Create an autorun type feature on a USB external HDD,

vbimport

#1

Hey all, I’ve been searching the Internet for some sort of work around for the last few days to Microsoft’s removal of the autorun feature from removable media. I understand how this feature is no longer possible on HDDs etc but it still works for CDs, (CDFS format).
I have a flash drive that I have been able to create a CDFS partition on and the autorun feature works exactly how I want it too, which is just starting a batch file from on the drive. Basically now I want to get this feature running on an external HDD because it will save me a lot of headaches and running around when my clients come to use them.
Is anyone able to guide me to some sort of resolution to my issue? I know it’s going to be an easy fix, and I can’t really install any 3rd party software or have scripts running on the clients computers.
Basically I just need to get autorun working on this HDD in a similar fashion to the flash drive I have. I have been unable to create a CDFS drive on the HDD like I did the flash drive, and I have tried burning an image of the Flash drive to a HDD but it doesn’t copy the CDFS part of the flash drive. I have currently got a UDF partition on the HDD, and am wondering if it is possible to create an autorun to work off this?
If anyone wants to share ideas or have some sort of resolution it would be much apprecatied, I’ve tried to put in as much information I can about my issue and where I’m currently at with it.
Thanks in advance.

PS. Also the external HDD I wish to create this feature on is an Adata 710HDD 500GB


#2

I don’t know if this will help because it is for creating a bootable partition for AcronisTI on an external harddrive.
I have an external harddrive setup like this.
To make this work you create a seperate partition for the flash drive image only. I uses AcronisTI to do this but maybe even Windows could .
So try with an image of the flashdrive to its’ own partition on the external harddrive. On mine it is the first partition & Windows sees it as a flashdrive.
http://www.themudcrab.com/downloads/acronis_bootable_usb_hd.pdf

If this works let me know.


#3

Hey cholla thank you for your reply. I’ve been through and read the document you have linked, but tbh it’s not quite what I’m looking for. Your link is to a outline on how to create a bootable drive that you can select from the boot menu, I want something actually in windows so when my computer is running I just plug in the drive and it automatically runs a batch script on it. This feature used to be possible with the autorun.inf but since Microsoft removed this feature through updates from removable media I just need to find a work around. It’s still possible to do with CDs and I created a CDFS parition on my Flash drive, but have been unable to find any help or support to create one on my External HDD. Even when I burn an image of the flash drive, it never seems to include the CDFS part. If anyone has any ideas I’d be more then grateful.


#4

Again this probably is no help. I still have the flash drive as a backup if the externalHDD boot partition fails.
Each contain these files:
bootwiz.cfg
bootwiz.sys
KERN3.DAT
RAMD2.DAT
SPLA1.RUN
This is also all done by the Acronis software . Which I doubt would do the same for you.
I take it you have copied the CD contents to the flash drive exactly & it works .
It is when you try to copy the flash drive to the HDD to its’ own partition that you don’t get an exact copy ?
The seperate boot partition I have for the Acronis is FAT32 & only 33.7 MB in size .
Two of the other partitions are NTFS & one small 20GB one FAT32 so my old BU computer with 98SE can use it when needed .

I don’t know what software you need but there must be something that is not getting copied to the HDD from the flashdrive.


#5

Just to give you a better idea of what I’ve got going on with my flash drive, here is a link http://s10.postimage.org/g7c1cdzi1/drives.jpg. E and J are the 2 partitions I currently have on the flash drive. Every bit of image software I have tried doesn’t seem to copy that E: drive and I am start to wonder whether it is even possible.
I didn’t actually copy a CD to it so to speak, I found a bit of software called UFD Utility to burn an iso image I created to the drive, thus created the 3MB partition that appears as a CDFS or basically a virtual drive. Like a cheap mans version of a U3 drive. Basically atm with the flash drive I plug it into a computer and because that E: is CDFS the autorun.inf I inserted into the iso i created automatically runs my batch script and seems to work perfectly. Unfortunately my utility I used to create this CDFS on the flash drive doesn’t work with my External HDD.
Your Acronis software from my understanding creates a bootable drive, but the purpose of this is to run before you get into windows? I.e. use it to install a fresh copy or run something outside of the windows enviroment. I want something that automatically opens my batch script once the drive is plugged in when the user is actually in the windows enviroment. All software needs to be contained on the drive.


#6

The reason I need to get this sort of system up and running on an external HDD is basically part of my script uses the robo copy command to copy some data. This is data is just over 110GB at the moment and grows each month. Of course my Flash drive doesn’t even come close to fitting all this :P!


#7

I know it is not the same as the bootable . I just wanted to make sure the external HDD had a seperate partition for the E: drive . It appears the flash drive does .
I take it you have tried to copy the contents of the E: drive into its own partition on the external ?
I’ve never done this & will play around with it some . I can’t say I will be able to do this either .
I hope some other member posts too . Maybe they will know more.
It is an interesting project.


#8

Well basically when you open that E: drive it appears empty. The iso image I wrote to the flash drive that created it included 4 different batch scripts that included registry updates etc and they all seem to be working together fine, but the drive just appears empty. I can’t believe how hard it is to find something to do this. I’ve got a script running on my PC that waits for a removable device to be plugged in and then scans it to find a specified directory/file which it then runs if found… This is just unfeasible to run on a clients PC and I would just luv to find a work around so everything can be self contained on the drive. I figured something like this would be readily out on the internet but I guess since Microsoft removed the autorun.inf feature from removable media last year people just haven’t bothered to create any real feasible way around this yet.


#9

You might give this link a read. It is for flash drives but gives some information .
http://www.samlogic.net/articles/autorun-usb-flash-drive.htm

Since you already have a flashdrive that does the autorun you want .
I would try a software like AcronisTI to [B]Clone[/B] the flashdrive to the USB external harddrive . If you have other software that will clone drives that are different sizes they should also work for this. My thought is a clone will write the CDFS that just copying is missing.
Make sure & backup any data you already have on the USB external harddrive .
The cloning will wipe it out or I’m fairly sure it will.


#10

Alas I’ve come across that article before, unforntunately Microsoft back last year removed the feature autorun.inf feature from removable hardware, but not from CDs, ( CDFS file system). I will give your software a go just to see what happens and get back with results, but I have so far tried every bit of cloning software on my Hiren Boot CD 15.2 along with Shadow Protect and Ghost.


#11

I found the reason that the images & clones do not work when done from the flash drive.
USB Flash drives mainly consist of USB controller chip and flash memory.

The virtual CD drive is written to the controller chip by the utilities like UFD Utility .

The image or clone of the flash drive is done of the flash memory only .

I don’t know how the controller chip contents might be viewed so you might have some example of whats there.

I think what you are going to need to do & I’ve never done it so I don’t have instructions.
You need to partition the external HDD. One partition needs a virtual CD drive that uses CDFS . It then needs to mount the .iso containing the autorun.inf & batch files you want to run. If the .iso or other image file can be left mounted then it might work better.

I appeal to other members that have a better knowlege about this to jump in & help .