Eliminate the need for the Windows CD for updates!


How do I eliminate the need to find my Windows CD whenever I change something on my system?


This question was answered on December 23, 2000. Much of the information contained herein may have changed since posting.

This is an intermediate tip for somewhat experienced users! If you are new to the computer world, give this information to your GEEK friends to perform on your system!

Most computer manufacturers place all of the installation files for Windows directly on the hard drive during the manufacturing process so that future calls for the Windows setup file will not require the user to insert the Windows disk to make changes If you have a brand name computer, you probably already have this configuration on your system

This is only necessary if your system does not already have the Setup "Cabs" (cabinet or compressed installation files) on the Hard Drive or if the Cabs are present but Windows constantly asks you to insert your CD when looking for files

To check to see if your system already has the "Cab" files loaded onto the hard drive, do the following:

Use the Find utility (Start/Find/Files or Folders...) to look for *.cab files on the C: drive If you find a list of dozens of files that includes precopy1.cab, mini.cab, Win9x_1.cab, etc., you already have the cab files loaded on your hard drive and should skip to step #5

If you did not find the Windows cab files on your hard drive, do the following:

1) Place your Windows CD in the CD-Rom Drive Close the autostart if it runs Make sure you are using the exact same version CD as you have installed on the system VERY IMPORTANT! IF YOU ARE NOT SURE, DO NOT PROCEED!

2) Click "Start", "Run", type "command" and click "OK".

3) Create a folder for the Cabs (MD WIN98) I usually use C:\WIN98 (for 98...) Change to the folder you just created (CD WIN98) and type

"Copy X:\win9X" where "X"=your CD-Rom Drive letter and 9X=the version you are copying.



"md Win98"

"cd Win98"

"copy d:\win98"

4) When the files are finished copying, type "Exit" to return to Windows.

5) (Win98 only, Win95 skip to #6) Click "Start", "Run", type "scanregw" and click "OK" Click "Yes" if it prompts you

6) Click "Start", "Run", type "regedit" and click "OK".

7) Navigate to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE/Software/Microsoft/Windows/CurrentVersion/Setup.

8) In the righthand pane, scroll down and locate the "SourcePath" String.

9) Double click on the String Name and modify the "Value" to reflect the folder that your Cab files are located in and then click "OK".

10) Close Regedit Under most circumstances, Windows will never ask you to insert your Windows CD again.

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Posted by Ken of Data Doctors on December 23, 2000