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Weird XP Autoplay Problem

by Jingo13 / March 26, 2013 7:55 AM PDT

I work at an independent computer repair shop & am working on a customer's Vostro 220s with XP Home (fully updated as of today). After cleaning up malware, spyware, viruses, etc., the autoplay function was not working. I ran Microsoft's Autoplay Repair tool on each applicable drive. Now USB flash drives work fine with Autoplay. My problem is that CDs & DVDs, when inserted, *do* bring up the Autoplay Diaglog box, but no matter what program I choose to open them with, nothing works. For example, if a put in a known good CD, autoplay comes up and asks me what I want to do with it. I select WMP, but nothing happens. Same outcome if I choose iTunes, or PowerDVD for DVDs. I have tried removing Roxio & MusicMatch to no avail. I seems like there is a disconnect between the Autoplay function and the program(s) its trying to call up. If I open the program manually (i.e. WMP or PowerDVD) they will play the discs with no problem. I'm turning to this forum because seaching for the problem via Google is increasingly frustrating, as all the results are either Autoplay not opening at all, or people just wanting to change the default, or turn it off all together. In almost 4 years on the job I have never see anything like this. Any help would be much appreciated.

Additional specs:
Vostro 220s; Core 2 Duo 2.8; 4 GB RAM; WD 250; XP Home SP3; AVG Free 2013

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Best Answer chosen by Jingo13

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by Jingo13 / May 1, 2013 5:36 AM PDT

This is the OP again. As I suspected, I ran across the same problem again today. On another Dell (Dimension 4700) also running XP Home. In this case I had already run a Windows Repair (my original solution to this problem) in order to fix other OS issues. But in this case I ran Combofix after the repair install. Once the system was running properly, I ran autofix.exe to repair the autoplay functions. Like the other system, USB flash drives worked fine with autoplay, but CDs & DVDs would open the Autoplay dialogue box, but no matter what program I chose to open them with, nothing would open. I tried all the registry fixes I found involving NoDriveTypeAutoRun in HKLM & HKCU with no luck. I also created a new user to see if it was a user-level problem - and behold ! - it was. All the autoplay funtions worked perfectly in the new user account. So I knew it was a user-level problem, but I still could not find a fix. I even merged HKCU reg entries from the New user to the Old user with no change.

Finially, out of desperation, I ran Autofix.exe again. Even though I had run it already, & the USB drives worked, & the new user worked, Autofix still wanted to repair user-level policies on ALL users & all Drives. After re-repairing these, I booted into safe mode to run autofix in the Administrator account, & found that the user-level policy in autofix needed to be repaired AGAIN, on all accounts & all drives! So I re-re-ran autofix for all drives & all users, and when I rebooted into regular mode, everything WORKED!

So my guess is that something running in normal mode was preventing autofix from making the necessary changes, even though it seemed to have done so successfully, at least until the machine was rebooted. The only other connection is that both machines were running AVG (one the free version & one IS).

*To summerize, I had to run Autofix.exe in safe mode to make the repairs "stick".*

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Try the usual
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / March 26, 2013 8:06 AM PDT
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And then we have the other issues.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / March 26, 2013 8:14 AM PDT
In reply to: Try the usual
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Autoplay still a problem
by Jingo13 / March 27, 2013 1:26 AM PDT


First, I appreciate your speedy response, and I will try to respond to your suggestions in order.

The Autofix.exe is the same one I used to fix the autoplay problem in the first place, but I had neglected to try the wixard's monitoring feature. When I tried that I got the message "Either the device is malfuntioning or the wizard cannot determine the problem." I doubt its the device, as I said everything plays fine if I start the appropriate program manually. The Autofix log is as follows:

AutoFix [V5.2.3790.67]
Time [2013-03-27 10:28:41]
Microsoft Windows Version [5.1 (Service Pack 3) <2600>]

Test [The Shell Hardware Detection service is running.] - Instance [N/A]:
Result [AutoStart Setting]: OK
Result [The Shell Hardware Detection service is running.]: OK

Test [Policies] - Instance [E:\, Drive Type: 5]:
Result [HKCU\...\Policies!NoDrives]: OK {Present}
Result [HKCU\...\Policies!NoDriveAutorun]: OK {Present}
Result [HKCU\...\Policies!NoDriveTypeAutorun]: OK {Present}
Result [HKLM\...\Policies!NoDrives]: OK {Present}
Result [HKLM\...\Policies!NoDriveAutorun]: OK {Present}
Result [HKLM\...\Policies!NoDriveTypeAutorun]: OK {Present}
Result [Driver level policies]: OK {
HKLM\...\Services\cdrom!Autorun (Present) <Allows>
HKLM\...\Services\cdrom\Parameters!Autorun (Absent) <Allows>
HKLM\System\CCS\Enum\...!AlwaysEnable (Absent) <Not set>
HKLM\System\CCS\Enum\...!AlwaysDisable (Absent) <Not set> }

Test [Drive Notification] - Instance [E:\, Drive Type: 5]:
Result [Legacy Notification]: OK
Result [AutoPlay V2 Notification]: Problems {
Service (Silent)
Shell (Deaf) }
>> Repair << [Autoplay V2 Event]
Step: No steps to take.
Result: This AutoPlay setting cannot be fixed. Either the device is malfunctioning, or the wizard cannot determine the problem.

>> Required action: The wizard found problems but cannot fix them -> None


And Event Viewer only gave me WMI Performance Adapter terminated, but that occurred before I retried autoplay.

I followed the instructions for the AIN, after which I had to rerun Autofix.exe, but ended up with the same problem still.

As for your other comments, I understand where you're coming from, but our shop is a bit different. We don't generally charge by the hour, we have flat fees for virus/spyware removal, system restore, data recovery, etc. As this is the only remaining problem, the customer would not be charged any more even if it took me all week. We also try very hard to avoid reinstallations if at all possible. I know that in a lot of cases it is much quicker, but the machine never quite gets back to where it had been, which is also typical of any infection so I guess its more a matter of trying to save programs.

I figured when I started this that I would end up doing a Windows Repair (I have the original Dell XP disc), I just wonered if there might be a known fix in case I come across it again. That, by the way, is one of the resaons we have flat rates. It may take hours to figure out this particular problem, but it seems unfair to bill this customer all that time if the next person with the same issue only takes minutes to fix just because now I know how.

Lastly, I'm confused by your final question. Yes, the original issue was internet connectivity problems caused by spyware/malware, which I feel I was able to clean out completely, but what is different is the issue I posted originally. I have cleaned up more infections than I can remember in 4 years and I have never come across this particular problem. I know the infections keep changing, so if this is something new I will need to know how to deal with it. If the only solution is a Windows repair, than so be it.

As for why it must be fixed, well, that's a loaded question. First, its my job; second, it'll bug me to death if I don't; & third, this is a very good cutomer, we've fixed all of his multiple computers several times and he has expressly mentioned Autoplay problems in the past. Now, personally, I hate autoplay, I never use it on any of my personal machines, but many basic users have no idea how to access their media if it doesn't pop up in their faces.

Sorry if I'm rambling, but your questions got me thinking. And I appologize if I sound annoyed or frustrated, I'm not. I am appreciative of your time and effort, and although I was pounding my head through the wall last night, it is very helpful just to know that there may not be an "easy" fix and that a Windows repair is my most prudent next step (dispite 120 + updates to redo after SP3!)

Thanks again,
I'll let you know if the repair fixes it.

- Amy

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I can't tell but did you try Method 1 and 2?
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / March 27, 2013 1:35 AM PDT
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Fixed - but not the way I'd hoped
by Jingo13 / March 27, 2013 4:01 AM PDT

Did a Windows repair this morning - Autoplay works fine now, both CDs & DVDs. I'll try method 2 if I come across it again. I usually do that (uninstall CD/DVD drive from device manager) & delete upper & lower filters from the registry if the optical drive doesn't show up in Windows Explorer. Hadn't thought of that in this case.

Thanks again for the help!

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Thanks for the update.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / March 27, 2013 4:05 AM PDT

I apologize as I don't always remember all the things I do on cranky XP machines. That is, the boot to safe mode to remove items in device manager is well, something I do so often it's nearly automatic. Sort of like going on an errand and your mind goes into automatic and you pull into your spot at work.

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