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Chapter 9. Scripting and Automation > Making a Startup Script

9.11. Making a Startup Script

The process of making a startup script—a script that is executed automatically when Windows starts—is quite simple. Essentially, you create a script as you normally would, and then take steps to have it executed when Windows starts. There are a few different ways to do this:

Use the Startup folder

Put a shortcut to the script in your Startup folder (usually C:\Documents and Settings\{username}\Start Menu\Programs\Startup). This is by far the easiest to implement, but also the most fragile, because it's equally easy to disable (important if you're setting up a computer for someone else).

If there is more than one user account on a computer, and you want the script to be executed regardless of the currently-logged in user, you can use the "All Users" Startup folder (usually C:\Documents and Settings\All Users\Start Menu\Programs\Startup) instead.

Use the Registry

Open the Registry Editor (see Chapter 3), and expand the branches to HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Run. Select New and then String Value from the Edit menu, and type startup script. Double-click on the new Startup Script value, type the name of your script (e.g., c:\scripts\myscript.vbs), and click OK. Although a little more difficult to implement, this setup is a little more robust and transparent than using the Startup folder.[5]

[5] Many viruses install themselves here for precisely this reason. See Chapter 5 for more tips that involve this Registry location.

Likewise, you can implement this solution for all users rather than just the current user by adding the Registry value to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Run instead.



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