Autoplay in Windows XP can be a convenient feature when inserting a CD, DVD or portable USB drive. But it can also be frustrating when autoplay develops a problem and things don't work the way you want them to….or when you don't want them to work.
While Vista has an autoplay settings interface found in the control panel, XP buries auto play settings in the properties option of each device.
If making changes in the autoplay tab, for a device that is not working properly fails, and you have exhausted all other options, a little known tool is available from Microsoft called AutoPlay Repair Wizard may be able to help.
AutoPlay Repair Wizard (APRW) scans your computer devices to find defective AutoPlay settings, and attempts to fix those it finds.
AutoPlay Repair Wizard requires NO installation and is a stand alone utility. To run it, just double click on AutoFix.exe.
After starting the wizard and clicking the Next button on the introduction screen, APRW runs a global check that verifies if the Shell Detection service is running and set to auto start.
If neither of the checks are configured properly, you can click on the Repair button (next to the failed option) to fix the problem.
Clicking Next takes you to the screen where you can select the drive where Autoplay is not working.
After selecting a drive and clicking Next, APRW will check for any problems with Current, User, or Device Diver policies. If any problems are found you can attempt to fix them by clicking on the Repair button.
If no problems are found, click on Next, and following the instructions, try to re-produce the problem you are having so APRW can monitor in real time.
For example, if you are having a problem with autoplay with your CD drive, insert a CD and click on Begin Test.
You will notice the wizard will refer to the event as "AutoPlay V2 event". Pre-Windows XP Autoplay is referred to as Autoplay V1 (Win 95/98/ME). Autoplay V2 refers to the new Autoplay features introduced in Windows XP. Not sure why Microsoft decide to display the version, since AutoPlay Wizard only runs on XP and 2003, but you can ignore it.
If any problems are found, you will have the opportunity to repair the problem. If the wizard is successful or not, click on Next to go to the next screen where you can view a log displaying all the checks and their results.
While Autoplay Repair Wizard may not fix all problems, it is worth a shot when your down to your last option and everything else fails.
Just like the tool I wrote about to fix Windows XP TCP Network problems, utilities like these found in Microsoft archives, sometimes proved to be life savers to you and your Computer.