How to create a self-executing CD: 5 steps

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How to create a self-executing CD: 5 steps
How to create a self-executing CD: 5 steps

A self-executing CD allows Windows to automatically run an application when it is inserted into your PC's drive. You can then automatically launch the installer of a program, a video game or any other type of application previously saved on the CD. You can do this by adding a specially crafted text file to the root of your CD, which when read by Windows will launch the execution of the desired application.


Make an Autorun CD Step 1

Step 1. Open Windows Notepad

Open the Windows start menu then the folder named Accessories. You will find the application there Notepad which you must open by double-clicking on its icon. You can also open it directly by entering Notepad in the search bar or the execution bar of the start menu.

Make an Autorun CD Step 2

Step 2. Create an Autorun.inf file

This file contains text that Windows will automatically read when inserting the CD-ROM into its drive. Write the contents of the file as follows:


open = Filename.exe

icon = Filename.ico

Make an Autorun CD Step 3

Step 3. Save your Autorun.inf file to your desktop

Take care to replace the two File name mentioned in the text file by the name of the executable program and the name of its icon file. After doing this, save the file to your desktop. To do this, click on the tab File, then on Save as and choose the option titled All files. Name your file Autorun.inf then save it by clicking on OK. If the program you are trying to create a self-executing CD for does not have an.exe extension, it will most likely have an.msi extension. If so, replace open = Filename.exe through

open = Filename.msi.

Make an Autorun CD Step 4

Step 4. Burn your self-executing CD

Start your optical disc burning program and follow the instructions for the type of disc you want to create. With your autorun.inf file saved on your desktop, find it and add it to the contents of your CD. Make sure to place it in the root directory of the disk, because that is where Windows will look for it.

Carefully check your software's burning options. Some burning software has an option to make a CD automatically executable and another to create bootable discs, which are not the same thing. If you are reading these lines for the purpose of creating a CD to copy an operating system onto for installation on a PC, you will need to look for the option to create a bootable CD, which will automatically launch the system that you want. 'it contains when you start your PC provided you configure its BIOS accordingly. A self-executing CD will not be able to perform this function

Make an Autorun CD Step 5

Step 5. Position the disc on the tray of your optical drive

Be sure to test your new self-executing disc before erasing any items from your computer that you saved for its creation. If all went well, your CD will have finished burning without errors and it should start automatically.


  • If the self-executing CD refuses to start automatically, go to the section on your system titled My computer and double-click on your optical drive icon. If after that your CD continues not to start, go through all the steps of its creation, checking that you have done them correctly. There may have been an error that was left unnoticed during the creation process, or you may have typed a typo in the autorun.inf file.
  • If your problems persist, you may find burning programs on the Internet capable of supporting the creation of a self-executing CD with its autorun.inf file. Beware of such applications, however, which may contain malware or spyware that will try to trick you into spending your money on utilities or extracting personal information from your computer. If you decide to use one of these programs, be sure to carefully check where it comes from before downloading it.

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