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Disable Autorun on a specific user on Windows XP

by Retheesh / August 24, 2005 8:10 AM PDT

Hi, I have two user accounts on my Windows XP Pro system. One is for myself and the other is for the kids. School has started recently and I don't want them playing on the computer when I'm not around. I've deleted the shortcuts, but they can still run the games by inserting the CD Sad I would like to disable Autorun on their account, but leave Autorun enabled on mine. I've searched on the net, but I could only find a way to fully disable Autorun, or the method to disable seems so. One tweak mentions going into the registry and disabling it in HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE, but that seems to me like it will disable Autorun all together. Another tweak is by using gpedit.msc and turning on "Autorun off", but again, it does not mention which user it will effect. Please help me.

I have not tried anything yet, not even the above, because I'm not sure if it will work the way I want it to.

Both users are setup as administrators so that all programs will work on the kids user account, but that can be changed if that is what it takes.

I'm an advanced user, so I don't care how hard it is, I just want a solution, thanks!

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Won't work...
by John.Wilkinson / August 24, 2005 10:07 AM PDT

Autorun simply launches the program automatically when the disk is inserted. Even if autorun is disabled, your kids could still go access the application and launch it by browsing the CD/DVD drive in My Computer and finding the .EXE.

The link that glb613 provided will work, but there are several catches:
1) This will prevent them from logging onto the computer during these times...even to look something up for school.
2) This will only prevent them from logging in during the set times...if they are already logged on, it will not force them off. Thus, you'd have to make sure that Windows is set to lock before you leave, then have your kids log off before you leave, but after the restricted time begins.
3) You'd have to make your kids' accounts limited users, as any administrator can change these settings. However, few even know this option exists, so it might take them a while to figure it out.

Unfortunately I know of no program that will prevent them from using certain programs during restricted hours...most either lock internet access or the computer entirely. I guess your best/only option would be to take the game CDs with you, that way they cannot load the games. However, a lot of games/programs give you the option of copying the entire CD to your hard drive, and unning it from there. Thus, another loophole exists.

Hope this helps,

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by Retheesh / August 24, 2005 2:20 PM PDT
In reply to: Won't work...

You don't have to worry about them copying the CD or clicking the EXE file, cause they are not advanced users like me. They dont even know what an EXE is or where the games are located, and even if they do, they dont know what to do from there. I'm safe, for now..(Where's that 5 million dollar security system). Unfortunately, that login issue is a big problem, because I want them to use the computer if they want to type something in Word or use the internet for research.

I saw something about opening the registry and adding the names of the EXE files that you don't want to allow to run. That would work, if I can apply it to one user. They ain't going into the registry; they don't know how. Anyone know how?

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by Papa Echo / August 24, 2005 6:20 PM PDT
They don't know how... ?

Don't underestimate kids. They will learn- faster than you will ever realize.

But if you are sure that your kids won't be able to find their way to accessing the games except via Auto Run, try this: At My Computer, right click the CD ROM you want to have auto play disabled, then select Properties. Select the Auto Play tab. Here, at Actions, put a dot at "Select an action to perform". At the list in the box, click at ''Take No Action'' to highlight it. Click at Apply and OK out. Now, when your kids insert the game or any CD, nothing will show up. To play the game, you have to access the game's .exe at the CD, or a shortcut, but make sure you do not let your kids see you doing it....they learn quick !
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Can't say that I'm experienced in . .
by Cursorcowboy / August 24, 2005 11:50 PM PDT

using Profiles -- no one else to worry about -- but from what I read, and I could be wrong, it would appear that most everything you're talking about should be controllable from within the profile hive itself.

1. "A user profile consists of:"

? A registry hive. The registry is a database used to store computer- and user-specific settings. Portions of the registry can be saved as files, called hives. These hives can then be reloaded for use as necessary. User profiles take advantage of the hive feature to provide roaming profile functionality. The user profile registry hive is the NTuser.dat in file form, and is mapped to the HKEY_CURRENT_USER portion of the registry when the user logs on. The NTuser.dat hive maintains the user?s environment preferences when the user is logged on. It stores those settings that maintain network connections, Control Panel configurations unique to the user (such as the desktop color and mouse), and application-specific settings. The majority of the settings stored in the registry are opaque to user profiles settings are owned and maintained by individual applications and OS components.

? "A set of profile folders stored in the file system" (click for a graphic display). User profile files are stored in the filesystem in the Profiles directory, in a per user folder. The user profile folder is a container for applications and other OS components to populate with subfolders and per-user data, such as shortcut links, desktop icons, startup applications, documents, configuration files and so forth. Windows Explorer uses the user profile folders extensively for special folders such as the users desktop, start menu and my documents folder.

2. Together, these two components record user-configurable settings that can migrate from computer to computer.

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by Retheesh / August 31, 2005 8:00 AM PDT

Cursorcowboy, that's what I think too.

Then my question is what registry setting would I have to go within hkey_current_user do I have to go to disable autorun for the other account? Can I manually make my own? Please help me.

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Disable auto run
by Papa Echo / August 31, 2005 1:19 PM PDT
In reply to: Still....

You do not have to disable auto run. Just set auto run to "do nothing". No need to mess around with the registry.

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(NT) (NT) Encryption may work
by lilShortZaznXboi / August 31, 2005 3:04 PM PDT
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