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delete cab files?

pcain
pcain asked
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Last Modified: 2013-12-16
Is it ok to delete my Windows\Options\Cabs ? These take up 71 megs of drive space and i'd like the space...I have the CD (and floppy backups) so if I need a file i'll be okay.  Yes, No, Maybe So? Please give a detailed answer...
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Commented:
I don't think anyone here will come out and say, "Sure, blow them away, it won't be a problem."  You never know what quirks can blow up your system, and no one wants to be responsible for that.  So back up your system, and read my experience with these:

As you know, the cab files contain system files.  They're used during installation, of course.  And when you change your system configuration (for example, adding or changing hardware) the system goes to the cab files to get drivers.

I've run systems without cab files just fine.  What happens is that the system may look in the old cab file location for the drivers (and other files) when it needs to install a file.  If it does not find the file, it will ask you to provide a path to a different location.  You put in your CDROM and tell it to go there.

Sometimes when I don't have the CDROM around, and I'm changing the system around, Windows will ask for files that it would have gotten from the cabs.  I obviously can't tell it to go to the CDROM I don't have.  However, it does ask for one file at a time.  If it finds the rest of the files you need in the same location, which in the case of the CDROM it does, then it won't ask you again.  But, if you've provided a location for a file, and it needs another, and can't find it in the same location, it will prompt you again for a new location for the next file it needs.

Anyway, when I don't have the CDROM on me, and I think the files are on my system (they will be, if you had a card installed and running under Windows 95, then took it out, then put it back in) you can tell it to look in the directories that you think the file was originally installed into.

For example, when I mess around with my ethernet cards, I am asked for files that it will put into C:\WINDOWS and C:\WINDOWS\SYSTEM.  I tell it to go look in C:\WINDOWS for the file.  If it does not find it there, I tell it to look in C:\WINDOWS\SYSTEM.  Occasionally it asks for a file that was stashed elsewhere.  Then, I run Find File in the Start menu, and go search the hard drive for the file in question, then give Windows the path I get.

If you don't actually have the file, and there's another machine around that does, you can copy it to a floppy, put the floppy in your machine, and tell Windows that it is there, and it will grab it and put it into the right place (presuming you are staying legal from a license perspective.)

Hopefully you can come to your own conclusion about what to do.  Good luck.

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Commented:
Thanks, I think I'll blow them away as I don't plan to add anything new for at least a couple of months...
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