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  1. #1
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    Do I need these files? (XP sp2)

    I'm trying to clear out some space on a rather small laptop drive. I've found the following and wonder whether they are all necessary:

    Windows/i386 - 454 Mb of files
    Windows/ServicePack/i386 - 538 Mb
    Windows/SoftwareDistribution - 43 Mb
    Windows/System32/SoftwareDistribution - 48 Mb
    Windows/PCHEALTH - 39 Mb
    Program Files/InstallShield Installation Information - 46 Mb

    Obviously its the 1 Gig of stuff in the two i386 folders that concerns me the most.

  2. #2
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    Re: Do I need these files? (XP sp2)

    Is this a machine from an OEM like Gateway or Dell? If so, those files should be left alone. Windows uses them in situations in which you'd normally need a Windows CD (running sfc /scannow for example).

    One work around is to compress the ServicePack/i386 folder. HTH <img src=/S/smile.gif border=0 alt=smile width=15 height=15>
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    Re: Do I need these files? (XP sp2)

    Hi Doc

    No, this is an off the shelf Sony Vaio laptop. Do I understand you correctly that the ServicePack/i386 folder is a duplicate?

    David

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    Re: Do I need these files? (XP sp2)

    Sony is just another OEM. They install Windows in more or less the manner as Gateway or Dell. The I386 folders are not necessarliy duplicates. Windows uses the 'ServicePackI386' folder when it needs to replace, repair or add components. It has the most current files from the latest service pack. The 'other' I386 folder is usually put there by the OEM with the original instllation of Windows. The other folders contain information about the original installed software, other software you may have installed. With the size of todays hard drives unless you are absolutely sure about the folders & files you are better off leaving them alone.

    Joe
    Joe

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    Re: Do I need these files? (XP sp2)

    Good to have you back Joe. <img src=/S/smile.gif border=0 alt=smile width=15 height=15> You took the words right out of my mouth. The size of today's drives makes the removal of files and folders like this unnecessary. The i386 folders are best left alone by the average user, especially if the reason for deletion is to recover space on the drive. Surely you can archive something else to CD to get the space back.
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    Re: Do I need these files? (XP sp2)

    I run Sony's and it is BEST that these files are left on the hard drive, unless you have gone through the steps in making System Restore CD's.

    If these file are deleted, every time Windows needs a new driver, DLL or etc you will be asked for the CD(s) so they can be loaded, which means one MUST carry them with you at ALL times..

    Now running HP Pavilion a6528p, with Win7 64 Bit OS.

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    Re: Do I need these files? (XP sp2)

    I am considering purchase of a Sony VIAO notebook. As David notes, it is not supplied with a Windows CD; the CD contents are placed in a special partition on the hard disk, which is accessible during boot up.

    I would want to partition the hard disk into two logical disks, as I have done with all my computers. Would this be possible and relatively simple with the Windows file on this separate partition? What if any would be the challenges? Are all the drivers there as well? I'm not sure I'm getting correct information from the salesman...

    Chris

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    Re: Do I need these files? (XP sp2)

    It should be easy to do as the recovery partition is almost always a hidden partition. When you run your partitioning software just have to be careful not to delete it. It would be wise to create a set of recovery CDs also. If you drive fails and you have no CDs you can't recover your system. BTW, what software are you going to use to partition the drive?

    Joe
    Joe

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    Re: Do I need these files? (XP sp2)

    Ah, therein lies the problem! I don't have any partitioning software, not current access to same. I have usually used FDisk to partition, then formatted, then done a clean install. I guess this may not be possible?

    Chris

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    Re: Do I need these files? (XP sp2)

    Nope. <img src=/S/nope.gif border=0 alt=nope width=15 height=15>

    I'd burn a recovery CD before doing anything else. At least then you can get back to Square one without too much trouble if anything you try later goes wrong.
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    Re: Do I need these files? (XP sp2)

    <P ID="edit" class=small>(Edited by joeperez on 17-Aug-05 08:20. added link to KB artcile)</P>If you are willing to re-install XP you can partition the drive during installation. Kind of a pain and time consuming but doable. I'm pretty sure you specify the size you want the installation partition to be. Then after XP is installed you use disk management to create the second partition. Once again, you need to be very careful not to delete the recovery partition. See How to use Disk Management to configure basic disks in Windows XP for more information.

    Joe
    Joe

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    Re: Do I need these files? (XP sp2)

    Thanks, Doc and Joe for your input.

    Supposing as 'ow I was to splash out for partioning software, which would be best, given that it would not be a very frequently used tool?

    Chris

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    Re: Do I need these files? (XP sp2)

    You might want to download a trial version of BootIt NG from Terrabyte. Fred Langa recommends it highly. Not only can it create any type of partition, it also is an excellent boot manager. BootIt NG

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    Re: Do I need these files? (XP sp2)

    I agree with Doc, burn those Recover CD and DVD and keep them where you can get to them. On my systems it will take 11 CD's or 1 CD and 1 DVD.

    These will contain ALL of the Windows install files and ALL Sony provided SW install files including all of the programs that you do not want. But on recover you can select what programs you want to install.

    Now running HP Pavilion a6528p, with Win7 64 Bit OS.

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    Re: Do I need these files? (XP sp2)

    Partition Magic is an excellent utility that I have used (infrequently but very effectively) for years. It was a Powerquest product until recently when Symantec bought it. Another new player that gets good reviews is Acronis Disk Director. I use another Acronis product TrueImage. And based on that and the reviews can recommend their products across the board. HTH <img src=/S/smile.gif border=0 alt=smile width=15 height=15>
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