The amount of Windows applications that don’t need to be installed on your computer is now pretty sizable and growing. Using portable software has a number of advantages and apart from obviously being able to take the software wherever you go, another one is the fact that not installing the software helps keep your registry and system a bit cleaner. The fact that USB sticks and portable hard drives are widely available and the sticks are now ridiculously cheap, more and more users are opting to run portable applications.
The Autorun feature available to USB storage devices has been the subject of virus attacks in recent years, and now on many machines it will be disabled. This can be useful for starting programs up automatically when you plug in the device and is something a lot of users find useful. So without the Windows Autorun, auto opening files or programs on the USB drive is now a manual operation. As usual though, there’s a utility around to do the job.
AutoRunnerX is a freeware utility that can replace the Autorun on your PC and start a single, or multiple Programs, applications or Files from a USB flash drive or portable hard disk when it is inserted. The program actually comes with two different flavours, the first is AutoRunnerX which requires full administrator rights and affects all users. The second is AutoRunnerU which doesn’t require administrator rights and can be used and configured on a per user basis so you need to choose which version is best for your system. Right click the file and ‘Run as Administrator’. During install you can ignore the license key button if the program is being used privately, and a reboot will be needed on completion.
AutoRunnerX runs quietly in the background and is very light on resources using only around 1.3MB of memory. To configure the program, you can either go through the start menu or there is an option added to Control Panel:
The configuration and setup of AutorunerX is really simple with not too many options likely to confuse anyone. I will mention one thing and that is the original language for this program is German and the translation although understandable, is far from perfect so bear that in mind.
The configuration window only has a few buttons and a window listing what is to be started with a USB drives insertion. There is already a default option for Challenger Encryption which is another piece of software by the developer. The buttons for ‘Add’, ‘Delete’ and ‘Edit’ pretty much describe themselves, and the ‘Options’ button provides a few on/off tick boxes for how the program functions.
As the translation in here is a bit sketchy, it’s probably worth going quickly over most of the options .
Always all available objects start – Choose whether all of the objects in the list are to be started on autorun. If unticked, only the first item in the list will start.
Drive link to desktop – Place a shortcut icon for the drive on the desktop while it’s inserted.
Drive with Explorer open – Automatically open the drive in an Explorer window.
Start picture – Opens a small blue window which tells you what the program is currently executing.
Checksum function – I believe this is supposed to verify the checksum of the files in the list against their original checksum when you created the autostart objects. It didn’t seem to do anything for me but you may have better luck.
Clicking on the ‘Add’ button will offer a choice of adding a file or folder. Simply select what you want, this can be an executable, text file, document, picture etc. The next window allows for opening / executing the file, adding a shortcut to it on the desktop and adding the file into the Window ‘Send To’ menu. The ‘Details’ button allows for a couple of more advanced functions such as arguments for an executable and altering the ‘Start in’ folder.
If you have one or several files or programs on your USB drive which you want to be opened when it’s inserted, minor language issues aside, AutoRunnerX is worth a look.
Compatible with Windows 2000 – Win 7 32 and 64bit