What is this File on my desk top?

Discussion in 'other security issues & news' started by FireDancer, Sep 10, 2003.

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  1. FireDancer

    FireDancer Registered Member

    Joined:
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    Posts:
    316
    Hi all,

    this particular file keeps popping up on my desk top can someone please tell me what it is and how to get rid of it?

    In its properties it is MS DOS name ~ and it is marked as Archive only ... I have no clue but want it gone!!!

    OS is WIN98SE

    Regards,
    FireDancer :mad:
     

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  2. LowWaterMark

    LowWaterMark Administrator

    Joined:
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    Location:
    New England
    More often than not, the file named "~" that appears on your desktop is a backup copy of your Windows Address Book (or contact list) from Outlook Express. A bug with how the backup copy is handled causes the file to end up on the desktop instead of down in its proper folder. If you rename the file to something.wab it can be opened with OE.

    Technically, if you look at it in Notepad, you ought to be able to make out some of the names of your contacts. Granted, the file is not just plain text, so it'll look strange, but you can make out some of the information.

    Threads popup in security and windows forums fairly frequently on this topic, and yet, to date, I don't know of a 100% fix to the problem. Some people say a certain Windows Update (April 2003, Cumulative Patch for Outlook Express (330994)) caused the problem, yet others say the problem existed months prior to that update even being released. Still, I haven't seen a definite fix noted.

    Since it is only a backup copy, you can delete it, or find the location on your system where the main address book is and move/rename this one back there, but, they say once this starts happening, it keeps happening, perhaps even everytime you edit an entry in the address book. :doubt:

    If you've deleted the file, then go make a change to your address book and see if that isn't the cause of the file returning to the desktop.

    The image below is where my address book db (and backup) are stored on Windows XP. ("owner" is the name of the user account I'm in at the moment.)
     

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  3. FireDancer

    FireDancer Registered Member

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2003
    Posts:
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    Hi LWM,

    Well thanks for the info on it I guess im gonna try to hunt it down and either move or rename it see if that helps. I tried to open it to look at it and Windows told me very nicley :) that it was to large to open in notepad :( . I guess as long as it is not harmfull or posing a security threat I can live with it for now but it is mucking up my pretty desk top ... LOL :) thanks for the 411. I will let ya know if I find a way to get rid of this bug :p

    Regards,
    ~Fire~Dancer~
     
  4. Pieter_Arntz

    Pieter_Arntz Spyware Veteran

    Joined:
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    Hi FireDancer,

    According to PCHell the only way to stop this behavior is to uninstall the patch that causes the problem, which is not recommended, because it leaves you with a security vulnerability>

    Info: http://www.pchell.com/support/tildefile.shtml

    Regards,

    Pieter
     
  5. FireDancer

    FireDancer Registered Member

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2003
    Posts:
    316
    Hi Pieter,

    Thanks for the link... ha ha ha I deleted it before you posted but I did make a change to address book to see if it comes back if not ... well lets just say I am not to worried about backing up my address book :). Will post back if it comes back. And if the little bugger does come back I will infact back it up useing the instructions in the thread you dropped for me :)

    Thanks guys,
    regards
    ~Fire~Dancer~ ;)
     
  6. Scott

    Scott Guest

    Thanks for all the info everyone, I just found this file on my system too. In years to come, there will be a special word in the dictionary for the paranoia which results from finding weird files full of your addresses on your system.

    I'm not one of your traditional Microsoft bashers, but I find it hard to believe that they continue to release stuff with bugs like this. I run a software development company, and if we did this to one of our clients, we'd be looking for another source of income. It must be great to be in a position to treat your customers with such disdain.

    Anyway. This forum looks like a great source of info. I'll keep it on my list :) Thanks again for saving me a great deal of time and worry!


    Scott
     
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