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Displaying Mysterious Invisible Files.


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#1 ulrichburke

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Posted 04 November 2007 - 07:04 AM

Dear Anyone!

My comp's got a 19gig hard drive, 1 Gig RAM, Windows XP (Actually BOUGHT, complete with holograms on disk!)

Few weeks back, discovered a large black hole on my small hard drive. 11 Gigabytes had vanished. By which I mean, I added up the shown sizes of every folder on the hard drive and it came up 11gig short.

So I downloaded Avantquest Fix-It Utilities Version 8 and did a hunt on the hard disk. Now comes the bit that sounds nuttier than a constipated squirrel. There were 20316 (That's right - Twenty Thousand, Three Hundred and Sixteen!) zipfiles on the hard drive, a very large amount of them in the FONTS folder. But they're not fonts - according to their names they're films, fascinating looking software, games, utility packs. Most of them are 113,241 - I would THINK that's K, it doesn't give the units - long. The problem is, Avantquest can't delete them because it says they're 'locked to another package', but it doesn't tell me what the other package is. Windows can't see them, even with Show Hidden Folders/Files checked, so as far as it's concerned they're not there and Windows can't delete them. And they've clogged my entire hard drive!

Now if I could wave a magic wand - look away now if easily shocked! - I'd love to keep the movies and software on DVD and dump the rest. If that's not possible, I just want to delete the lot. The problem is - how? And how the heck did they get there in the first place - if I delete them, are they just going to reappear again?

One thing I do know is, I didn't download any of them. I don't know anything about them, I just know they're there, they're all in the FONTS file and I want rid of them. Yep, I did think of putting all the fonts in a separate folder, deleting the FONTS file to get rid of the weird stuff then recreating the Fonts folder and putting the Fonts back, trouble was, that didn't work. The folder got deleted, then I recreated it, put the fonts back, did another scan with Avantquest Fix-It Utilities - and the weird stuff was still there. Because Windows couldn't see them, it couldn't delete them, at least that's what I THINK the reason must be.

Anyone got any ideas?

Chris.

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#2 PlantPerson

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Posted 04 November 2007 - 07:42 AM

Sounds like something that malware would do. Have you run any virus/adware/spybot scans?

#3 hamluis

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Posted 04 November 2007 - 07:46 AM

Do a clean install...or believe Windows.

The only invisible files in Windows are system files and they can be easily made visible for users knowledgeable enough not to screw them up.

Louis

#4 ulrichburke

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Posted 04 November 2007 - 11:33 AM

Dear Louis.

So what are the 20,000 film names/software names Avantquest says are on my hard drive? Why have I only got 1gig hard drive space free when all that's on there is OpenOffice and Windows itself?? How come the space taken up by the 20,000 files you say aren't there exactly equates to the rest of my hard drive - that's why I've had to remove all my other stuff!

To unpack the Windows XP I've downloaded so I can reinstall it I have to get rid of enough files to have enough space to unpack it - the system keeps telling me it can't install from my old CD version so I guess that the version you buy's a Microsoft one-shot deal, right? I think it's finding the passkey, realising it's been installed before (which it has - on this computer!) and therefore saying it can't be installed again. Which is why I downloaded another version, which I can't unzip to put on a CD - I haven't got enough hard drive left.

They're real files of SOMETHING, even if they're not what they say they are. And yeah, everyone, I DO know they're the sort of thing malware do. Norton's got rid of a chunk of malware I didn't know I had, but I think these mysterious files are the detritus the malware's left behind.

As before, how the heck do I get rid of enough of these stupid files to at least unzip the new version of Windows so I can install it? Louis, I know about the 'show hidden files' command, but I also know that that doesn't show ALL hidden files - those in the boot area, for example. Surely Avantquest wouldn't be finding thousands of files that simply wern't there?

Yours with respect

Chris.

#5 DanC1186

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Posted 04 November 2007 - 12:44 PM

Do you use peer-2-peer software of any sort??? That seems like the only explanation for the movies and software

#6 hamluis

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Posted 04 November 2007 - 02:14 PM

I am not familiar with Avantquest or its software and don't feel compelled to try to certify the accuracy of such.

Maybe that's where you should start...

Louis




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