Make an Autorun CD


Your freshly burned CD can start automatically when you load it in your player.

By Roger Chang
May 3, 2001

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Ever want to make that CD you burned start up right just like the commercial ones? You know, the ones where you pop the disc in the drive and away it launches the application.

Believe it or not this miracle is available to you now. All it takes is a text editor -- Note Pad or Word Pad will do nicely -- and the ability to type in a somewhat competent manner. Then do the following:

  1. Determine what you want to autorun off the CD. Autorun is like the startup folder in the Windows Start bar. Any file or shortcut placed within the Autorun.inf file will launch automatically.
  2. Create a new text file in a text editor. Type:


Replace the first star with file name and the second star with the file extension of the app you wish to auto launch. If the file does not reside in the root directory of the CD, you must add the appropriate directory and a " " before the filename (e.g. OPEN=myfoldermyfile.exe). Save the text file as "autorun.inf".

  1. When you burn the CD, add the autorun.ini file to the root directory of the burned CD.
  2. Enable auto insert notification on the CD drive. You're all set.

There are additional Autorun commands you can use to perform a variety of tasks to customize a CD-R. These include adding drive icons, custom text, and launching a file with an associated application. You can find them at the Microsoft MSDN website.