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Creating Auto-Run CDs with Legacy Web Pages

You can create your Legacy genealogy web pages on a CD to share with family members and others.  The person who receives your CD won't need to have an Internet connection -- they will just pop the CD into their computer and presto!*  There are your genealogy web pages ready to view and click through in the web browser!

* Unfortunately the BrowserCall.exe doesn't work on Windows Vista so the recipient will have to use Windows Explorer to open the CD and then double click on the index.htm file to start viewing the web pages.

An AutoRun CD opens the web pages on the CD automatically after the CD has been placed in the drive. By default Windows is set with auto-run enabled. If disabled, check Microsoft's Knowledge Base on the Registry entry to reset it (go to www.Microsoft.com and search for "autorun").  Here's how to make Legacy genealogy web pages on a CD....

First, create a folder on your hard drive to store the following files. I would create it in the Legacy\Web folder and name it "CD Files" c:\Legacy\Web\CD_Files but you may have some other location where you'd like to store the files and program.

Download BrowserCall, a freeware program that will call up the default browser, and save that to the CD files folder. You can download it from http://www.ashzfall.com/products/autorun/browsercall.html. Although the web site says it's been tested only for Windows 95+98, it works fine on Windows XP. You'll find that there are three other text files to unzip along with the browsercall.exe file. You can save them to the CD Files folder also for future reference.

Don't be intimidated by all the technical stuff on the web page! Just download and save the program to the CD files folder.

Next, for a CD to auto-run it must have a file named AUTORUN.INF in its root directory.  To create an autorun.inf file, open Notepad and type the following two lines and then save as autorun.inf.  Make sure the lines are left justified and start at the very top of the document with no blank line.

[autorun]
open=browsercall.exe \BrownFamilyTree\index.htm

(Of course, your folder name will be different so instead of "BrownFamilyTree" put in your folder name.)

Double check after you save it to make sure Notepad didn't tack on a ".txt" extension. If it did, right click on the file name, select "Rename" and delete the .txt portion or the file won't run.

Another option to create the Autorun.inf file can be found at http://www.ashzfall.com/products/autorun/index.html (linked to from the BrowserCall site). It's a small program called "Autorun.inf Maker" that you can download and save to your computer that will help you generate the Autorun.inf file. You can either save it to the CD folder or to your Desktop for ready access if you plan on making a lot of different CDs.

In "Program to Run" enter:

browsercall.exe\BrownFamilyTree\index.htm

(Again, using your folder name instead of "BrownFamilyTree")

You don't need to include an icon, drive label or menu unless you want to. Just blank out the icon and drive label fields. Check out the Help file in Autorun.inf Maker for more details. You will need to designate a path to save the file, which should be the CD folder C:\Legacy\Web\CD FILES

So at this point, you should have:

C:\Legacy\Web\BrownFamilyTree - (folder name depending on what *you* selected when you created the web pages) C:\Legacy\Web\CD_Files  - which contains the BrowserCall.exe and Autorun.inf files

Burn the following to your CD:

. The entire Folder of web pages (including the pictures in the sub-folder) you created in Legacy
. Autorun.inf file
. Browsercall.exe

After you've created the CD, test it by opening the drive and then closing it again with the CD still there and see if it starts up as it should. Give it a few seconds to start. The default browser should open up with the index.htm page showing.


For information on creating web page with Legacy, please visit A Guide to Publishing Genealogy Web Pages with Legacy at http://www.LegacyFamilyTree.com/tipsWebPages.asp.


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