Install of Windows from I386

By groovycat ยท 6 replies
Jul 11, 2012
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  1. hi Techspot helpers,

    I recently got the Ramnit virus on my computer and have been advised by Broni, on the Techspot forum, that I have to format the HD and do a reinstall of Windows (link to other post ).

    In the next couple of days I hope to complete the migration of files and the reinstall my OS, but have a few questions:
    1.I have a legitimate copy of XP, but don't have the disk, so was wondering if I can run the formatting and install from the Windows I386 folder?
    2. Can this specific folder be scanned to ensure 100% that there is no virus (I understand from Broni that ramnit is very aggressive)?
    3. Would it be better to copy the folder to a CD/USB and run the formatting/install from there or can it be done from the HD?
    4. I have the Windows product key on a sticker on my computer, but do I need any other information from my machine before performing the formatting/install?

    Many thanks,
  2. Cobalt006

    Cobalt006 TS Evangelist Posts: 1,777   +242

    You may be better off finding someone who has a window Xp disk. To borrow. You can use your key.
  3. groovycat

    groovycat TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 18

    Thanks for the suggestion.
    Unfortunately, it's not an option for me; I don't know anyone with XP.
  4. groovycat

    groovycat TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 18

    Hi all,
    just wondering if ther are any other suggestions/responses to my original post?
    Many thanks
  5. Cobalt006

    Cobalt006 TS Evangelist Posts: 1,777   +242

    I have never tried to reinstall windows threw I386 folder. So I can not say if it will work or not. Yes you can scan one folder at a time with with your virus program. But if were me I would be a little worried what kind of damage this virus caused. Is this a retail computer or home built? I know Dell and Hp you can order recovery disk for the make and model. They run about 15.00 to 20.00 dollars. Other then that maybe someone else will have a good suggestion.
  6. LookinAround

    LookinAround Ex Tech Spotter Posts: 6,491   +184

    I can't answer your specific questions but can provide some info that may help (at worst, I suppose you have nothing to lose other then some time and effort)

    1. I've never tried it but have seen guides that tell how to create an XP install CD from i386. Here's an example I found. (again, note I've never tried it and I simply googled to find the link to the guide I provided so can't tell how well it will work or not.

    2. One bit of good advice I see they did include: backup your drivers before you attempt to reinstall. I happen to use Double Driver for my driver backup

    3. Before you wipe the drive, you can also try to recover Windows and some other product IDs you may need using prodkey from Nirsoft. Note: Some antivirus may block this download or immediately delete the download file because prodkey uses some registry techniques similar to some viruses. But I can attest to Nirsoft in general (he makes great free tools) and to prodkey in particular (I've used it and had to list it as an exception with my own A/V before I could use it as my own A/V kept deleting the download immediately after it completed)

    4. Take a look through Add/Remove programs and make sure you know to reinstall any products in there you may need

  7. rocky207

    rocky207 TS Rookie

    Most people cannot figure out how to install Windows XP, 2000, or 2003 from the I386 folder. It is really quite simple. They are looking for a file named Setup.exe or Install.exe. Well, it's neither of them. If you have Vista or 2008 or newer like Windows 7 there is no I386 folder that you can install from. I guess Microsoft did not want just anyone to install Windows without inserting the CD and using the Autorun. But Autorun does not work if you are installing from a DOS window, so now what.

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