Symptom:  CD, DVDs, and usb drives do not autoplay, and the context menus in Explorer do not have any autoplay options.  All Autoplay settings in control panel are turned on and all registry keys are correct.

Cause: Shell Hardware Detection service is either set to disable or set to manual.

The easy way to check if the Shell hardware service is the issue is to open services.msc and check the status or use an administrative command prompt.

To check in the command prompt:

sc query shellhwdetection | find "STATE"

If state is equal to disable or manual, then the service needs to be reset to the correct setting.  While still in the command prompt run:, sc config shellhwdetection start=auto and this will reset the service back to Automatic. 

It took several hours of hunting through Autoplay registry keys, sfc results, errors logs, and systemically removing software to figure this out. If this does not work, then check the following registry keys:


On my Windows 7 system the HKLM key is set to 0xFF; I haven’t noticed any major issues, but for those who can’t get around without autoplay, he recommended value is 145 or 0x00000091; this value is not necessary, so it can be deleted on Windows 7 and Vista. 

Both of these keys can easily be check from a standard command prompt, though the values cannot be modified without administrator rights:
Check Values:
reg query HKEY_CURRENT_USERSOFTWAREMicrosoftWindowsCurrentVersionpoliciesExplorer /v NoDriveTypeAutorun
reg query HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINESoftwareMicrosoftWindowsCurrentVersionPoliciesExplorer /v NoDriveTypeAutorun

To change the values:
reg add HKEY_CURRENT_USERSOFTWAREMicrosoftWindowsCurrentVersionpoliciesExplorer /v NoDriveTypeAutorun /t REG_DWORD /d 0x00000091 /f
reg add HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINESoftwareMicrosoftWindowsCurrentVersionPoliciesExplorer /v NoDriveTypeAutorun /t REG_DWORD /d 0x00000091 /f

To delete the values:
reg delete HKEY_CURRENT_USERSOFTWAREMicrosoftWindowsCurrentVersionpoliciesExplorer /v NoDriveTypeAutorun  /f
reg add HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINESoftwareMicrosoftWindowsCurrentVersionPoliciesExplorer /v NoDriveTypeAutorun /f