If you are still using windows XP you can easily find the i386 folder on your computer. However if you are running Windows Vista and Windows seven this folder no longer exists.
There are two main setup files in the i386 directory.
- The Winnt32.exe is the setup program used when you are in Windows.
- The Winnt.exe file is for DOS.
The i386 directory is not the needed for Windows to actually runs from and is not really needed, but does contain important files. Originally it was simply a copy of the I386 directory from your installation CD. You’ll probably find “setup.exe” there, which is the Windows XP initial setup program.
Since Windows doesn’t run from that directory, it’s actually not required to be around at all. You can delete it, and Windows will still continue to run. But Wait! You still, really, don’t want to delete it. At least not without saving a copy of it somewhere, somehow. You see, when you install new hardware, Windows will try to install the drivers for it, from your original Windows installation CD-ROM. If you have a copy of the I386 directory from that CD-ROM, Windows can look there instead – much quicker and much more convenient than inserting the CD each time.
And of course if your computer didn’t come with a Windows CD-ROM (as I believe it always should, though not all manufacturers do), the I386 directory may be the only place these files are available.
So don’t delete it. Move it somewhere else instead. If you have a second hard disk that has room, great. If you have another machine on your local network that has room, it’s ok to copy it there too – just keep straight which machine it belongs to.
Notes About the i386 Folder
- If you want to install the Recovery Console, you can only do this by using the windows file method Winnt32.exe with an added switch like: Winnt32.exe /cmdcon This command will copy the recovery console as well as the other setup files.
- You do not need the i386 directory on your computer for it to run. These files are not used for Windows to operate.
- If you have lost your original operating system cd then you should backup this i386 folder just in case you need to re-install windows.
- If you have Vista or Windows 7 there is no I386 folder.
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