Windows XP - Solution 1
* Right-click on the drive icon for your CD drive, CD recorder, or DVD drive, and select Properties.
* Choose the AutoPlay tab, and choose the desired action for each type of CD. For example, choose Music CD, then click Select an action to perform, then select Take no action.
Windows XP - Solution 2
* Obtain and install <a href="http://download.microsoft.com/download/f/c/a/fca6767b-9ed9-45a6-b352-839afb2a2679/TweakUiPowertoySetup.exe">TweakUI</a> (part of the PowerToys for Windows XP package), and then start TweakUI.
* Expand the My Computer branch, then the AutoPlay branch, and then select Drives.
* Turn off the checkbox next to each drive letter for which you want AutoPlay disabled.
Source: <a href="http://www.annoyances.org/exec/show/article03-018">Annoyances.org</a>
That works well, and I knew about it, for drives that exist permanently, i.e., as exampled in answer 1, and my internal ZIP drive). The problem with USB flash dives is that the drive IS NOT THERE until the device is inserted, and there is no perrmanent drive letter (can differ each time the same device is inserted). What is wanted is something to apply to the USB port. I am not even sure how to relate Device Manager entries under USB to the physical ports.
I have various UI tweakers and will have a look again at them.
Can no-one point me to the registry setting that controls this?
Here are <a href="http://blogs.techrepublic.com.com/helpdesk/?p=93">some instructions</a> -- but proceed with caution if you try this!