How to burn a cd that will autostart an app

  Bluto 00:26 24 Apr 2003

I want to burn a set of pictures to cd with a viewer. How do I get the viewer to autostart on insertion ? There was an article in PC Advisor but I have lost it.

  powerless 00:39 24 Apr 2003

Have a look at click here

  MAJ 00:40 24 Apr 2003

You need to create an Autorun file in Notepad and burn it as the first file on your CD, Bluto. It will look like this and it should be saved as "Autorun.inf" (without the quote marks).



  Taran 01:09 24 Apr 2003

click here

The autorun.inf file on its own is sometimes a bit lacking. There are lots of ways of pepping things up a bit and allowing reliable application launches, but what you don't say is whether you want to run a program from CD or run a program install from the CD.

There's a very big difference and certain considerations have to be taken into account, depending on what you want to do.

A bit more information could help secure a more complete answer.



  Bluto 23:48 25 Apr 2003

Ta for the replies
for Taran, I would prefer the viewer ran from the cd rather than installing.

  Taran 00:08 26 Apr 2003

Which operating system are you running ?

Windows XP can make an autorunning slideshow CD by using the "CD Slide Show Generator" Power Toy available from Microsoft at this link:

click here

Microsoft also claim that this works back to Windows 9x, so you don't have to download and install it only on an XP computer. Another advantage is that this method is free but for the time it takes you to download the 548 KB file from Microsoft.

Many good image editors have built in support for making slideshows. The latest version of Ulead PhotoImpact, for example, can take any amount of images in a folder of your choice and with a few menu driven clicks transform them into a slideshow that can be burned to CD.

When you say you want to include a viewer, what exactly are you intending for the CD ?

Using the "CD Slide Show Generator" or Ulead PhotoImpact (among other methods) produces a CD that requires no "viewer" software. It's all bundled as part of the disk and is self contained.

If you would like the CD to play in anything other than a computer, there are ways and means of achieving this but again, more information from you is required to give an appropriate answer.

Hope this helps.



  Bluto 23:18 26 Apr 2003

It was Photo Impact I was trying to get to run. Still operating on '98 Mk 2. I can burn the slide show ok, I was trying to get it to run from disk with the minimum of effort from the computer novice recipients (Photos of this years Lambing so not very high powered.)


  Taran 00:16 27 Apr 2003

Full walkthrough tomorrow.

  Taran 11:01 27 Apr 2003

Create a folder on your desktop and call it CD.

Open up this folder and create one inside it called Pix.

Put a copy of every image you want to use inside the Pix folder which is in the CD folder on your desktop by using copy and paste from where the pictures are currently stored on your PC.

Start Ulead PhotoImpact and click on File, Export and choose from either Web Album or Web Slideshow. This example uses Web Album.

So assuming you chose File, Export, Web Album you’ll be looking at a small browser form called Select Image in the middle of your screen, asking you where to find the images you want to use.

Click the small button to the right of the Folder: text box and the Browse For Folder form pops up. Click the + sign next to the CD folder you made on your desktop and click once on the Pix folder inside it that contains your images. Click OK then OK again.

You should now be looking at the Export to Web Album form and the Output page will be displayed by default.

Click the small button to the right of Output folder: text box and use the Browse For Folder form to click once on the CD folder you made on your desktop to select it as the destination folder where your files will be placed. Click OK.

Still on the Output page of the Export to Web Album form, make sure that the File name: just under the Output folder: is called index.html which is its default name. Beneath that, make sure the Save as Web pages radio button is selected and leave the tick in the checkbox just below it that says Launch default browser to view pages when finished.

Don’t select anything in the Save pages in a self-extracting EXE file: section.

Click on the Page Setup tab.

Next to Page Title: the default entry is My Web Thumbnails. Leave or change this according to preference. Likewise, make any changes to the Annotation on the page section for the Header, Footer and Page numbers then at the bottom of the page select your chosen option from the Links between pages section.

Now click on the Thumbnails tab. Any options you choose in here are entirely up to you and they don’t really need explaining.

Click on the Image tab and choose your image output options. I like to reduce the image size to say 600 x 450 or so, since this will display nicely at any screen resolution without unnecessary scrolling, but leaving the default of 800 x 600 is fine if that’s what you like and you know everyone who receives your finished disk has a 17 inch or above monitor. One change you should make in here is to the JPEG compression quality. This is going to be a CD based project so page load times over an Internet connection are not the issue they normally would be. Slide the control up to 100% and then give your images a border or not as you choose.

Click on the Description tab. Anything you choose in here is down to you and will be displayed next to the image (File name, size, date created and so on). Nothing in here is necessary, but you can include it as you wish.

Finally, either choose the Preview button at the right of the Export to Web Album form to check out your chosen layout, or just click on the OK button above the Burn CD button to create the web album and launch it in your browser to view it.

Continued below...

  Taran 11:01 27 Apr 2003

Clicking any of the thumbnails will open up that image and you can use the back, forward, next buttons or links (whichever you chose) to scoot from one to another pages. Close down Internet Explorer (or whichever browser you use) and close Ulead PhotoImpact.

Download the Zip file from this link click here and unpack the three files it contains to the CD folder on your desktop. The autorun.inf file contained in it is already coded to run the default filename generated by Ulead PhotoImpact.

Now if you open the CD folder on your desktop, you can safely delete the Pix folder you made at the beginning of this process, or you can leave it as you choose since it won’t do any harm; all it does is occupy disk space. You should also see three folders in the CD folder called Images, Thumbs and page and some HTML files and a bunch of GIF files, which are the navigation elements of your pages. You should also see the three files you unpacked from my download, called autorun.inf, shellexe.exe and SUN.ICO

Close the folder.

Open up your CD burning software and select everything in the CD folder on your desktop to add to the disk.

Burn the CD.

If you did everything properly, when you put the CD into a computer, it will autorun and open the index.html file of your picture album into whichever is the default web browser software on the computer it is being run on. I’ve used this method for IE, Netscape, Opera, Mozilla and it works like a charm. If you explore your My Computer you should also find that the CD has its own icon, which can be a nice touch but is obviously not necessary.

The autorun.inf file is what does most of the work in this example. It contains the following lines:

open=ShellExe.exe index.html

All this does is say to your computer “autorun this disk by opening the ShellExe.exe file which in turn points to the index.html file and the CD icon is called SUN.ICO”

If you want to use the autorun.inf file for other projects you can, but note one very important point, your index.html file must be called that. Some HTML editors default to index.htm so if this is the case, open up the autorun.inf file in Notepad (never use Word – it has to be edited in a simple text editor) and change the second line from;

open=ShellExe.exe index.html


open=ShellExe.exe index.htm

That .html to .htm change will make the difference as to whether or not the whole thing works. It’s a strict instruction, so if it’s addressed to look for an .html file and yours is an .htm file, it won’t try and second guess, it will just throw out an error or just fail to load or both.

Hope this helps, but as always, if you have any questions, you know where to ask.



  Taran 11:06 27 Apr 2003

I completely forgot about the formatting problems in here.

The three autorun.inf file lines of code should be as follows (without the hard return between them):


open=ShellExe.exe index.html


In case of confusion, just open up the autorun.inf file in Notepad and you'll see for yourself what the code is.

If in doubt, find someone who knows what they're talking about since I've clearly lost the plot this morning !


Hope this (finally) helps you get sorted.



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