the i386 folder

  andyb4u1 23:58 15 Jul 2003

I bought a new system with Windows XP Home Edition pre-installed on it but it came without the original cd. Someone told me that i couldto re-install Windows without the original cd all i needed was to copy the i386 folder in the Windows directory onto a cd and to know product key which is on my pc case.

I was wondering if this is true and what to do to re-install windows again.

Thanks in advance.

  User-312386 00:05 16 Jul 2003

i assume you have a "restore disc"

This will mean that all your drivers etc etc are locked in the CAB(cabinet) files

You could restore the PC with an original XP disc although you would then need all the drivers for all the peripherals and maybe the MOBO


  andyb4u1 00:13 16 Jul 2003

Nope no restore disk. All i have is the Windows thats on the pc already.

  User-312386 00:16 16 Jul 2003

thats awful

so what they are saying is that you can not restore it to factory settings?

What company sold you this computer?

  andyb4u1 00:31 16 Jul 2003

Long story. Basically the partition that did contain the factory settings got deleted by Partion Magic by accident. I think i've figured it out now. All i have to do is copy the i386 folder to a cd and then run winnt32 from a prompt i think. Here goes.

  RobbyMac 00:37 16 Jul 2003

Sometimes a firm will put an image of the disk on the hard drive. Sometimes this is hidden!
click to view all files and look to view "all files". The I386 folder was a folder used for 'windows nt' but not sure about xp, although I think it is the same. Best of luck

  andyb4u1 00:55 16 Jul 2003

Yeah the image partition got deleted.

  keith-236785 08:15 16 Jul 2003

the I386 folder is here in Windows XP Pro C:\WINDOWS\Driver Cache\i386.

however it is only 73.1MB, my windows folder alone is 1.24GIG so i would imagine that your theory is wrong. It seems like the I386 folder just contains all the relevent drivers for your system which is used when you re-install from your recovery cd.

if you bought this pc from a reputable dealer, go back and explain what has happened and they Might(should) give you either a Full winXP disk or a Restore disc, Dont forget you have paid for the licence, so you are entitled to the little bit of plastic as well, or am i wrong folks.

for me if i buy a pc, i want a FULL version (not a restore disc) of winXP or they don't get the sale.

  keith-236785 08:21 16 Jul 2003

I forgot to say, If your windows key code is on a sticker on your case, what has the pc builder done with the Disc, and how many more systems have the same version of windows. You could be running an illegal copy.

good luck anyway mate i hope you sort it.

  graham√ 08:54 16 Jul 2003

This has been discussed before. The Recovery (not Restore) data is sometimes stored on a hard drive partition rather than a CD. This makes it cheaper for the manufacturer to buy from Microsoft. You can buy a CD version, however, about £60 at the last count. This may be your only option.

If you still had the partition you could have copied it to CD using Acronis TrueImage.

  andyb4u1 12:17 16 Jul 2003

Case solved. No need for me to buy an expensive windows cd. It can be done with just the original i386 folder. Anyone else who needs to know how to do this go here click here.

This will explain how to install a slipstreamed version of Windows Xp and provides the tools to do it. Other operating system are covered as well.

This page was a life saver for me.

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