GWKB1050 : Window-Eyes and Autorun on USB Flash Drives

Product: Window-Eyes
Author: Aaron Smith
Date Added: 08/25/2006
Last Modified: 01/20/2009

NOTE: The following steps require Windows XP SP 2 (Home or Professional) or greater. Previous versions of Windows will not support this feature.

Simplifying the procedure of launching Window-Eyes on a USB flash drive can be boiled down to a single keystroke. Although the process is not completely automated, these steps help reduce the guesswork involved in determining how to get your mobile copy of Window-Eyes running.

Getting Started

The trick is a single file called autorun.inf, and it resides on the root of your USB flash drive. To create the autorun.inf file, you'll need a text editor, such as Notepad. You will also need to have your USB drive plugged in and active, and you will need to know the drive letter of your USB flash drive (you can find this by examining My Computer using Windows Explorer).

Creating the Autorun

To create the autorun.inf text file, open your text editor, and enter the lines between the ---begin--- and ---end--- markers exactly as written:

---begin---

[autorun]
open=we\wineyes.exe
ACTION=Launch Window-Eyes

---end---

This autorun file assumes that the main Window-Eyes executable resides in the we directory off the root of the USB flash drive. If it resides in some other location on your removable drive, make sure to update the open= line to reflect the full path (minus a drive letter) to the Window-Eyes executable.

Saving the Autorun

After you have verified that the open= line contains the correct path to your Window-Eyes directory, save the file as autorun.inf in the root of your USB flash drive. For example, if the drive letter of your USB flash drive is H, you would save the file as H:\autorun.inf. If you are using Notepad, make sure to change the Save as Type combo box in the Save As dialog to All Files to avoid having a .txt extension automatically included in your filename.

Running the Autorun

With the autorun.inf file pointing to your Window-Eyes main executable in place, when you insert your USB flash drive into your computer, the standard AutoPlay dialog will launch, only the first, selected item will be "Launch Window-Eyes." Simply press ENTER, and the Window-Eyes executable on your USB flash drive will launch.

Note: If you insert your USB flash drive into a new computer, it may take several minutes before the drive is recognized and the AutoPlay dialog is displayed. Once a computer recognizes a USB flash drive, however, the AutoPlay dialog should popup within a couple of seconds after inserting the drive.

More About Window-Eyes Mobile

For additional information about setting up Window-Eyes mobile, refer to the Advanced Installation Options in the Window-Eyes manual. Also, it is important to remember that the mobile version of Window-Eyes will only run after the WEVIDEO utility has been installed. The installation instructions for Window-Eyes mobile video support can also be found in the Advanced Installation Options section of the manual. For more information on obtaining the Window-Eyes video support utility, refer to an appropriate version of the Window-Eyes Video Support Utility download page.

A Bit of Eye Candy (OPTIONAL)

NOTE: This step is not required. It does, however, make the entry in your AutoPlay list look a bit more professional.

If you want to add the Window-Eyes icon to the AutoPlay entry in the AutoPlay list, you can do so by downloading the Window-Eyes icon, and then adding a line to the autorun.inf file refferencing the icon file. To download the Window-Eyes icon, select the following link:

http://www.gwmicro.com/favicon.zip

This zip contains one file called favicon.ico. Once you have the favicon.ico file unzipped, copy it to your wineyes directory on your USB flash drive. Once you have the file copied, open up the autorun.inf file in your text editor, and add the following line after the [autorun] section:

icon=wineyes\favicon.ico

Save the file, and exit your text editor. The next time you insert your USB flash drive, and the AutoPlay dialog opens, the "Launch Window-Eyes" entry will have the Window-Eyes icon associated with it.

Once again, this step is not required, and does not impact the actual functionality of the Window-Eyes mobile launching process.