Results 1 to 6 of 6
  1. #1
    4 Star Lounger
    Join Date
    Mar 2002
    Location
    Sacramento, California, USA
    Posts
    509
    Thanks
    4
    Thanked 1 Time in 1 Post

    Autoplay madness

    I plugged a thumb drive into my computer with its new Windows 7 installation and got an autoplay dialog with the options: Import pictures and videos, Open Folder, Use this drive for backup, and Speed up my system.

    My first reaction was: that's a bizarre combination. Import pictures? What pictures? I don't know if there are pictures on the drive or not; if there are, they're buried in some directory. Speed up my system? What does that have to do with opening a thumb drive? Why weren't "Take out the trash" and "Walk the dog" on the list, too?

    Back to reality. I wanted to check "always do this," then double click "Do nothing," but in Windows 7 there's no "Always do this" checkbox, only "Always do this for pictures"; and there's no "Do nothing" option.

    There is a View more AutoPlay options in Control Panel link, so I clicked that. I got a dialog box that was so big it had a scroll bar. It let me choose a default action for every imaginable type of media: audio CD, enhanced audio CD... pictures, video files, audio files...

    The list make it appear that Microsoft was confused about whether "media" means types of content (pictures) or types of storage (audio CD). Also, the "types of content" entries were meaningless. What would Windows 7 do if my thumb drive contained half pictures and half video files? Would that be the "Mixed content" type of media (grouped for some reason with "Blank CD," DVD, and BD, instead of with the types of content)? What if it contained a bunch of video files and one picture?

    I scrolled the dialog down and found that it had two sections. I'd been looking at the "Media" section; scrolling revealed a "Devices" section. Here at last was something that made sense for what I wanted to do... except that the "Devices" section was empty, even though a thumb drive was attached to the computer.

    This sequence of interactions was not merely frustrating; it was so nonsensical that I can't understand how anyone could have designed it in the first place, much less how anyone could have allowed it to escape into released code. What was Microsoft thinking, and how can I make autoplay do something useful?
    Last edited by jsachs177; 2011-11-02 at 08:10.

  2. #2
    Super Moderator BATcher's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    A cultural area in SW England
    Posts
    3,414
    Thanks
    33
    Thanked 195 Times in 175 Posts
    The best thing to do with Autorun/AutoPlay is to disable it. It's just too dangerous... For Windows 7 see How to disable the Autorun functionality in Windows.
    BATcher

    Time prevents everything happening all at once...

  3. #3
    4 Star Lounger
    Join Date
    Mar 2002
    Location
    Sacramento, California, USA
    Posts
    509
    Thanks
    4
    Thanked 1 Time in 1 Post
    Good advice.

    Thanks for the link.

    Never attribute to malice...
    Also good advice, which I often give, too.

  4. #4
    Super Moderator CLiNT's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    California & Arizona
    Posts
    6,121
    Thanks
    160
    Thanked 609 Times in 557 Posts
    Is this something like what you are getting when you insert your thumb drive...
    Untitled.jpg

    This sequence of interactions was not merely frustrating; it was so nonsensical that I can't understand how anyone could have designed it in the first place, much less how anyone could have allowed it to escape into released code. What was Microsoft thinking, and how can I make autoplay do something useful?
    "Autoplay" is actually doing something useful with regard to USB drives...Nothing. And that is the way it should be. (especially for thumb drives)

    The above box is displayed but nothing else happens unless user input is made. You can choose to open the thumb drive in explorer (which should be your default action anyway), or whatever other option is displayed, or simply ignore the generic options and close the box.

  5. #5
    4 Star Lounger
    Join Date
    Mar 2002
    Location
    Sacramento, California, USA
    Posts
    509
    Thanks
    4
    Thanked 1 Time in 1 Post
    Is this something like what you are getting when you insert your thumb drive...
    Similar, but not the same. It looks like this.

    Clipboard01.png

    I originally described an experience I had at home, and the snapshot above is from my computer at work, but they both run Windows 7, and the dialog looks the same.

    "Autoplay" is actually doing something useful with regard to USB drives...Nothing.
    Not so, as you note in the next paragraph...

    You can choose to open the thumb drive in explorer (which should be your default action anyway)...
    That's a matter of opinion. It is not my default action, because I already have a perfectly good directory display open in another window. (It's not a Windows Explorer display, though, because I found that Microsoft's fiddling with Explorer in Windows 7 has made it unusable.)

    ...or simply ignore the generic options and close the box.
    I do that, but why should I have to dismiss a useless dialog every time I put a thumb drive on my computer? By pronouncing the system good if it is not impossible to use, you are setting the bar too low.
    Last edited by jsachs177; 2011-11-02 at 16:52.

  6. #6
    Super Moderator CLiNT's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    California & Arizona
    Posts
    6,121
    Thanks
    160
    Thanked 609 Times in 557 Posts
    What is termed "usable" is often highly subjective from one person to the next.
    ...So disable autoplay then and simply be done with it.

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •