Autorun.exe is a program which initiates a program to start as soon as any physical media is entered into the cd-rom. This means that the program, Autorun.exe, is burnt onto either the cd or dvd and as soon as the cd is put into the reader there is a program that will launch. This Autorun.exe program might be an install program to start the setup of whatever program is desired from the media, or it might even be a program .exe itself.
Autorun.exe is typically written as a very simple program and is usually a very small program in terms of size as well as impact on the computers resources. Many times Autorun.exe will terminate once the simple command has been started and the program it is supposed to automatically start has opened. The reason that Autorun.exe is usually so small is because it is usually a simple text based formatted file that just runs as soon as a cd or dvd is inserted into the cd-rom.
By default many Windows Operating systems have been designed to search the root files of a cd or dvd when entered into the reader. This means that if there is a Autorun.exe file that is found on the cd then Windows will open up the file.
As this is taking the user control away from the person on the computer some people do not like to give up this option as there is a small possibility that Autorun.exe is going to launch something that they do not really want.
As with many other titles, Autorun.exe has been known to be a name given to different types of malware as the typical user usually expects to see something along the lines with the name Autorun.exe on their system. The easiest way to determine if your version of Autorun.exe is a malicious program is to open the task manager by pressing ALT + CTRL+ DEL at the same time. Once the task manager is open then look at the computer usage or system performance.
If Autorun.exe appears to be taking up a significant amount of resources or memory for an extended amount of time then there is a possibility that it is a malicious program. If this is the case the best thing to do is to download an anti-virus and malware program to remove the infection right away.
As Autorun.exe is a process that is based off of a disk you can also manually end the process in the task manager. If the Autorun.exe process starts right up again then there is a good possibility that the program is in fact malicious.
Once the anti-malware program has done a complete scan the best thing to do is to download a registry cleaner and run a full system scan. Many people will do this post removal scan to ensure there are no pieces of Autorun.exe left behind in the registry.
Although the security program might have removed most pieces there are times when pieces of Autorun.exe malware will be left within the registry and can possibly come back at a later time to re-infect the machine.