Block AutoRun for all devices all the time You might think that you could proect yourself from AutoRun by using two keys in the Registry known as NoDriveAutoRun and NoDriveTypeAutoRun. However, self-described "low-budget hacker" Nick Brown points out that these keys can be overridden. A Registry key named MountPoints2 stores information about all USB flash drives and other removable media that have ever been connected to your computer. Brown says this cache overrides the Registry settings that turn off AutoRun. The solution is to globally block autorun.inf files from executing, without trying to use the dialog boxes in XP and Vista to do this. Here's the procedure: Step 1. Start Notepad or another text editor. Step 2. Copy the following text from this page and paste it into your text editor (everything between the square brackets should be all on one line): REGEDIT4 [HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\IniFileMapping\Autorun.inf] @="
@SYS:DoesNotExist" Step 3. Save the file with a name like NoAutoRun.reg, taking care to include the .reg extension. Step 4. Right-click your .reg file and choose Merge. Confirm any warning prompts to add the information to the Registry. The next time you insert a flash drive, CD, DVD, or other removable disc into your system, Windows will not execute the information in any autorun.inf file that may be present. Naturally, taking these steps means that the next time you put a game or installer disc into your CD or DVD drive, its software won't launch automatically. You'll have to open a Windows Explorer window or use a command line to launch the desired executable. The benefit is a big one: a rogue program that you never intended to launch won't silently take over your system if you happen to insert a Trojan-carrying disc into a drive. Have a tip about Windows? Readers receive a gift certificate for a book, CD, or DVD of their choice for sending tips we print. Send us your tips via the Windows Secrets contact page.