e-Book Design Tips
autorun e-books on cd-roms

 

Autorun E-Books on CD-ROMs

Information in this article is believed to be correct, but as the AUTORUN format is a Microsoft file format, please check the www.microsoft.com web site for official information.

Recent versions of Windows (since 95) include a neat feature that allows a program on a CD-ROM to automatically be started when the CD-ROM is inserted in the drive.

The way this works is you create a text file called AUTORUN.INF and place it in the root (main) folder of the CD-ROM.

IMPORTANT: Make sure the file is called AUTORUN.INF and not AUTORUN.TXT or AUTORUN.INF.TXT (an easy mistake to make if using Notepad to create this file). You can always check the file name by right clicking on the file in Windows Explorer and doing Properties)

The content of the file should look something like:

[autorun]
open=.\bookname.exe
Where bookname.exe is the name of the book. The above example assumes the e-book EXE is in the main folder of the CD-ROM but it is also possible to use a named folder in the path as in this example:

[autorun]
open=.\foldername\bookname.exe

Save on media

While by default the Autorun feature is enabled only on CD-ROMs, it is possible to change the settings on your computer to Autorun other media types such as floppy disks or ZIP disks. If you are developing a CD-ROM based product, this can potentially help you conserve expensive media during the development and testing phase of your product.

For more information, see the following article: http://support.microsoft.com/support/kb/articles/q136/2/14.asp

(to use the article it helps if you have a good grasp of binary and hexadecimal numbering).


Windows 95 Problem

Some Windows 95 systems (as far as we know this problem is restricted to Windows 95 only and does not occur on later versions of Windows) seem to lose their Autorun settings. We are not sure why this happens, but if it does (no CD-ROMs including commercial CD-ROMs will autorun on your system), you can set it back using the techniques described in the same Microsoft article that we mentioned previously.





 

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