I like Windows XP AutoPlay. There, I've said it, and I feel great! Seriously, although there are some folks out there who don't like Windows' sniffing around their USB flash drives, CDs, and DVDs to figure out the best ways to enjoy that removable-media digital goodness when you plug in the drive or insert media, I appreciate AutoPlay. It makes Scanner and Camera Wizard leap to attention to pull images from my digital camera, spins up my music with Windows Media Player, and much more. So, what can you do when AutoPlay breaks? You have a couple of options, based on what's wrong with AutoPlay.
Tweaking a Misbehaving AutoPlay with TweakUI
If AutoPlay ignores some drives, but it's working on others, download TweakUI from Microsoft's Windows XP PowerToys page. TweakUI offers a boatload of ways to adjust and repair your system, but let's focus here, people. To fix problems with TweakUI on some drives, open the My Computers node and select AutoPlay. Use the Drives menu to enable or disable AutoPlay on any drive . Use the Types menu to enable or disable AutoPlay on CD/DVD drives or on removable-media drives. To specify what media type(s) should be handled by a particular AutoPlay handler (the programs used by AutoPlay to play or edit content), use the Handlers menu.
AutoPlay Doesn't Play at All? AutoFix to the Rescue
If AutoPlay isn't working at all, download the Autoplay Repair Wizard (AutoFix.exe) from the Downloads page at Microsoft.com (By the way, AutoFix.exe, like virtually all Windows XP downloads these days, is sitting behind the Microsoft Genuine Advantage firewall. Don't have a legit copy of Windows XP? You're out of luck). AutoFix checks the operation of the Shell Hardware Detection service, and then prompts you to insert and remove the drive that AutoPlay won't work with . At the end of the process, AutoPlay reports any errors detected and may fix the problem. Keep in mind that you must log off Windows XP and then log back on before repairs performed by AutoFix can be used.
What AutoFix Can't Fix
AutoFix can't fix problems with an individual program it lists (for example, if Scanner and Camera Wizard shows up in the AutoPlay menu but doesn't run), but it can fix problems that prevent AutoPlay from working at all.