon keys together define the representation of the application that is seen by the end user in the Autoplay dialog. They should be composed in such a way that users can easily identify them. They should indicate the application to be run, the company that created it, and any associated branding.
For backward compatibility, the action entry is optional for devices of type DRIVE_FIXED. For this type, a default entry is used in the Autoplay dialog if no action entry is present in the Autorun.inf file.
The action entry is mandatory for devices of type DRIVE_REMOVABLE, which until now did not have Autorun.inf support. If no action entry is present, the Autoplay dialog is displayed, but with no option to launch the additional content.
The icon entry specifies an icon which represents the AutoRun-enabled drive in the Windows user interface.
The icon, together with the label, represents the AutoRun-enabled drive in the Windows user interface. For instance, in Windows Explorer, the drive is represented by this icon instead of the standard drive icon. The icon's file must be in the same directory as the file specified by the open command.
The following example specifies the second icon in the MyProg.exe file.
The label entry specifies a text label which represents the AutoRun-enabled drive in the Windows user interface.
The label, together with an icon, represents the AutoRun-enabled drive in the Windows user interface.
The following example specifies the value "My Drive Label" as the drive's label.
label=My Drive Label
The open entry specifies the path and file name of the application that AutoRun launches when a user inserts a disc in the drive.
open=[exepath\]exefile [param1 [param2] ...]
For more information about startup applications, see Tips for Writing AutoRun Startup Applications.
The UseAutoPlay entry specifies that Autoplay V2 features should be used if supported.
The UseAutoPlay value should be set to 1 for media that want to use the new Autoplay V2 features on platforms that support it. There are no other values supported.
This value was introduced in Windows XP and will have no effect on prior versions of Windows. When this value is present, it will take precedence over the open and ShellExecute values. As with the ShellExecute value, this value should be used with care. It is intended primarily for use with multimedia content for which Autoplay support was added to Windows XP. If the media might be used on earlier versions of Windows, the Autorun.INF file should also provide a value for open, since UseAutoPlay has no effect on Windows versions prior to Windows XP.
To maintain support for existing media using Autoplay V1 features, Autoplay V2 drops back to V1 behavior in some scenarios. If Autoplay V2 finds an Autorun.INF file without a UseAutoPlay=1 entry, or detects an audio CD or a DVD movie, then Autoplay V2 behaves as Autoplay V1 used to behave.
The shell entry specifies a default command for the drive's shortcut menu.
When a user right-clicks the drive icon, a shortcut menu appears. If an Autorun.inf file is present, the default shortcut menu command is taken from it. This command also executes when the user double-clicks the drive's icon.
To specify the default shortcut menu command, first define its verb, command string, and menu text with shell\verb. Then use shell to make it the default shortcut menu command. Otherwise, the default menu item text will be "AutoPlay", which launches the application specified by the open entry.
The shell\verb entry adds a custom command to the drive's shortcut menu.
When a user right-clicks the drive icon, a shortcut menu appears. Adding shell/verb entries to the drive's Autorun.inf file allows you to add commands to this shortcut menu.
There are two parts to this entry, which must be on separate lines. The first part is shell/verb/command. It is required. It associates a string, called a verb, with the application to launch when the command runs. The second part is the shell/verb entry. It is optional. You can include it to specify the text that displays in the shortcut menu.
To specify a default shortcut menu command, define the verb with shell/verb, and make it the default command with the shell entry.
The following sample Autorun.inf fragment associates the readit verb with the command string "Notepad abc\readme.txt". The menu text is "Read Me", and 'M' is defined as the item's shortcut key. When the user selects this command, the drive's abc\readme.txt file opens with Microsoft Notepad.
shell\readit\command=notepad abc\readme.txt shell\readit=Read &Me
The DriverPath entry specifies a directory to search recursively for driver files. This command is used during a driver installation and is not part of an AutoRun operation. The [DeviceInstall] section is only supported under Windows XP.
Do not use drive letters in directorypath as they change from one computer to the next.
To search multiple directories, add a DriverPath entry for each directory as in this example.
[DeviceInstall] DriverPath=drivers\video DriverPath=drivers\audio
If no DriverPath entry is provided in the [DeviceInstall] section or the DriverPath entry has no value, then that drive is skipped during a search for driver files.
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