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Windows 7 and AutoPlay: CD won't start automatically

Windows 7 and AutoPlay: CD won't start automatically
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I have external USB hard drives. If I do nothing, ever time I start up my machine the "Options" box pops up for each partition / drive.

If I disable autorun per the above link, the drives still work, but do not open up the 'Choices" box.

But now if I insert a CD, it won't start automatically.

Is there a way to have external hard drives' and USB drives' autorun disabled but still have the CD players' autostart work?

In the Autoplay of the Control PAnel, I have the CD set to play/start with realplayer.but it doesn't.
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Hopefully this is in the right area. I am having an issue with my Windows 7 64 bit laptop. I did an update and pressed the"restart now" to let the changes take effect, when it restarted it got to the"starting windows" screen but it stopped there for a while then flashed a blue screen quickly.

Then it restarted itself and goes to a menu that says"windows failed to start.

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Both Google Chrome, and FireFox connect fine, but nearly everything won't connect.

Skype can't connect.
Steam can't connect.
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But my browser works fine? (Just noticed, apparently my VPN can connect.) . My immediate reaction was to scan for viruses, scan'd with TDSSKiller- Nothing.

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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 somereason 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.

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?