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Why does the i386 folder show in Explorer as "Application Data"

ttterk
ttterk asked
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Last Modified: 2011-09-20
Pure curiosity motivates this question. Up until today, when I needed to get into the i386 folder I'd do a search for the folder name and double-click on the result in order to be taken to an Explorer window of the folder's contents. Today I FINALLY noticed that the folder I'm taken to is named "Application Data" and is therefore much easier to find/get to.

Why did MS do this, and how did they do it? The first question is still just curiosity, but I can see possible uses for the answer to the second.
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Commented:
The I386 folder can be located anywhere.  Windows has a setting where you can set the location of the setup (I386) files.  

Author

Commented:
Ok, I'll bite. Where is this setting?

I've found a lot of arcane settings just mousing about, but I've not seen this one.

Commented:
Check the registry under:
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Setup\Installation Sources

Never seen one located under application data before.  But that could be done.

Author

Commented:
Neither "Application Data" nor "i386" are listed there; all that's listed is C:\WINDOWS\Drivers\ousb2, F:\USBTOIDE, and C:

Commented:
The setting that says sourcepath is what gives the location of the setup files and not installation sources.  

Commented:
check this out:

http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?scid=kb;en-us;811260&Product=winxp

although this is for a different problem, it does give you the registry key

Author

Commented:
We're getting off topic here. Let me reiterate the questions:

1. Why does the i386 folder show in Explorer as "Application Data"?
2. How did MS get the i386 folder to show under a different folder name, not just in Explorer but in other file managers like PowerDesk?

Commented:
Could you please let us know what the above registry key value is for sourcepath on your machine.  I don't understand what you mean.  If its shown as "application data", then how do you know its the I386 folder?  Are you looking at the files inside and this is how you know?
where is this "application data" folder?  Is it at the root of your drive or in its normal place?

Author

Commented:
Q: "Could you please let us know what the above registry key value is for sourcepath on your machine."
A: Believe I did, listed above: HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Setup\Installation Sources encloses C:\WINDOWS\Drivers\ousb2, F:\USBTOIDE, and C:

Q: "If its shown as "application data", then how do you know its the I386 folder?"
A: From original question: ". . .when I needed to get into the i386 folder I'd do a search for the folder name and double-click on the result in order to be taken to an Explorer window of the folder's contents. Today I FINALLY noticed that the folder I'm taken to is named "Application Data" . . ."

Q: "Are you looking at the files inside and this is how you know?"
A: See answer above.

Q: "where is this "application data" folder?  Is it at the root of your drive or in its normal place?"
A: Aha! A question not already answered! It does indeed reside in the root directory of the C:\ drive.

I guess I need to ask another pair of questions to see if my original questions make sense to anybody.

1. Does everyone else's i386 folder reside on the root directory of the boot drive in plain sight?
and
2. Is my situation strictly a Dell anomaly?

Author

Commented:
I guess nobody knows but Microsoft (if they do), so I'm going to ask this one be closed.
Commented:
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