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Vista AutoRun

I just upgraded to Windows Vista and I’m having trouble figuring out how the CD AutoRun feature works. Can you help me with this, please?

Why, I sure can! One of my co-workers here who uses a Vista computer was actually having trouble with that the other day as well. And after I received this question in my e-mail, I figured it must be a common problem among new Vista users. Well, after today, you won’t be confused any longer, because I’m here to shed some light on the Vista AutoRun/AutoPlay feature for you.

To begin, I want to make sure everyone knows what AutoRun means. This term comes into play whenever you insert a CD into the CD ROM drive on your computer (or a DVD into a DVD ROM drive, etc). The AutoRun feature gives you, the user, the ability to take action as to what you want that CD to do once it’s in your computer. There are different options you can choose from when it comes to setting up the AutoRun how you want it as well. And that’s exactly what I’m going to explain for all you Vista users right now. Ready, get set, go!

When you insert a CD into your Vista computer, an AutoPlay dialogue box will pop right up. From that window, you can choose from these options: “Run start.exe,” “Open folder to view files” or “Set AutoPlay defaults in Control Panel.” If you put in a music CD, you will have the option of just playing it or ripping it too. The choices will be a little different, depending on the type of CD you put in. Whether it’s an audio CD, a piece of software, a game, etc., the options will be different, but everything else is pretty similar, no matter what.

So, you can choose what you want to do, but I would recommend clicking on the link that says “Set AutoPlay defaults in Control Panel.” This one is going to give you the most control over what your computer does when you’re using CDs. Once that box comes up, you’ll see a long list of different disk types. There’s everything from audio CDs to enhanced audio CDs to DVD movies to enhanced DVD movies to software and games to pictures to video files to audio files and so on and so on.

For each disk type, there is a drop down menu next to it. When you click on the down arrow for each menu, you will see an array of options. Below are two examples of this.

1.) Audio CD: Your main options for this are Play, Rip, Open folder to view files using Windows Explorer, Take no action or Ask me every time. Now, if you like your music CDs to start right up whenever you put one in your CD ROM drive, choose Play. This option will then detect what media program you have installed on your computer (Windows Media Player, for example) and the CD will automatically play in that program every time you put one in.

On the other hand, if you would like to choose which action to take each time, choose Ask me every time. This way, you’ll have the choice every time you go to play a CD on your computer. The choice is yours, but do try to pick the option that will make things the easiest for you.

2.) Software and games: For this one, your main options are Install or run program, Open folder to view files using Windows Explorer, Take no action or Ask me every time. If you choose the first option, every time you go to install a new piece of software on your computer, it will automatically run the install for you. If you’d like to make a new decision every time, choose Ask me every time. Again, the choice is always yours.

Once you’ve gone through the whole list of disk types and made your selections, click the Save button at the bottom of the window. That will save all of your settings and they will be ready for the next time you play a music CD, install a new program, play a new game, etc. Now, if you want to change your settings at any time, you can also access the AutoPlay window by going to Start, Control Panel, Hardware and Sound, AutoPlay.

It’s as easy as that. Isn’t it nice to have all the options of the Vista world right at your fingertips?!

~ Erin