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

Posted on 2004-03-29
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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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Question by:ttterk
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Expert Comment

by:222441
ID: 10708757
The I386 folder can be located anywhere.  Windows has a setting where you can set the location of the setup (I386) files.  
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Author Comment

by:ttterk
ID: 10708805
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.
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Expert Comment

by:djxerx
ID: 10708864
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.
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Author Comment

by:ttterk
ID: 10709062
Neither "Application Data" nor "i386" are listed there; all that's listed is C:\WINDOWS\Drivers\ousb2, F:\USBTOIDE, and C:
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Expert Comment

by:222441
ID: 10709124
The setting that says sourcepath is what gives the location of the setup files and not installation sources.  
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Expert Comment

by:222441
ID: 10709138
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
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Author Comment

by:ttterk
ID: 10710150
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?
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Expert Comment

by:222441
ID: 10711645
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?
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Author Comment

by:ttterk
ID: 10720076
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?

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Author Comment

by:ttterk
ID: 10896233
I guess nobody knows but Microsoft (if they do), so I'm going to ask this one be closed.
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modulo earned 0 total points
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Closed, 500 points refunded.

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