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by Mark Trescowthick with Ross Mack - GUI Computing
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One thing that has bugged numerous people for the past year or two is Autorun's inability to run an HTML file directly.

It should be that simply placing a

in the autorun.inf runs that HTML file. But it doesn't.

I presented a VB solution some issues back, but that solution soesn't suit many people :- after all, if requires all the associated runtime support, which may not be appropriate, to say the least. I'm reminded of an email we once received asking whether it was possible to write a virus in VB... I guess so, but the "Downloading Virus Runtime Support - Please wait" dialog box was, I felt, always going to be a dead giveaway!

Anyway, I got my head together with Ross Mack, WISE guru extraordinaire, and the result is this tiny WISE install executable, autohtml.exe.

The Components.

Autohtml needs four things to make it work :
AUTORUN.INF. Obviously, without this, nothing's going to happen. It should look something like this :

icon=<your icon name here>

AUTOHTML.EXE. This is the actual executable. If you don't want to see the small WISE splash screen, run it with the /s option. This executable, when run, looks for...
SHOWHTML.INI. This should be in the same directory as your AUTOHTML.EXE - normally, that would be the root directory, but of course it needn't be. SHOWHTML.INI is about as simple as they come :

On startup, AUTOHTML.EXE simply searches for SHOWHTML.INI and runs what's there. It assumes, by the way, that the HTML file specified is in the directory of, or a subdirectory of, SHOWHTML.INI.

Your HTML file. Of course!

That's about all there is to it! The source is available for download.

If you have any other queries on how Autorun works, perhaps my previous articles might help :
Using Autoplay
Testing Autorun
HTML Runner

Updated Utility

We have subsequently released another freeware replacement for AUTOHTML, called Autorun Pro.
Autorun Pro allows you to specify multiple files of any type, not just HTML, to run, as well as using autorun.inf to control it's options.
Click here to download.

Written by: Mark Trescowthick with Ross Mack
October '98

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