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On my system there's a file WindowsXP-KB936929-SP3-x86-ENU.exe in /home/kshitiz/.PlayOnLinux/ressources

Why does Wine need this file? If it needs it for emulation, how is it that it is able to emulate Windows XP without downloading the XP setup?

And I don't see the extracted contents of that file. How is it being used?

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    Wine is no emulator so it does not emulate XP ;) – Rinzwind Dec 7 '12 at 8:27
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I was just wondering the same, and like is the case with open software, a look at the source provides the answer. Winetricks uses that Service Pack file to extract a couple of DLLs, namely

esent.dll (MS Extensible Storage Engine)
gdiplus.dll (MS GDI+)
mf.dll (MS Media Foundation)
msftedit.dll (Microsoft RichEdit Control)
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Wine is a compatibility layer. It duplicates functions of Windows by providing alternative implementations of the DLLs that Windows programs call, and a process to substitute for the Windows NT kernel.

WindowsXP-KB936929-SP3-x86-ENU is downloaded automatically by Play On Linux. Play On Linux uses pre-made custom scripts to install software. For instance if you would install Command And Conquer: Red Alert 3 the log file shows, amongst a lot of other lines this:

09/17/12 13:46:15 - [POL_GPG_install_key] Message: Importing PlayOnLinux public key
09/17/12 13:46:16 - [POL_Source] Message: POL GPG : Good signature
09/17/12 13:46:16 - [POL_Download_Resource] Message: Downloading resource     
http://download.microsoft.com/download/d/3/0/d30e32d8-418a-469d-b600-f32ce3edf42d/
WindowsXP-KB936929-SP3-x86-ENU.exe
09/17/12 13:46:23 - [POL_Download_Resource] Message: Resource already present

That file is needed for service pack 3 and holds fixes or changes to network tools.

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