Re: Autorun for the portable version?

Luke Davis

I didn't see this explicitly mentioned, although it was probably implied by some of the drive letter discussion.

If you don't want to launch Narrator in order to figure out which drive letter your USB stick was assigned to, or if you don't want to have to find your USB stick in file explorer and start NVDA that way, there is a brute force method of starting NVDA.

You simply try starting NVDA on each successive drive letter, until one of them works. Nothing bad is likely to happen if it's not on a given drive, or if there is no drive at that letter.

If your portable nvda can be started by typing "nvda" at the root of the drive, trying something like:

Press Windows-r, to open the run dialog.
Type "e:\nvda", and press enter.

One of three things will happen.
1. NVDA will start--boom, you're done.
2. You'll get the windows error sound.
3. You'll hear nothing, which probably means windows is telling you to insert a disk into that drive (if maybe drive E is a DVD drive or the like).

If either 2 or 3 is what happens, just press enter, which will return you to the run dialog, then press backspace to delete the current selection (the last thing you typed), and try the next drive.

So, if you insert a USB stick, and it gets drive letter G, the whole process might look like:

[You hear silence]
[You hear the Windows error ding]
[You hear the NVDA start chimes, or other indication of NVDA starting]

You can keep increasing drive letters until eventually NVDA starts. Since often a new USB stick will be one of the early drive letters, you won't usually have to go far.

If you are very used to this process, it can be faster or more efficient than starting Narrator and browsing to the drive in question. Just another option.
Often I'll start with the most likely drives, such as G, then F, then H. You'll learn the most likely drives for your situation if you do this.

If your path is a little longer than e:\nvda, such as if your NVDA is in a subfolder, you might want to type e:\nvda\nvda (or whatever) for the first one, then replace the backspace key with home, delete, new drive letter, enter, for each subsequent one.

All of this takes a lot longer to read than it does to do.:)



On Tue, 9 Apr 2019, Judy Jones wrote:

Remind me again, if I don’t know the drive letter, for instance if I have a position that requires  a floating work station, how again would I activate my
portable copy?
I will check out your tutorials probably tomorrow or the next day for sure.
From: [] On Behalf Of Gene
Sent: Tuesday, April 9, 2019 3:47 PM
Subject: Re: [nvda] Autorun for the portable version?
You can only use the run command if you know the letter of the drive that is the flash drive.  On an unfamiliar computer, you won't know.  Once you find
out, unless it changes, you can use the run command but you need to know how to run NVDA in a method such as I described unless you are always using a
computer you definitely know the letter on.
----- Original Message -----
From: Judy Jones
Sent: Tuesday, April 09, 2019 4:04 PM
Subject: Re: [nvda] Autorun for the portable version?
Gene, this is perfect.  Thanks so much.  Just what I was looking for.  I could do the run command from a system requiring no speech for that.
I am saving this e-mail for my records.
Thanks so much.
I am running Windows 10.
From: [] On Behalf Of hurrikennyandopo ...
Sent: Tuesday, April 9, 2019 1:53 PM
Subject: Re: [nvda] Autorun for the portable version?
There used to be able to do it but i think that stopped back in windows 7.
There are other ways of starting nvda from a USB stick or Cd on another persons computer.
Which version of windows are you running?
I do have some tutorials on starting nvda from a USB stick or Cd on my website if you are interested they are on the nvda audio tutorials page at
When you get there jump down by headings until you get to the sections mentioning USB or CD.
I do have one written up not posted but it covered making a portable version of NVDA then starting it on windows 10. At the time it is nvda 2019.1 and
version 1809 of Windows.
But you could try the following also on your computer but will not work on log on screen.
 If you put the portable contents of nvda on to a USB stick unplug it from your computer then plug it back in.
then press the windows key + letter R and in the run dialogue box type E:nvda then press the enter key and then it should start up.
To make sure it is that version when i had it running on the usb stick i changed the voice from the other one that i was using.
not sure if it works on earlier versions of Windows that way I do not think it did.
that one might get posted in the next day or so?
Gene nz
On 10/04/2019 8:27 AM, Judy Jones wrote:

Hello again,


I now have the portable version on a thumb drive, but is it possible to get NVDA to start when inserting the drive?  If so, how?


Thanks again.



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