TUCOWS ARTICLE

How To Create a CD or DVD with a custom icon

It's easy to add a custom icon to any removable media that you "burn" or copy files to. Windows will display the custom icon for the removable drive whenever the media is inserted or connected. I'll explain how to do it, and introduce you to some tools you may find helpful.
Published: Aug 8, 2007
Author: Len Gray
Related OS: Windows

Create a CD or DVD with a custom icon

by Len Gray of Eclipsit Corporation


Introduction

It's easy to add a custom icon to any removable media that you "burn" or copy files to. Windows will display the custom icon for the removable drive whenever the media is inserted or connected. I'll explain how to do it, and introduce you to some tools you may find helpful.

Have you noticed that Windows displays a custom icon for your CD/DVD drive when you insert the installation disk of one of your favorite software packages? You can do the same when you create your own data CD's, DVD's, or any type of removable media (i.e., JAZ drives, ZIP drives, memory sticks, etc...). I'll use a writeable CD in this example, however the procedure should work for any type of media that Windows treats as a removable drive of folders and files.

The Basics

Windows looks in the root folder of a removable drive for a file named AUTORUN.INF whenever new media is inserted. The AUTORUN.INF file is a simple text file that contains information and instructions for Windows. Adding a custom icon to a CD simply requires (1) an AUTORUN.INF file and (2) the custom icon you'd like to display.

To get started, I suggest that you create a folder on your computer (perhaps on your desktop) named "Custom-AutoRun". We'll use this folder to prepare the AUTORUN.INF and custom icon files in.

Step 1: AUTORUN.INF

In this example, the ICON entry tells Windows that the CD includes a custom icon located in the file "MYICON.ICO".

Example AUTORUN.INF text file: [autorun] ICON=MYICON.ICO

The easiest way to create your own AUTORUN.INF file is with a text file editor such as Windows Notepad. Save the file as AUTORUN.INF in the Custom-AutoRun folder that you created earlier. If you use a document editor such as Office Word to create this file, be certain to select the "Plain Text (*.txt)" file format before selecting Save.

Step 2: Your Custom Icon

Copy the icon (ICO) file you want to use for the CD into the Custom- AutoRun folder. Make sure the name of the file matches the name that you specified in the ICON entry of your AUTORUN.INF file. For more information about ICO files, please see the More About Icons section below.

Step 3: Create the CD

Insert a writeable CD into your CD/DVD drive and copy data files to it as you normally would. Next, copy the AUTORUN.INF and MYICON.ICO files from your Custom-AutoRun folder into the root folder of the CD. Now you're ready to "burn" the data to the CD. Once the CD has been written, Windows will display the custom icon for the drive that contains the CD whenever it is inserted into the drive.

More About Icons

This section is provided for users who who may not be familiar with icon resource (ICO) files. An ICO file usually contains more than one image. To illustrate, here are three examples of the icon that Windows Vista displays when a Microangelo installation CD is inserted, depending on the current "View":

The icon images are different in each of the three views because the ICO files for these objects contain multiple images in different sizes. Keep this in mind when you choose or create your custom icon. To look its best, it should contain image sizes to support the View modes you plan to use. See the Tips and Tools section below for more information.

Tips and Tools

By adding one more entry to your AUTORUN.INF file, you can have Windows automatically launch a file or program when you insert the CD. For example, if your CD contains a spreadsheet with this year's current sales information (SALES-2007.XLS), Windows will automatically open this file when the CD is inserted if you add the following "OPEN" entry to your AUTORUN.INF file:

[autorun]

ICON=MYICON.ICO

OPEN=SALES-2007.XLS

The following tools can help you create, select, or locate the icons you'd like to use to customize your media. Each are available in 32-bit and 64-bit versions, and are officially "Certified for Windows Vista" by Microsoft. Even better, you can download and try them out for free:

Download Microangelo Toolset NOW!

Questions?

I hope you've found this solution helpful. If you have any questions or suggestions for more icon solutions, please feel free to contact me at:

Len Gray of Eclipsit


If you have a question on how to do something on the computer you can submit it via email by clicking HERE You will not receive a reply, but all topics will be considered.


About Len Gray

Len Gray is the founder of Eclipsit Corporation which is a subsidiary of Impact Software. Microangelo is the "grand-daddy" of icon tools and has won multiple awards.

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