Autorun.inf - autorun files from CD

Learn how to autorun .htm and other files

© Copyright 1995-2002 Trah®


How to write a CD


StarterFile, from Trah, enables HTML and other files to be autorun from CD-ROM.
The software is licensed to some of the biggest companies in the World.

Buy StarterFile online and download for immediate use. Documentation.

"For me, StarterFile is a good solution"
Mike Kubanek, Director Customer Satisfaction Siemens ICN
"We are using the product and it is wonderful,
easy to use and does exactly what we were looking for."
Denise McGonigal, Planning Analyst
"It just works.
No 400-page user manual, no calls to tech support.
I just read the simple instructions, and it worked right away.
Jose Leary, Systems Engineer
"StarterFile is the app I've been looking for. It's so easy to implement, and it really expands the toolset for creating self running applications. I've always believed incorporating HTML, Flash, QT or MPEG movies could enable easy development of CD-ROM application, but before StarterFile existed, there was no simple way of getting these applications to self run. StarterFile enables all of our web tools to become CD-ROM development tools."
Richard Lin, CEO
3Forces Digital, Inc.


CD-ROM was first introduced to replace the large numbers of floppy disks which had become necessary to install software such as Microsoft Office. A user had to insert a CD-ROM into the drive and then run a command, usually setup.exe or install.exe, to start the installation.

With the introduction of Windows 95, a new feature called AutoPlay enabled programs to be automatically run and was intended to make CDs easier to use. It also enabled audio CDs to be played.

Equipment to create CDs was initially very expensive but now prices have dropped to several hundred pounds and CD-ROM writers are often used to create backups or to store files that are accessed directly from CD-ROM without having to be installed onto hard disk. Increasingly, CD is a medium for storing HTML web pages and other files such as spreadsheet, presentation, audio, video, graphics and help (for example Microsoft's winhelp and HTML Help).

AutoPlay works in Windows 95 by looking at the CD, or CD-ROM, that the user inserts. If it's an audio CD then it is played but if it is a CD-ROM that contains an autorun.inf file in the root directory then the instructions in this are run.

autorun.inf allows only programs, files that end in .exe or .com, to be run. AutoPlay was never intended to be used to automatically run other files, such as .htm, but StarterFile enables this limitation to be overcome.

AutoPlay was also only intended to work with CD-ROM but it can be made to work with other media such as floppy disks and Iomega Zip drives.

A typical autorun.inf file to install software would be located in the root directory of the CD and contain three lines in text format (ASCII) like this:


Setup.exe would be expected to be found in the root directory of the CD.

StarterFile - Introduction

StarterFile from Trah® enables the limitations of autorun.inf to be overcome. StarterFile enables a wide variety of files, such as HTML web pages, to be automatically launched when the user inserts a CD.

StarterFile is written to the CD-ROM along with autorun.inf and opens the application on the users PC which is associated with the file extension it is given (ie .htm .pdf).

A typical autorun.inf file that includes StarterFile to launch the file start.htm would contain two lines in text format (ASCII) as shown below.

open=starterfile.exe start.htm

Autorun.inf, starterfile.exe and start.htm should all be written to the root directory of the CD.

StarterFile - Documentation

This example illustrates how StarterFile can be used to launch the file start.htm

Create a CD-ROM which contains three files in the root directory.
To save the files, right click and select "Save Target As".

1 autorun.inf (1KB)
2 start.htm (13KB)
3 Evaluation copy of starterfile.exe (208KB)

If you need information on how to write these files to CD see our Guide on how to write to CD

On loading the CD-ROM, start.htm will be displayed in the users default browser: assuming the file extension .htm is associated with a browser.

To launch a file other than start.htm, edit autorun.inf and replace start.htm with the filename of the file you wish to autorun.

Here is what is contained within autorun.inf to autorun a webpage called start.htm
open=starterfile.exe start.htm

Buy StarterFile online and download for immediate use.

Test using floppy disk or zip cartridge.

StarterFile - FREE Demonstrator

The evaluation version of StarterFile is intended for evaluation purposes only so that you can test how StarterFile works prior to buying the registered version.

The evaluation version displays the following message prior to launching the application and the file specified in autorun.inf
"Unregistered version for evaluation purposes only,"

Example files to download. Buy StarterFile online now.

StarterFile - Pricing

The registered version is identical to the evaluation version but excludes the message
"Unregistered version for evaluation purposes only,".

StarterFile costs 50, (Currency Conversion Rates). This one off registration fee enables you to use StarterFile on an unlimited number of CDs.

StarterFile - Register

Register StarterFile for a one time payment of 50 (Currency Conversion Rates)
Registration enables you to use StarterFile on as many CDs as you wish.

Immediately following payment you are given a hyperlink to download the registered version of StarterFile for immediate use.

Contact name
Postal Town
Post Code/ZIP Code
Telephone Number
Fax Number
Your Email Address
Your Web Site URL

We accept using secure server.

We are unable to accept American Express or Diners Club. Pay by cheque?

StarterFile - License agreement

The SOFTWARE PRODUCT is protected by copyright law and international copyright treaty. The SOFTWARE PRODUCT is licensed, not sold. By installing, copying, or otherwise using the SOFTWARE PRODUCT, you agree to be bound by the terms of this license agreement. If you do not agree to the terms of this license agreement you may not use the SOFTWARE PRODUCT.

You agree not to modify, decompile or reverse engineer the SOFTWARE PRODUCT.

For a single licensing fee you may include the SOFTWARE PRODUCT on any number of computer disks (CD-ROM, CD-R, DVD, floppy disk, zip disk, etc.) for the purpose of making those disks AutoPlay.

The disks may be manufactured at different times and contain different content.

You may not encourage people to use the SOFTWARE PRODUCT for any purpose other than viewing the content of your disks.

You may be provided with SUPPORT related to the SOFTWARE PRODUCT. Any additional documentation provided to you as part of this SUPPORT shall be considered part of the SOFTWARE PRODUCT and subject to these terms and conditions.

The SOFTWARE PRODUCT is provided to you on an "AS IS" basis. You assume the entire risk of loss in using the SOFTWARE PRODUCT. It is possible for users, and software, to disable the Autoplay feature on PCs, for suitable application software not to be installed, or be installed incorrectly, or with missing files. Provider does not warrant that the SOFTWARE PRODUCT will meet your needs or expectations, that operations of the SOFTWARE PRODUCT will be error free or uninterrupted.

Provider cannot be held responsible for any loss or corruption of data or software, lost profits or other incidental, indirect or consequential damages arising from the use or misuse of the SOFTWARE PRODUCT.

To the maximum extent permitted by applicable law, in no event shall provider be liable for any damages, claim or loss incurred by user (including without limitation compensatory, incidental, indirect, special, consequential or exemplary damages, lost profits, lost sales or business, expenditures, investments, or commitments in connection with any business, loss of any goodwill, or damages resulting from lost data or inability to use data) irrespective of whether provider has been informed of, knew of, or should have known of the likelihood of such damages. This limitation applies to all causes of action in the aggregate including without limitation breach of contract, breach of warranty, negligence, strict liability, misrepresentation, and other torts. If provider's limited warranty or limitation of liability set forth in this agreement shall for any reason whatsoever be held unenforceable or inapplicable, user agrees that provider's liability shall not exceed the license fee.

The law that governs these arrangements shall be the law of England and Wales.


StarterFile - FAQ

These are some frequently asked questions.

Does StarterFile work with PDF files ?

Yes. Here's an example:

open=starterfile.exe start.pdf

starterfile.exe, autorun.inf and start.pdf need to be written to the root directory of the CD

Does StarterFile work with Microsoft Word?


StarterFile should not be used to autorun Word files, .doc , as Word does not exit correctly and freezes.

Please email us at to let us know of any problems you experience so that we can include details here.

Can I pay by cheque ?

Yes although this means a delay in your getting StarterFile. Please send your details (name, address, email, tel) to

Cheques payable to "Trah Computer Services Limited" should be sent to the following address:

Trah Computer Services
PO Box 16472
E11 1XF
United Kingdom

If you require StarterFile quickly you should use the on-line credit card facility.
We accept using secure server.

Can StarterFile be used to open multiple files?

Yes. Here's how, you need to have autorun.inf call a batch file:


starterfile.exe file1.htm
starterfile.exe file2.htm

starterfile.exe, autorun.inf, open.bat, 1.htm and 2.htm need to be written to the root directory of the CD

Where is the documentation for StarterFile ?

There is no 400 page manual !

Just follow this example.

Does autorun.inf work with floppy or Zip disks?

It is possible to autorun files from removable media such as floppy disk or Iomega zip cartridges and this is intended to enable testing for syntax and logic errors prior to writing a CD.

This feature works with Windows 95/98 but apparently not with later versions.

This method involves editing the registry so you need to take precautions before making any changes.

The registry setting to change is shown below: the default entry of 95 should be changed to 91.


This shows NoDriveTypeAutoRun after amendment to enable autorun from removable media

Detailed instructions are shown below:

AutoPlay should now be enabled. However, you need to start AutoPlay manually when it is installed on a floppy disk or zip cartridge. To do this, right click the floppy, or zip, drive icon and then click AutoPlay.

Is it posible to specify an icon ?

Yes. Here is an example

open=starterfile.exe start.htm

where myfile.exe is the name of an .ico, .bmp, .exe or .dll file containing the icon information. If a file contains more than one icon you must also specify the index of the icon.

The following example specifies the second icon in myfile.exe

How do I ?

How do I start a web page in Kiosk mode ?

Javascript can be used to display web pages in kiosk mode, see this example Can JavaScript start a window in "Kiosk Mode"?

If you use this kiosk mode, tell users to press Alt+F4 to exit kiosk mode or provide a button which calls window.close(). These as these are the only ways to exit kiosk mode.

Kiosk mode is when a web page is displayed full screen so it fills the entire working area of the screen.

How do I open a splash page for 5 seconds and then load another page ?

You can create a splash page using Javascript and the onLoad command within the body tag.

<BODY onLoad=setTimeout("location.href='mainpage.htm'",5000)>

Note that the time is specified in milliseconds so 5 seconds is 5000

This code only works with browsers which have Javascript enabled and to cope with non Javascript browsers you could use also add within <HEAD></HEAD> tags a meta refresh tag. <META http-equiv="refresh" content="5; URL=mainpage.htm">

How do I open a window at a given position on the screen?

The answer can be found on the Internet Related Technologies site.

How do I learn about Javascript ?

Books about Javascript at

Javascript articles and tutorials from Internet Related Technologies are a useful source of information about Javascript.