Old McDonald's Farm is a software designers' collective, not a noisy musical farm. And on this farm they have some freeware, such as Autorun Eater, which scans your drives for suspicious autorun.ini files and removes those you want removed. Autorun.ini files issue basic instructions for starting all kinds of programs, but malware can infect computers with them, sometimes from external drives. Autorun Eater monitors your system for suspicious autorun.ini files in the root directories of drives C through Z as well as removable drives. It also fixes three common registry errors caused by autorun.ini files and prevents the accidental execution of such files, as well as removing leftover files that can prevent removable drives from opening. It poses no known conflicts to antivirus tools and actually includes an optional anti-malware utility, Microsoft Security Essentials.
Autorun Eater's installer offers various options, but the one we recommend is the one the installer recommends, reading Autorun Eater's Farm Manual, the whimsical name for the program's searchable Explorer-style Help file (complete with a mascot photo of Billy the goat). (Billy's name turns up here and there in Autorun Eater, such as the start menu options). The program's System Tray menu is quite complete, including a Registry Fix submenu, manual controls for scanning Drive A and Drive B, MSE settings, and basic options like alert sounds. Autorun Eater works automatically and continuously in the background, and it uses very few resources. After the first scan, it's easy to forget the program is running, though hovering the cursor over the program's tray icon displays its status and basic settings. Pausing the program's background monitoring produces a prominent reminder in the notification area.
Autorun Eater scanned our C, D, and E drives as well as external drives, though we're happy to say it didn't find any serious threats. Its pop-up alerts contain a lot of information, such as whether the associated executable is present or has been deleted, and the text string. We could ignore or remove the file as needed. If you regularly bring work home or use portable drives, we highly recommend Autorun Eater for your PC security setup.