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  1. #1
    Platinum Lounger
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    Required XP startup files in root directory (any)

    This document lists the four, perhaps five, essential XP startup files which live in the root directory.

    Can anyone suggest why an XP install produces a number of zero-byte files:<UL><LI>AUTOEXEC.BAT<LI>CONFIG.SYS<LI>IO.SYS <LI>MSDOS.SYS[/list]and, although they are doing no harm, would problems be caused if they were deleted?

    Thanks!

    John
    <font face="Script MT Bold"><font color=blue><big><big>John</big></big></font color=blue></font face=script>

    Ita, esto, quidcumque...

  2. #2
    Uranium Lounger viking33's Avatar
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    Re: Required XP startup files in root directory (any)

    John,
    I'm not sure WHY those files are produced on a reinstall but I have long since deleted Autoexec.bat and Config.sys without any apparent problems.

    I have also recently renamed the other two, IO.sys and MSDOS.sys temporarily without any problems thus far. You do get the warning about changing a System filename but it does allow you to do so.

    WHY they are there???
    BOB
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  3. #3
    Uranium Lounger
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    Re: Required XP startup files in root directory (any)

    Those files exist for backwards compatibility with MS-DOS based programs. Although they probably aren't doing anything for you, they're infinitesimally small and aren't hurting anything... why are you in a hurry to delete them?
    -Mark

  4. #4
    Uranium Lounger viking33's Avatar
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    Re: Required XP startup files in root directory (any)

    Mark,
    ---------------------------
    why are you in a hurry to delete them?

    -----------------------------
    Kinda fits in the category of junk files. Why keep them if you don't need them?
    Have you kept a legacy 8 track tape player around, in case you need to play an 8 track tape? <img src=/S/grin.gif border=0 alt=grin width=15 height=15> <img src=/S/nope.gif border=0 alt=nope width=15 height=15>

    Of course, if push came to shove, you could always create an empty autoexec.bat or config.sys file, etc.
    BOB
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  5. #5
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    Re: Required XP startup files in root directory (a

    I've always believed, as does Mark, that the files continue to be created for "legacy" compatibility reasons, i.e. if one were to need to install "DOS" drivers for a hardware device required from a command prompt such as a CD drive. It seems to me that I have seen somewhere in The Lounge, someone being instructed to install DOS drivers in Config.Sys and Autoexec.Bat. What's your concern with the files, John?

  6. #6
    Uranium Lounger
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    Re: Required XP startup files in root directory (a

    Are you kidding? <img src=/S/nuts.gif border=0 alt=nuts width=15 height=15> I love my 8-track! <img src=/S/laugh.gif border=0 alt=laugh width=15 height=15> Were the files actually taking up any space or causing problems, I could see getting rid of them. As it is, though, I file them away with "things I can't be bothered with" because there are usually far more pressing concerns. There's also the part of me that doesn't want to troubleshoot some oddball problem due to the fact that I was overzealous in my housekeeping - I can imagine (and have been there) hunting for the solution to a problem and frittering away a few hours only to find out that I was the cause to begin with!
    -Mark

  7. #7
    5 Star Lounger st3333ve's Avatar
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    Re: Required XP startup files in root directory (any)

    I'm with Mark 120% on this one. Not only are those files not taking up any space (or doing any harm), and not only might their disappearance lead to some unanticipated glitch someday -- those files also have undeniable nostalgia value.

    DOS, Windows for Workgroups 3.11 and PCTools' Desktop Shell. Now those were the days. <img src=/S/cheers.gif border=0 alt=cheers width=30 height=16>

  8. #8
    Uranium Lounger viking33's Avatar
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    Re: Required XP startup files in root directory (any)

    -----------------------
    Not only are those files not taking up any space
    -----------------------

    Not true. Even a zero byte file takes up one sector on the HD. That size can vary depending on how your drive is set up, but it DOES take up space.
    Add up a lot of them and you can have significant waste.
    BOB
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  9. #9
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    Re: Required XP startup files in root directory (any)

    I wouldn't call 4 files "a lot", and taking up a miniscule fraction of a percent of your disk space (assuming you have a typical disk these days that already has a lot of stuff on it), is pretty close to "not taking up any space".

  10. #10
    Uranium Lounger viking33's Avatar
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    Re: Required XP startup files in root directory (any)

    "Pretty Close" only counts in the game of horse shoes.

    I'm talking about those four files and any other zero or small size files on your HD. Remove all the txt files and EULA files and other useless files taking up space and you have a lot of space total.

    I'm also a "neatnik" type. Don't like useless stuffjunk sitting in my drive. If you are a "so what" type, leave them there. Your choice. <img src=/S/scratch.gif border=0 alt=scratch width=25 height=29>
    BOB
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    Long ago, there was a time when men cursed and beat on the ground with sticks. It was called witchcraft.
    Today it is called golf!

  11. #11
    Plutonium Lounger
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    Re: Required XP startup files in root directory (a

    Hate to beat a dead horse here, Bob, but not only is he right about FOUR files, but my thinking is that we're talking about a directory entry or two, not actual hard drive file real estate. See attachment for example. With gazillions of gigabytes of space on my hard drive, I sure wouldn't worry about a handful of files that aren't hurting anything.

  12. #12
    Uranium Lounger viking33's Avatar
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    Re: Required XP startup files in root directory (a

    Al,
    See my post above.

    Different strokes for different folks! <img src=/S/smile.gif border=0 alt=smile width=15 height=15>
    BOB
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    Long ago, there was a time when men cursed and beat on the ground with sticks. It was called witchcraft.
    Today it is called golf!

  13. #13
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    Re: Required XP startup files in root directory (any)

    Certainly, but I'm only referring to the specific concern of those four (five?) itsy-bitsy "system" text files. If you don't KNOW that a file is useless (and a concern here is whether some program somewhere might be prehistoric enough to expect those particular files to be there) and the file takes up negligible space, then leave it be.

    I agree 1000% that all the readme's, EULAs, installation log files, etc. can be tossed.

  14. #14
    Uranium Lounger viking33's Avatar
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    Re: Required XP startup files in root directory (any)

    Well, whatever.
    I think we are at the point as Big Al said. Beating a dead horse. But... discussion is good.
    BOB
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    Long ago, there was a time when men cursed and beat on the ground with sticks. It was called witchcraft.
    Today it is called golf!

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