Posted 24 September 2005 - 07:34 PM
The C:\i386 folder contains WinXP's installation files. They are needed for
repairs to the OS and when you wish to add/install additional
features. If you don't mind inserting a CD every time you make such a
change, you can safely off-load this folder to a CD. Doing so will
not damage WinXP.
In fact, many people deliberately copy this particular folder from
the installation CD to the hard drive to avoid the inconvenience of
having to insert the CD whenever they add features. But, if you're
short of space, you can safely remove the folder, provided you do save
On a retail XP CD, the system files are all stored in the i386 folder. If
Windows came preinstalled on your system, a folder of that name is probably
used by your OEM recovery program to restore Windows.
If that \i386 folder is located under C:\WINDOWS\ServicePackFiles folder ...
that is from having applied XP Service Pack 1.
Having it there allows you to update your system without having to be concerned about reinstalling the service pack.
You can relocate the folder, burn it to CD for example, to get it off your
hard drive. If you do that, you'll also want to update the registry key at
Change the ServicePackSourcePath value at that location to reflect the new path.
If you delete the folder completely, any time you make a system change that
requires you to insert your Windows XP CD, you will also need to reinstall
the service pack to insure that no files were replaced with non-SP1