Folder I386

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allielorry

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I was wondering if anyone knew the importance of that folder and its many files. Every time I scan my computer for viruses, the computer freezes in one of the many files of that folder. I'm not sure if deleting some of those files will cause problems for my computer.
 
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These are your "cabinet" or backup files. You may actually have two I386 folders

c:\I386

and

C:\WINDOWS\ServicePackFiles\i386

The first contains the original operating system cabinet files -- the same that would be on a Microsoft System CD if you installed through, or have one.

The second contains backup files that came with any service pack upgrades. This may be the ONLY location where you can restore one of those from if they become damaged or deleted.

This doesn't mean that a malware program couldn't corrupt or place its own files in those directories, since they are not protected in those locations.

>> what is the file that is causing the problem? -- and do you have a duplicate version (check its properties) of it in another location, such as c:\windows\system32 which contains all the current running versions of those files -- and which folder IS protected.
 

allielorry

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It freezes in random I386 files. If I delete a file in the I386 folder, will it also be deleted from the system 32 folder? because sometimes it freezes in files that are URL's or JPG so I don't know if those can be deleted. The problem is that many times when I open that folder the computer will freeze or be slow. I also noticed that is has many more files than the System 32 folder.
 
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You shouldn't have ANY urls in that folder and few, if any, jpegs :rolleyes:

No you won't be deleting anything from the system32 folder if you delete from I386.

As for the importance of retaining the "legitimate" files in that folder -- do you have a Microsoft CD, and is this the original XP version or a service pack upgrade?

As I mentioned you may have duplicates in other locations.
 

allielorry

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My laptop is less than a year old so I have all the Cd's that came with it. The laptop came with Window XP already installed. I have a CD called "windows XP Home edition including service pack 1a". is that the one you are referring to and if so what do I do?
 
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Yes, that would have its own I386 folder which should be a near duplicate of what was originally in c:\I386.

You can browse it to verify.

Got a Dell, do you? :)
 

allielorry

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Lol yes its a Dell Inspiron 600. So I should insert the CD and check the files or delete my folder and install the CD again to the laptop?
 
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No don't do another install there is no reason for that.

But you can "browse" the CD to see the contents of its I386 folder.

As I mentioned, you should not have any urls or jpegs in this folder on the Hard drive. You can confirm that no such files are in the CD version.

I think you would be perfectly safe if you can simply wild card search the c:\I386 for *.jpeg or *.jpg and delete those or do the same for the *.url.

OOPs I take it back, there ARE some url files there, but they would not be critical by any means -- mostly associated with msn or microsoft money.
 
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The i386 directory (and subdirectories) are your installation files. Typically with a NT based OS like XP, they are compress files rather than CAB files like with Win9x.

I would not just delete the directory however. It is possible that the registry is pointing to that location for when it might need any additional files. Unless you are sure, I would just leave it alone at this point. Or if you think they may be infected, you can delete it and then copy it back from the CD.
 

allielorry

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The only reason i'm worried about that folder is because my computer has been freezing when I access specific websites. I was told that it was probably spyware or a virus that was causing that but the only folder causing me problems is I386.
 
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Start a SEPARATE thread for that, you can PM me if I miss it or you don't get an adequate response.

Post a HijackThis Scanlog to the thread:

Download and install HijackThis using the "self extractor". Run it and select "do a system scan and save the log file". Then copy/paste the contents of the log to a reply

http://www.thespykiller.co.uk/files/hijackthis_sfx.exe

Be sure to list the sites on which the freezes occur as this can be important in diagnosis.
 
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If you are sure you have the source files on a CD, and if the i386 directory is the only one causing problems, you could:

1. Delete the folder on your hard drive.
2. Scan for viruses and spyware.
3. See if there are any problems afterwards.
 
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