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Windows Installation/cab Files on a Hard Disk
Last updated: 3/11/02

Q.  I have a ton of files in my options\cabs folder. Can I delete these or do they have to stay there?

A.  Usually it's c:\windows\options\cabs for 95 OSR2 and 98 or c:\windows \options\install or c:\windows \options\cabs for Me?  Cab files are compressed files containing one or more files.  Microsoft uses them to store Windows and Applications on CD and floppy disks.  These files, about 90 to 120 MBytes of them, were copied there during the installation process (see http://duxcw.com/digest/Howto/software/windows/cabs/movecabs.htm) and then (usually) used to install Windows from them instead of from the Windows CD.  Whenever Windows needs a driver or file it will look for it there instead of the CD (if the Windows registry is configured correctly). This will save you the trouble of hunting for the Windows CD every time Windows needs a file. They can be removed if you have the Windows CD and it works OK. I would advise not deleting them if you have a manufacturer's recovery disk and not a separate Windows CD until you have verified that you can in fact access the cab files on the recovery CD (without doing a recovery).  You may have to point Windows to the CD if it needs a file (or one could change the registry to point to the CD for the installation files).

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