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A simple, small program that allows to make your auto-running CD-ROM in Windows 9x/NT/2000.

The issue

Almost all people know that CD-ROMs can be auto-run under Windows, just by inserting it into the CD-ROM drive. It's easy: just insert in the file "autorun.inf" in the root directory of the CD-ROM a couple of istructions like these:


Problems arise when one wants to make auto-running CD-ROMs that need to open a "document", not just to launch an executable program. Writing something like:


hoping that a browser window will be automatically opened showing "document.html" doesn't work, because the "standard" autorun mechanism is only able to lanuch executables. If making auto-running CD-ROMs that work on Windows 9x only is enough, one can write:

open=start.exe document.html

but, unfortunately, this technique does NOT work under Windows NT (and under Windows 2000 too, I guess), where the program START.EXE is not available.


A solution that works with all 32-bit Windows versions is to use a small executable program, called AVVIA.EXE (AVVIA means START in Italian), to be put in the root directory of the CD-ROM; this program just "emulates" the behavior of Win95's START.EXE. In practice, just put in AUTORUN.INF something like this:

open=avvia.exe document.html

and everything runs smoothly, on both Windows 9x and NT; in other words, the system browser will automatically be opened showing "document.html".


AVVIA.EXE and its source code are available for free.

  • AVVIA11.ZIP (~15 KB)
  • If you want to know how it works, you may download its simple source code: AVVIASRC.ZIP (3 KB) (a C compiler for 32 bit Windows is needed)


This software is released under the DWYWWIECYWI (Do Whatever You Want With It Except Claiming You Wrote It) license.


Always possible, always welcome: if anyone improves this small piece of software, (s)he can contact me in order to make the improved version available on this page.