I want to thank both of you for your input. I was aware of both of those means to control the CD autorun. I have noticed that when an audio CD was inserted in the drive the Windows CD Player would activate and begin to play the disc regardless of what I'd selected in Device Manager. I did tend to look at this as an instance of 'autorun' as I generally use another player for audio CDs. That said - the solution was in the file association preferences - I tracked it down and set it blank. Haven't tested the change yet - but that should cover that issue.
I was looking at this from the view of security and 'best practices' and was more concerned about the "NoDrive TypeAutoRun" setting - and the insistence at every boot to drop the two digits off the hex value in the registry. This has happened with the "CDRAutoRun" since when I first posted about it here several days ago. A few days ago (at a boot-up) the value of the "NoDriveTypeAutoRun"changed from 95,00,00 to 0 - according to the SpyBot Resident or Tea Timer. I went ahead and allowed it and vowed to research the matter more later.
I guess what I was looking for when I posted about this here was an easy answer or two about the registry and these two values - with an eye towards what would be the best setting for these two values in terms of security and user control of my PC. An example is this snippet of text that I copied from somewhere online when I was trying to learn more about this:
<i>In registry, look for NoDriveTypeAutoRun
95 is default value, but dangerous; this autoruns HD too!
9D is better value, allows CD autorun, suppresses HD autorun
B5 disables CD autorun, enables HD autorun (bad)
BD disables CD autorun, disables HD autorun (better)
00 allows all devices to autorun (supremo bad)
FF allows no devices to autorun (supremo safe)</i>
This certainly seems to point to some of the issues I've mentioned - but brings up more questions than answers (to me anyway!) at this point. First - the info may not even be correct. Second - This bit about the HD and autorun - what exactly does that entail? It doesn't sound good but I don't know enough about the subject to be sure of WTH that's actually referring to. The HD 'autoruns' every time I boot - don't see any problem with that? Thirdly - knowing almost nothing about the Registry and being less than comfortable with the idea of editing it - the way of expressing these values - of actually entering them into the Registry - eludes me. I suspect the person who wrote that brief bit I quoted above assumed any reader would just change the first two characters of the string: 95,00,00,00 with the characters he provided - But I don't _know_ that and don't feel like buggering my registry to find out - particularly if the writer was wrong!
Well - at least no one came right out and told me to RTFM - but - in the absence of anyone wanting to spoon feed me any quick answers about these registry settings and the number of characters that are supposed to be in the Registry values - I am setting about to do exactly that - in my ample free time! I found a good article written on the registry on this site that I'll work my way through as time allows. (sorry - no link - I forgot to Bookmark the URL and will have to search it up again myself) When I finish that article I'll tackle this one:
Chapter 31 - Windows 98 Registry
I'm sure there's good info in that MS article... but even skimming through it makes me go cross-eyed and want to make myself a stiff drink!