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AutoPlay anomaly

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AutoPlay anomaly

Postby Pilgrim on Sat Mar 29, 2003 11:53 pm

I have one CD-RW that the "autoplay" feature will not work with? Image When I insert the disk, the InCD dialog is displayed and I hear the burner spinning, but I don't even get the "Prompt" dialog...... nada. Every other disk I have the autoplay works; either I get a prompt or Windows Explorer opens. The disk only has data files on it, no audio. I've gone into the "AutoPlay" utility in Properties, manually set it to "Open Windows Explorer to view files" with mixed content, etc.... but it won't work.

Any ideas how to fix this?

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Postby cfitz on Sun Mar 30, 2003 9:09 pm

So you are using InCD? KCK has written a number of extensive guides for trouble-shooting InCD that may be found in the FAQ section of these forums (choose the one appropriate for your OS). I believe he has a few points about auto-run. I don't know if this has anything to do with your issue.

Is the disc in question formatted to use InCD? Are the other discs that behave according to your desire formatted to use InCD as well?

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Postby Pilgrim on Sun Mar 30, 2003 9:18 pm

Is the disc in question formatted to use InCD? Are the other discs that behave according to your desire formatted to use InCD as well?

Image on both counts. All discs were formatted with InCD. I'll go through that InCD FAQ section again. I read through those about a month ago but it won't hurt to read through them again. Image

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Postby KCK on Sun Mar 30, 2003 9:20 pm

Again I saw cfitz's reply while posting, so I leave my reply as is.
--------------------------------------------------------------------
Pilgrim:

It's a bit hard to understand your post.

Apparently your troublesome disc has been formatted by InCD. When you insert it into your burner, do you get the message "The disc was mounted in InCD UDF file format" or some other "dialog"?

When you say Autoplay works for other discs, do you mean similar InCD formatted discs having data files only?

At this stage it's hard to guess what's going on. You could copy your disc to another InCD formatted disc and try it. Further, you may use Nero to produce a CD-R disc with the same contents; this should eliminate any possible interference of InCD with AutoPlay, and you could also test the CD-R copy in your CD-ROM drive.

Do you also have AutoPlay problems when the disc is inserted into your CD-ROM drive? Has this disc been formatted to CD-MRW (Mt. Rainier)? In this case, you may need to install Ahead's EasyWriteReader to read it in your CD-ROM drive.
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Postby Pilgrim on Sun Mar 30, 2003 9:55 pm

Apparently your troublesome disc has been formatted by InCD. When you insert it into your burner, do you get the message "The disc was mounted in InCD UDF file format" or some other "dialog"?

Yes, I get the InCD message. But then the burner spins down and nothing else happens or is displayed.

When you say Autoplay works for other discs, do you mean similar InCD formatted discs having data files only?

Yes, exactly. I only have data on most all my CD-R/R-W discs.

Do you also have AutoPlay problems when the disc is inserted into your CD-ROM drive?

Yes, there is no autorun when this same disc is inserted into the CD-ROM.

Has this disc been formatted to CD-MRW (Mt. Rainier)? In this case, you may need to install Ahead's EasyWriteReader to read it in your CD-ROM drive.

No, standard UDF formatting. And I do have EasyWrite Reader installed already.

In general, I would say that "Autorun" doesn't function as it should on most discs; i.e., if I manually configure Autorun to prompt me for an action, it rarely does. If I configure it to perform a specific action, e.g., "Open Windows Explorer to View Files", I will most often get the prompt dialog. But at least on most every other disc but this ONE, something happens associated with Autorun. Now, this is no big deal.. just an annoyance but I'm one of "those" who doesn't like anomalies. Image

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Postby KCK on Sun Mar 30, 2003 11:52 pm

Here are results of my latest experiment on my XP Pro SP1 box. Since my burner is now connected to another box, I put an InCD disc into my DVD-ROM drive (which has Autorun on). The disc contains about 4000 files; there are 20 directories at the root, but no files. For about 40 seconds I saw an AutoPlay window which displayed names of consecutive subdirectories (i.e., Explorer was apparently inspecting all files on the disc), and then this window diappeared and another window popped up with the message: "This disc or device contains more than one type of content. What do you want Windows to do?". It listed 7 standard options. I clicked "Cancel" and the window closed.

As for my DVD Drive Properties | AutoPlay, for each content type, no action is selected, but "Prompt me each time to choose an action" is marked.

Note that Autorun and AutoPlay are different concepts. I presume that Nero InfoTool shows "Autorun on" for both of your drives.

Are you saying that AutoPlay doesn't work properly with standard CD-R (not CD-RW!) data or audio discs in your CD-ROM drive? To test it, you may select "Prompt me..." as on my box. You could also uninstall EasyWriteReader via Add or Remove Programs temporarily to take it out of the equation. Well, if AutoPlay still fails, I would suspect that you might have used one of the "tweak" programs or registry hacks available on the Internet for "XP tuning"!

It is not clear whether you have consistent AutoPlay failures on various discs, in both the burner and the CD-ROM drive, or intermittent failures when the same disc (the troublesome InCD disc or another one) is inserted repeatedly.

As I wrote earlier, to check if there is anything special about the data on the troublesome disc, you may copy it to another InCD disc and to a CD-R disc; then try both.
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Fed up!!

Postby Pilgrim on Mon Mar 31, 2003 2:32 am

Hey guys....... I've had enough of this CD burning! Image

I formated 2 discs: One using regular UDP formatting and the other UDP-MR. I opened Nero Express, put my "non-AutoPlay" disc into my CD ROM and one of the formatted discs into the burner. I then chose "Copy entire disc" and got an error message saying the disc wasn't empty ,etc..... Same error message for both discs. I then tried a copy on the fly with Nero Burning ROM and got the same results. Image

So what's the problem that I can't do a simply copy on the fly?!!!

Here's a screenshot of the Errors:

Image

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Postby KCK on Mon Mar 31, 2003 5:34 am

No, no, no! :roll: Nero can only write to blank discs.

Keeping your troublesome disc in the CD-ROM drive, insert an InCD disc into the burner, and copy everything from the CD-ROM drive to the burner drive via Explorer (drag&drop, or highlight, Ctrl-C, select the burner, and Ctrl-V). Repeat for the second InCD disc.

Next, open Nero, insert a CD-R disc into the burner, make a new compilation by dragging files and directories from the burner drive to the left pane compilation window, and burn it (I presume you know how to select options for data discs, such as Mode, Joliet, etc.).

You should end up with three copies for playing with AutoPlay! :P
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Postby Pilgrim on Mon Mar 31, 2003 1:33 pm

KCK,

Okay..... I learned something new here; you can't use the "COPY" feature in Nero with formatted CD-RWs. :oops:

Now.... here's what I experienced thus far:

1) Blank formatted CD-RWs: AutoPlay works fine (either regular UDP or UDP-MR).

2) ALL discs, CD-R/RW that have the files copied to them from the "spurious" disc: AutoPlay will not work.

Thus, it would seem that either, there is a file(s) that is disabling the Autoplay feature, OR... copying the files disables the Autoplay feature, IMHO.

Whatcha think? Image

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Postby KCK on Mon Mar 31, 2003 7:49 pm

To get general ideas about AutoPlay in XP, see the MS article

http://msdn.microsoft.com/msdnmag/issue ... fault.aspx

Apparently it is enough to consider AutoPlay for your CD-ROM drive only (this is simpler, since your burner may have more handlers, and you usually forget to specify which drive has been tested!). You could uninstall EasyWriteReader to provide a cleaner testing environment, but it shouldn't matter, so I won't insist (you could do it later if everything else fails).

It won't hurt to re-check a couple of points.

1. My DVD Drive Properties | AutoPlay lists the following content types: Music files, Pictures, Video files, Mixed content, Music CD, DVD movie. For each content type, no action is selected, but "Prompt me each time to choose an action" is marked. Do you have the same types and actions?

2. When I insert an empty UDF 1.50 disc in my DVD-ROM drive, an Explorer window opens, showing a single (hidden) file "Non-Allocatable List" with size 0 KB at the root of the drive. For a CD-MRW disc, a similar window pops up without any file. Do you get the same windows?

3. When you say that AutoPlay doesn't work for the three disc copies, do you mean that the drive just spins up and then down immediately, and you don't get the "sniffing" window which should pop up when the disc is being scanned?

4. Have you tried to access the files on the three discs? E.g., double clicking on an .mpg file should probably call Windows Media Player, etc.

Well, if AutoPlay only fails on these three discs, with different media (CD-R/CD-RW) and formats (UDF 1.50/CD-MRW) but supposedly identical contents, then the failure should be due to the particular file types.

Assuming that sniffing inspects only file name extensions, such as .gif or .mpg (instead of examining each file to determine its type), you should check the file types on the troublesome discs relative to the file types on other discs for which AutoPlay works. Here I'm sharing your suspicion that maybe one or more file types cause AutoPlay failures.

To identify the culprit(s), starting with an empty InCD disc, you could copy successive file types from the troublesome disc until AutoPlay fails. Alternatively, it may be easier to delete files from an InCD disc until AutoPlay works.

Could you confirm that you have never meddled with AutoPlay via tweaking programs or registry hacks?
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Postby Pilgrim on Mon Mar 31, 2003 8:23 pm

For each content type, no action is selected, but "Prompt me each time to choose an action" is marked. Do you have the same types and actions?

I have the same types, and I have tried using the default (Prompt me. . .) and the one I normally use, "Mixed Content" > "Open Windows Explorer to View files" with no success.
an Explorer window opens, showing a single (hidden) file "Non-Allocatable List" with size 0 KB at the root of the drive. For a CD-MRW disc, a similar window pops up without any file. Do you get the same windows?

That particular file was existent on my "problem" CD-RW disc but I have since deleted it thinking that perhaps THAT was causing the problem. And no, I do not get any windows, prompts etc., other than the InCD splash dialog. To combine another of your questions here #3, I do NOT get the "sniffing window. On all other discs, a dialog appears, similar to what you see when you do a "copy/move" function with the various files being scanned. At the end of the scanning process, Windows Explorer normally opens, except on the discs that contain these same files.

4. Have you tried to access the files on the three discs?

Yes, all files are accessible on all the discs.

Could you confirm that you have never meddled with AutoPlay via tweaking programs or registry hacks?

Image Yes, I can confirm that I have NEVER meddled with AutoPlay via tweaking programs or registry hacks. Again, AutoPlay for the most part, works as it should with all other media, including my zip discs. When it doesn't work, it is usually that I get the "Prompt" window when Windows Explorer should have opened to display the files. Again, the ONLY thing I have messed with is the options within the AutoPlay dialog itself, e.g., choosing "Mixed Content" and opting for "Open folder to view files. . ."

Again, I suspect there might be a corrupt file in there somewhere, perhaps within a Zip file. Since copying the total contents of this disc, c. 250 megs, via drag & drop and Win Explorer takes about 20-30 minutes, I think I'll opt for the second method and delete the existing files from one of the discs one by one and testing the Autoplay after each deletion. It will probably be quicker.

Thanks for your patience and interest with this silly problem.

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Postby KCK on Mon Mar 31, 2003 9:59 pm

Please use the CD-ROM drive only (to avoid InCD aspects). Also keep "Prompt me..." for all content types (so that our experiments are comparable).

I'm perplexed by your answer to #2: earlier you wrote that AutoPlay worked on empty InCD discs, but now you say that nothing happens, i.e., AutoPlay doesn't work. Could you check this again on the CD-ROM drive?

BTW, although you have deleted the "Non-Allocatable List" file from the troublesome disc, you may still use it for reading in the CD-ROM drive, but otherwise you should format it again after doing full-erase.

As for #3, does the drive just spin up and then down immediately? If yes, this would imply that sniffing fails at some files that are inspected first. Note that my sniffing window doesn't display files; just directory names. I guess files and directories are inspected in the order they were written to disc, starting with files at the root. Open a Command Prompt window (Start | Run | cmd), type "d:" without the quotes and Enter (where "d:" refers to your CD-ROM drive), then "dir>C:\dir.txt" and Enter, and open the file C:\dir.txt in Notepad to see the order of files and directories. If indeed the files at the root are inspected first, and only directory names are displayed in sniffing windows, then, since you don't get a sniffing window, you could restrict your attention to the root files.

Well, so what is the structure and content of this troublesome disc? Do you simply have a huge collection of zip files at the root?

I doubt that files inside zip archives are inspected as well, unless special handlers have been installed.

BTW, I repeated my previous experiment, but this time pressing the Escape key when the sniffing window came up instead of waiting; then an Explorer window popped up immediately, displaying all directories (I have no files at the root).
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Postby Pilgrim on Mon Mar 31, 2003 11:00 pm

KCK,

Sorry for any confusion...... AutoPlay DOES work with blank formatted discs.

Now..... After tons of aggravation with Windows Explorer freezing, crashing, etc..... which I have complained about before here, deleting, adding files, directories, etc., etc..... I think I have finally got things working. At least a half-dozen tests of inserting a disc that is lacking a couple of files which stopped the Prompt from appearing, AutoPlay is once again working. Image

However, hehe..... what I am NOT sure of is if it is the files..... OR... the amount of data that is the actual culprit. What I need to do is add some different files to this same disc and then see if AutoPlay continues to work. If it does, then obviously the suspect files were the cause and the matter will finally be settled. I'll get back to you after I am running these tests.

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Postby KCK on Tue Apr 01, 2003 12:07 am

I'm glad to hear that you are making progress. :D

I doubt that the amount of data should influence AutoPlay (unless MS implementation of scanning is really bad).

You should give us at least some idea about the contents of your (original) troublesome disc, such as the number of files and folders. BTW, I've just discovered that Windows Explorer doesn't provide such information for InCD discs (only for directories). I won't cry, since "dir d: /s" shows that my disc has 5013 files in 1182 dirs taking up 402,940,935 bytes.

Of course, the main interest lies in identifying which files (or rather file types) stop AutoPlay in your case, and whether they occur early in the dir output mentioned in my preceding post.
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Postby Pilgrim on Tue Apr 01, 2003 12:41 am

KCK,

The original "problem" disc contained 39 files amounting to 218 megs of data. The data consists of directories, zip, and .exe files mostly and a few .jpg and .gif files. The "bad" files were two .exe files (programs).

My strong suspicion is that these two files were corrupted during a file transfer from my HD to the disc. Why this occurred, I cannot say, although I can tell you the situation that precipitated it. As I have mentioned before, all too often, when I am transferring, deleting files or even when I right-click on a file on a CD, Windows Explorer will crash. Sometimes it will make a partial recovery, e.g., some of the icons in the SystemTray will reappear while others won't. Yet, most but not all the associated applications that belong those icons continue to function normally. For example, just now, when transferring a directory onto the "good" CD-RW, Windows Explorer crashed. After things settled down and the few icons reappeared in the SystemTray (InCD is never one of them), I was still able to open Windows Explorer and delete that directory and files without incident.

These crashes never happen when doing the exact same tasks with my zip discs; only with the burner or CD ROM. I have plenty of memory on this XP machine... (AMD Athlon 1.8+ and 512 megs DDR RAM). Memory Load is rarely over 40% during these crashes...... but this is, of course, an entirely different matter and doubtless is of no concern to the purpose of your Board. And, FYI, I've formatted my HDD and reinstalled XP 4 times in the past 14 months, installed a new burner, etc., and it still occurs and has since the day I brought the machine home from the store. Aggravating doesn't begin to describe this, as I'm sure you can well appreciate.

And.... the AutoPlay still works, as you suspected after adding about 20 more files to the "new" disc. Only files are checked and not directories as you also correctly mentioned.

So, I'll post this reply and then reboot to return things back to normal once again. Image

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Postby KCK on Tue Apr 01, 2003 11:42 pm

Before replying to your previous post, for the benefit of other users I'll try to summarize our latest private exchanges.

I believe that the main point is that the root of your troublesome disc contains three files with names of the form *setup*.exe. On my XP Pro SP1 box, I have "*setup*.exe"="" in the registry key

[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\AutoplayHandlers\CancelAutoplay\Files]

I guess this means that AutoPlay is cancelled when several files of this type are sniffed. To verify my claim, you may create a disc containing two files a_setup.exe and b_setup.exe, each being a copy of a setup.exe file for some program.

If my guess is right, it should remove your suspicion that such .exe files were somehow corrupted.

BTW, if you suspect copying errors, you may do binary comparisons by running "fc/b c:file1 d:file2" in a Command Prompt window (type "fc/?" for help). I back up my C:\KCK directory incrementally to F:\KCK on my burner drive via FileSync from www.fileware.com, using it for binary comparisons from time to time.

Thus I believe that your AutoPlay problems are quite minor. In contrast, Explorer crashes with InCD disc are much more serious.

Of course CD-RW drives are slower than HD or Zip drives, so a possible reason might be that you are not patient enough to wait until the current copy or delete operation finishes before starting the next one. On the other hand, your system is quite fast, so it's hard to guess whether InCD operations are indeed abnormally slow. I presume that your discs are at least 10x. You could try removing Iomega Zip's hardware and drivers to see if InCD speeds up. Otherwise, you should go through the InCD guide to check for possible offending drivers.
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Postby Pilgrim on Wed Apr 02, 2003 12:19 am

so a possible reason might be that you are not patient enough to wait until the current copy or delete operation finishes before starting the next one.

Let me try and make this clearer, if I may? My strong suspicion is that my "impatience" in jumping to another operation while a previous one is not finished is the cause of my Explorer crashes. There is little doubt in my mind that this is the case. But, as to the question whether or not the speed that these functions operate is inordinately slow compared to what they should be is another issue entirely. I do know that when I explore the contents of one of my CD-RW data discs (they are all 4x discs), it does take about 10 seconds +/- for the application icons to be displayed that are in the list. If I try and do any operation before all these icons are changed from their initial "DOS" icon to the program's own icon, Explorer will crash.

Not to be seen as unappreciative or more knowledgeable than yourself, I do not believe that my Iomega 250 Zip Drive has any bearing upon these things as I have disconnected it in previous tests and it made no difference whatsoever in speeds or functionality of the CD-RW drive.

Truthfully, if I could afford to do so, I would use only 10x or faster media. But living in Canada, things are much more expensive here to buy. In fact, from another post on this Board I followed up on a link to a company that sells the "good" CD-R discs at really low prices. I even placed an order for 100 count spindle at $39.95 U.S. ($60 Cdn). But I got a followup e-mail from the company informing me that shipping to my Canadian address would be another $43 U.S. There is no way I was going to pay $120 for a spindle of CD-Rs. Image

As things stand now, AutoPlay is working fine after removing two suspect files, which I firmly believe were corrupted during one of the Explorer crashes. I also believe that if they were not corrupted, they would not have a negative effect on AutoPlay and I have good reason to conclude this to be true. These two files were previously on another CD-RW disc and AutoPlay was working fine then. So, the bottom line to all this is that I simply need to exercise more patience when working with this 4x CD-RW discs and there should be no unnecessary trouble. Image

Thanks for all your patience and help once again. You provide an invaluable resource for people as myself who are eager to learn and do learn from your knowledge and expertise.

Jeff[/quote]
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Postby KCK on Thu Apr 03, 2003 12:41 am

Concerning the initial AutoPlay issue, if you still have the troublesome disc as well as copies of the two suspect files on your HDD or backup CD-s, you could run binary comparisons (see my previous post) to determine whether these files were indeed corrupted on the troublesome disc.

Anyway, I now believe that the whole AutoPlay haunt was quite futile, since your later posts indicated that the troublesome disc should have been suspect from the beginning because of earlier Explorer crashes.

Your posts indicate that you sometimes continue working with a disc after Explorer crashes as if nothing has happened. This is very dangerous. Although the disc may look OK to you, it's file system information may be corrupt, and this may produce various errors in the future. Unfortunately there are no simple ways of verifying the integrity of InCD discs. Hence after a crash, you should copy what you can/need to your HDD, do a full erase in Nero, and format the disc again.

As I wrote earlier, it's hard to guess whether InCD operations are indeed abnormally slow on your box, but I presumed that your discs were at least 10x, and in this context removing the Iomega Zip drive was one of the few options that you could still try. If your earlier experiments indicate that the Zip drive doesn't slow down InCD operations, then apparently nothing can be done on the hardware side to accelerate your system.

Well, if you are using 4x discs only, then slowness isn't suprising. I find it hard to believe that 10x discs should be drastically expensive in Canada (24x discs are another story). You might search the forum or ask other members (Spazmogen?) for sources of inexpensive CD-RW media in Canada.
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