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Auto start feature - how to disable

Last response: in Windows XP
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November 17, 2011 4:11:15 PM

Whenever I turn my printer on, hook up my external hard drive, or other such things, Windows XP brings up a dialog automatically asking what program I would like to use when such a device is connected. How do I stop this from coming up? I don't get the "do nothing" option for some of these and the "always perform the selected action" is not always present either. I practically never make use out of this feature as it is anyway considering I'm otherwise always 2 clicks away from whatever program I want to use anyway. Is there a way I can completely prevent this dialog from appearing? It's especially annoying with my printer - turn it on and Windows is thinking it's a camera rather than a printer (probably because of all those card ports on it that I otherwise never use).

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November 17, 2011 4:22:17 PM



There is a global setting that will do the trick but it may cause problems later. This change can be "undone" as easily as it was done.

Start>Run>Services.msc>Shell Hardware detection>disable.

You will no longer be notified when you insert a CD/DVD or plug in new hardware.


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November 17, 2011 5:00:50 PM

Could new hardware be installed with this service disabled or do I have to temporarily reenable it?
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November 17, 2011 8:37:59 PM


Try it. I disabled mine and it still found and installed a USB floppy drive that has never been installed before.

If the new hardware isn't found, it's faster and easier to re-enable it than to go through the "Add new Hardware" section of Control Panel.
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November 18, 2011 7:29:14 AM

Thanks. I've disabled it. I'll see how this will go in the end.
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November 18, 2011 7:29:27 AM

Best answer selected by ulillillia.
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November 18, 2011 7:32:48 AM

This topic has been closed by Area51reopened
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