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BIG Problem........I deleted C:\I386

I accidentally deleted it a long time ago, so there is no use trying to "recover" it (although i did try "winundelete" to no avail. Since i am now preparing for the inevitable hard drive failure (mine is over 3 years old), I am wondering what I can do.
My computer is an emachines t6212. I have never had a problem. I have installed a new soundcard, graphics card and extra ram, probably all before i deleted i386.
Now, my friend has an emachines, not the same model #, but he purchased it around the same time as I, back in 2005. His computer has C:\I386.
My question is, can i copy this folder onto a blank dvd and re-copy it onto my existing internal drive? I also have an external drive, and I am getting a 2nd internal drive. Should i copy it onto one of these drives?
WILL THIS EVEN WORK? I do not want to have to buy a copy of XP if i do not have too. And no, I do not know of anyone who has an actual XP installation disc.

Any help?
Thanks in advance,

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In reply to: BIG Problem........I deleted C:\I386

While all the emachines I ran into came with restore CDs or you can make such when you want later this is like leaving the spare time in Oregon and you head out then get a flat tire. Guess what, you have to pay up.

Here's something to try ->

I've never had to do that. But then again I make a pair of disaster kits for each PC.

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I do have the restore/recovery cd's

In reply to: Doubtful.

I did make a copy of recovery cd's when I first booted my computer 3 years ago. It was the first thing recommended to do, so I did it. But, after searching the net, apparently those cd's (4 of them) will only work if the folder "C:\I386" exists....not C:\Windows\I386, which i obviously have. And apparently, the only way to make a bootable cd is if C:\I386 exists.

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By the way...

In reply to: I do have the restore/recovery cd's

On recovery cd1 there is a "padlocked" icon labeled i386. Meaning, I think it will only work with the XP installation image in C:\I386 for recovery.

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Look at what i386 holds.

In reply to: I do have the restore/recovery cd's

I'll not list the files since it's all documented on the web. You made the restore CDs so why would I need to do or use anything else?

Also, why not create a \i386 then copy the files needed to there from where ever?

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