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How is this feature disabled in Windows Vista if there was a feature of Windows, before Windows 7, that would allow a CD, DVD, or thumb drive to automatically launch a program, this feature was eliminated in releases since Windows 7 because of security issues?

A Disable autorun

When a thumb drive, CD, or DVD is mounted, autorun allows the system to automatically launch an application on it. This might provide a security risk by causing a virus to run automatically when inserted. AutoPlay has taken the place of Autorun.