Autoplay feature in Windows – An insight!!!


Hello everyone,

This is my second post and I am quiet nervous writing it. Hope you like it… So, here I go:

I am a windows 7 user myself and when I started, the first thing that came to my mind was the same that every computer user has in his… what if my OS (Operating System, for those who don’t know) gets corrupted or hangs or simpally starts malfunctioning due to some virus. I already knew that most of the viruses make their way to our computers via internet or some portable devices (eg.pen drives, portable hard disks, CD-Compact Disk etc). I can’t stop using my internet (Duuuhhh!..) but I can obviously control their way to my PC via the portable devices. So, the first question that arises is how does a virus get into one’s pen drive? (or any portable device, I will be using pen drive as I have been a victim myself through it).

Viruses are programs that aren’t good for our PCs (or more specifically, malicious codes designed to make the computers do what their original owners don’t want them to do). With time, they have evolved to copy themselves to other’s computers and infect them too.

So, whenever it replicates itself to some portable device, it also makes a file on it such as “autorun.exe”, “autoexec.exe”, “autostart.bat” etc. which start themselves whenever we auto play or simpally double click on the device. The content of these files is similar to:

[autorun]
open=file.exe
shell\Open\Command=file.exe
shell\open\Default=1
shell\Explore\Command=file.exe
shell\Autoplay\command=file.exe

No need to go in the coding… the words are quiet simple and what they simpally do is to call and execute their virus file in the device which are hidden.(Hidden: attribute of a file, when it can’t be seen like other ordinary file) And so the virus travels into our computer files and does whatever it wants to… You can easily stop this being done by using a good and updated anti-virus software. Yet, their is another way of saving ourselves… We can easily configure the “autoplay” function in our OS, so that the files like autorun.exe are not executed. To Enable or Disable Autorun for Removable Media in Windows 7:

Autoplay window for a removable disk

AutoPlay

Information:

This tutorial will show you how to enable the AutoRun feature of AutoPlay in Windows 7, which is disabled by default, for external drives.

NOTE:

Autoplay feature enable Windows to pop up the default options when a removable drives like USB flash drive or CD ROM is inserted.So, disabling it would hinder you from using this feature of Window.

WARNING:

Autoplay feature is, by default, disabled in Windows 7 due to security reasons. Many malwares like Conficker Worm can autorun on your computer if an infected USB drive or CD is inserted.However, its useful to enable autoplay as it gives quick access to default choices when any removable drive is inserted. Anyways, use it at your risk.

Method 1

Go to Control Panel\Hardware and Sound\AutoPlay. AutoPlay – Enable or Disable

caption from Windows 7

Control Panel\Hardware and Sound\AutoPlay.

To Enable: At the top, check Use Autoplay for all devices and Click Save.

To Disable: Uncheck Use Autoplay for all devices and Click Save.

Method 2 (though this is not my recommended method as it does not work in Windows 7 home Basic or home premium version):

1. Click Start and in the Search box, type gpedit.msc and press Enter. Now browse to Computer Configuration\ Administrative Templates\ Windows Components\ Autoplay Policies\ Turn off Autoplay.

To Enable: Change the value of Turn off Autoplay to disabled.

Computer Configuration\ Administrative Templates\ Windows Components\ Autoplay Policies\ Turn off Autoplay.

does not work in Windows 7 home Basic or home premium version

To Disable: Change the value of Turn off Autoplay to enabled. AutoPlay – Enable or Disable AutoRun-4.png

AutoPlay - Enable or Disable AutoRun

Computer Configuration\ Administrative Templates\ Windows Components\ Autoplay Policies\ Turn off Autoplay.

That’s it, Thank you very much for reading this and comment back if you have any problem in the above told methods…

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