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Autorun Presentations or Software Programs from USB Drive

Anil Narwani from Wellesley Hills, Massachusetts wants to distribute some marketing brochures (read PowerPoint Presentations or HTML web pages) to clients on USB Flash drives.

He is looking for a simple method to make the document autorun (or auto-open in associated software programs) as soon as the client inserts your removable drive into the USB port of his / her computer.

autoplay usb flash memoryWindows XP does have an Autoplay feature (through AUTORUN.INF) but that is limited to CDs and DVD disks. As discussed earlier, you cannot launch applications or presentations from pen drives since they fall in the "removable media device" category.

There's however a workaround - you can distribute your brochures in USB drives manufactured by a Japanese company called UDRW.

These special USB Flash drives emulate the CD - they trick the computer into recognizing them as standard CD-ROM disks and hence the autorun function gets enabled - you can configure these drives to launch any document or file upon insertion and run by itself.

Though the USB drives will work in Mac OS but not the Autorun feature. The price is not mentioned on the corporate site but it won't be inexpensive for sure.

Just a word of caution - some people may have disabled the Autoplay feature of Windows using the TweakUI utility from Microsoft or through the gpedit.msc policy editor that ships with XP Pro. In both these cases, the above trick may not work.

Related: USB Ports Disabled ? Enable it with Regedit