USBStart
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USBStart is designed to run with Windows XP SP2's autorun. It also works well with APO USB Autorun, which is a free program that will add the autorun functionality to any earlier version of Windows that supports flash drives (Windows 98 and up).

Description

USBStart will run a program when it starts, then unmount the flash drive when that program finishes. I use it to run Floater, which is a menu for the programs I keep on my flash drive. When I close Floater, USBStart will copy an unmounting program and a little copy of itself to a temp directory on the host computer. USBStart will close and the little copy will run, which will attempt to dismount the drive and then all temporary files are deleted.

Basically, once you have autorun enabled (or APO USB Autorun) and your flash drive set up properly, you need to just stick in your jump drive and the menu will start. Run programs and do your thing, and finally close the menu to dismount the flash drive. It couldn't be much simpler.

Setup

Here are the suggested steps to get your flash drive working like mine.

  1. Download and extract usbstart.zip.
  2. Create a directory on your flash drive called Utils.
  3. Copy deveject.exe (in the usbstart.zip file) to the Utils directory.
  4. Copy USBStart.exe and USBStart.ini to your Utils directory.
  5. Copy Floater (just the .exe file) to your Utils directory (use Floater-txt).
  6. Set up Floater.txt so that when you run Floater, it will show you an acceptable menu.
  7. Set up an autorun.ini file in the root directory of your flash drive. Instructions on this listed below, or you can use the APO Autorun Builder, which comes as part of the APO Autorun Suite.

At this point, you should be able to dismount the drive, then reinsert it and have the autorun start up the floating menu. When you close the menu, the flash drive should be dismounted automatically and you can remove it safely from the computer.

autorun.inf

Right-click and create a new text file. Name it autorun.inf. Make sure that you have file extensions turned on; that way you won't accidentally create an "autorun.inf.txt" file and wonder what is wrong for the longest time.

In that file, add these lines:

[autorun]
open=Utils\USBStart.exe
action=Open Floating Menu

shell\Floating Menu=Floating Menu
shell\Floating Menu\command=USBStart.exe

There are other things you can add to this file, but the lines above will be enough to get it to work.

Download

usbstart.zip (55 k) - The program, deveject (with .cpp source), and NSIS source to USBStart.

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