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Two Windows folders

Posted on 2002-04-03
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Last Modified: 2013-12-28
My father-in-law has two Windows folders on his Win98 computer (IE 5.5).  One is named windows and the other Win98.  Both are in C:\    He added Win98 after Windows crashed.  That restored Windows functionality.  

Now there are 442 objects and 34.6 MB in Windows and 381 objects and 110 MB in C:\Win98.   Win98 is driving his system, but there are many duplicate files shared by the
two folders - 5340 to be exact.  

As an experiment should I put Windows in the Recycle Bin and see whether Win98 is still able to keep things moving or do you suggest I do some additional diagnostic testing?
If so, what do you recommend?
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Question by:endless
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21 Comments
 
LVL 20

Expert Comment

by:Dufo G. Belski
ID: 6915621
Yes, go ahead and put it in the Recycle Bin.  He should be fine.
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Expert Comment

by:SysExpert
ID: 6915718
An easier option is to try to rename the Windows Dir to Owin or similar and reboot.

If it works OK for a while, then you can just delete it.

I hope this helps
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Expert Comment

by:ornicar
ID: 6915726
Prefer renaming it to Windows_disabled. In case Windows will not boot up, you will not be the lucky one with the folder in the trash!
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Expert Comment

by:ornicar
ID: 6915739
Systxpert, you type faster tham me!
Anyway its better to rename it, because if any file is in use, you will not be able to rename it.
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Expert Comment

by:trekie1
ID: 6915805
34.6 MB in Windows and 381 objects and 110 MB in C:\Win98....are you sure of these figures....dont seem like enough mgs in eather of those for windows (most windows folders are approx 300 mgs or better ......that 110 mg win98 folder sounds like maybe the size of the install folder/cab files from the cd...are you sure thats not what that one is??   mite want to investigate this a little futher
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Expert Comment

by:trekie1
ID: 6915817
another way to check is open the msdos.sys file and see what its pointing to ie  C:\windows   or C:\win98
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by:Wakeup
ID: 6915844
ornicar,  could just be 110mb in win98 if he didnt get a count of the siz eo files in the subdirectories.
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Expert Comment

by:ornicar
ID: 6915994
Yep, it really looks like the 'windows' one is the old system, and 'win98' is the new one:

<<He added Win98 after Windows crashed>>

Renaming the 'windows' folder is the safest method for an experiment.
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Author Comment

by:endless
ID: 6916312
msdos.sys is in c and c:\windows, not in C:\Win98.

Is there anything else I need to check?

I have a utility (SpaceExplorer downloaded from ZDNet)which allows me to check duplicate files so please ask me questions about my results so that you can help me

I don't understand this comment: "Prefer renaming it to Windows_disabled. In case Windows will not boot up, you will not be the lucky one with the folder in the trash."
Am I being advised to rename Windows to Windows_disabled
and to put Windows_Disabled in Recycle Bin?  How does this help me if I can't boot into Windows using the Win98 folder?
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Expert Comment

by:ornicar
ID: 6916467
Just renaming it, not moving it to the recycler.

I just meant that it would be easier to rename the folder to its original back from DOS than attempting to move the whole folder from an invisible folder called 'recycle bin'.

If you open msdos.sys in the c:\ folder, you will be able to check the lines WinDir and WinBootDir. They probably are showing c:\win98. If its the case, and if as you say Windoze was reinstalled into Win98, you could safely delete this folder, but the best is to simply rename it, just in case, then wait a couple of days before deleting it.
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Expert Comment

by:CrazyOne
ID: 6916735
You won't be able to move or rename the "Windows" folders if it is the one currently being used by the system any way. By trying to do either while Windows is RUNNING will result in an error message stating something to the affect "Windows is a system folder and cannot be moved or renamed".

Whether you get this message or not will be the answer to your question. If the error message pops up then the answer is NO you can't mess with this folder. If no error message then the answer is Yes you can move, rename, Delete or what ever you desire to with it.



The Crazy One
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Expert Comment

by:trekie1
ID: 6916737
endless look in C at the msdos.sys file ...if it says something like this then its useing the folder named windows.........
[Paths]
WinDir=c:\windows
WinBootDir=c:\windows
HostWinBootDrv=c

[Options]
BootMulti=1
BootGUI=1
DoubleBuffer=1
AutoScan=0
WinVer=4.10.2222
LOGO=0
;
;The following lines are required for compatibility with other programs.
;Do not remove them (MSDOS.SYS needs to


but if it says like this.....then its useing the folder named win98..................
WinDir=c:\win98
WinBootDir=c:\win98
HostWinBootDrv=c

[Options]
BootMulti=1
BootGUI=1


it sounds as though you really need to check these out  because lots of times one will put the cab/installion files in a folder named win98..........if you have a win98 cd compare the files in the win98 folder on the cd against the files in this folder...........reason for concern is its unusual for someone to install windows and name it win98 rather than windows.......compare the names of the sub folders against both folders.....if its a cab folder then it will only have 2 regualer folders inside it with the rest being cab files whereas the regualer window folder will have lots of regualer sub folders inside along with files

just dont want you to mess up :>)
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Expert Comment

by:trekie1
ID: 6916738
well hells bells Spence :>) why didn't you post that before I did all that typeing.....yours is the easyest way to check
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Expert Comment

by:CrazyOne
ID: 6916748
Hehehe James because I am feeling ornery today and wanted to mess with you a little bit. LOL
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Author Comment

by:endless
ID: 6918202
The mysdos.sys file is C:\ looks "washed out" and it points to Win98

[Paths]
WinDir=C:\WIN98
WinBootDir=C:\WIN98
HostWinBootDrv=C
UninstallDir=C:\

[Options]
BootMulti=1
BootGUI=1
DoubleBuffer=1
;
;The following lines are required for compatibility with other programs.
;Do not remove them (MSDOS.SYS needs to be >1024 bytes).
;xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxa
;xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxb
;xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxc
;xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxd
;xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxe
;xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxf
;xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxg
;xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxh
;xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxi
;xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxj
;xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxk
;xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxl
;xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxm
;xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxn
;xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxo
;xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxp
;xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxq
;xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxr
;xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxs
AutoScan=1
WinVer=4.10.2222


The msdos.sys file in C:\Windows points to Windows

[Paths]
WinDir=C:\WINDOWS
WinBootDir=C:\WINDOWS
HostWinBootDrv=C

[Options]
BootMulti=0
BootGUI=1
DoubleBuffer=1
;
;The following lines are required for compatibility with other programs.
;Do not remove them (MSDOS.SYS needs to be >1024 bytes).
;xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxa
;xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxb
;xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxc
;xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxd
;xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxe
;xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxf
;xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxg
;xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxh
;xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxi
;xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxj
;xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxk
;xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxl
;xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxm
;xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxn
;xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxo
;xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxp
;xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxq
;xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxr
;xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxs

So which msdos.sys file is critical, the "washed out" one in C or the other in C:\Windows.

I can rename the Windows folder.  Should I?  

Are there any other files whose location or other characteristics I should check out before I try to boot up with the Win98 folder?
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Expert Comment

by:trekie1
ID: 6918258
the file in C is the one that tells the story...if it says windir=C:\win98 then that is your windows folder being used and if you can rename the windows dir then its of no use to you and can be deleted or renamed...........rename it and reboot and run
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Accepted Solution

by:
ornicar earned 200 total points
ID: 6918750
That's what I said previously:

<<If you open msdos.sys in the c:\ folder, you will be able to check the lines WinDir and WinBootDir.
They probably are showing c:\win98. If its the case, and if as you say Windoze was reinstalled into
Win98, you could safely delete this folder, but the best is to simply rename it, just in case, then
wait a couple of days before deleting it. >>

The c:\windows folder is not used anymore by your system. I don't know what msdos.sys is doing in c:\windows folder. Totally useless, this file is used at boot up and is always at the root c:\
0
 
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Expert Comment

by:CrazyOne
ID: 6919206
Why go through all this hassle when there is an easier way to determine if the "Windows" folder is the sytem folder or not.

I Repeat this all you need to do. You don't need to keep jumping through a lot of hoops to know if you can remove this folder or not. Just try what I commented on. It is the easist, quickest way to find out. :>)

"You won't be able to move or rename the "Windows" folders if it is the one currently being used by the system any way. By trying to do either while Windows is RUNNING will result in an error message stating something to the affect "Windows is a system folder and cannot be moved or renamed".

Whether you get this message or not will be the answer to your question. If the error message pops up then the answer is NO you can't mess with this folder. If no error message then the answer is Yes you can move, rename, Delete or what ever you desire to with it."
0
 
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Expert Comment

by:GUEEN
ID: 6924217
I agree with crazy on this one - less then 10 seconds to get the answer...
0
 
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Expert Comment

by:CrazyOne
ID: 6924222
Thanks Bev. :>)
0
 

Author Comment

by:endless
ID: 6927910
Several people offered great advice.  Probably these people should share the points.  I liked the tip about msdos.sys.  Being able to rename one folder and not the other was right to the point.

Thanks!
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