Sometimes it takes a little effort to figure out even the simplest tools, at least when you go by the documentation. So it was with AutoRunnerX, a free tool that launches portable applications, folders, and other stuff stored on a USB drive or portable hard drive when you insert the drive in your system. That's simple enough and useful, too; but it took some mental translations calling upon high school German classes to figure it all out.
Installing AutoRunnerX requires a reboot. The program runs in the background, though it has a compact user interface for adding and removing files and accessing options. These include check boxes labeled Always all available objects start (start all programs); Drive link to desktop (display a desktop shortcut to the USB or removable drive); and Checksums-function. The explanation included with the checksum tool showed what we were up against: "With the Checksums-function will manipulations by computer viruses detected. This option can security improve, if you use portable software. This replaces However, no virus scanner." We take this to mean that the optional, included checksum tool can check the contents of your USB drive against a key to ensure that nothing about the target program or file has changed since the drive was last inserted, and that it's no replacement for antivirus protection. We agree.
AutoRunnerX proved easy to use: with a drive inserted and AutoRunnerX open, we clicked Add, browsed to three portable apps stored on our USB drive, and added them to the list, which already included an entry labeled Challenger-Encryption. We removed the drive and rebooted, which isn't always necessary, but we wanted to start with a clean boot. We inserted our USB drive, and a moment later our portable apps began to open. AutoRunnerX will also automatically launch apps at startup, if the drive is inserted. That's handy for running a portable system cleaner or other tools you'd normally have to run manually. The program also creates a desktop icon that opens an Explorer view of the drive. It can even launch pictures. Despite the language barrier, we recommend AutoRunnerX to portable app lovers.