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A TRULY hidden folder


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#1 svaric2

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Posted 20 January 2009 - 11:42 PM

Alright so here's the prob...

First off I've got vista home premium, and there's this folder, named "!", in my user directory that I can't see, and I already chose to display hidden files and folders. The path is supposed to be C:\Users\myname\! and I have proven it exists because when I try and create a new folder named "!" in my user directory, it says that this folder already exists, and gives me the option to merge it.

Once I merge it, it dissapears. I've tried opening command prompt and typing "DEL C:\Users\myname\!\" and it asks me am I sure, and I put "Y" and hit enter. After hitting enter the blinking line goes down one space and I can't type anything or do anything further, I have to close command prompt.

I'm stumped :huh:


Thanx in advance for any help.

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#2 garmanma

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Posted 21 January 2009 - 07:04 PM

The only mention I can find about a folder with an exclamation point is having to do with an ipod and/or itunes. Do you have either one?

FYI, when searching, you have to spell out "exclamation point" because search engines do not recognize the symbol
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#3 InterestinglyAverage

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Posted 22 January 2009 - 10:50 AM

Interesting. I tried creating a folder \!\ in my user directory on Vista Business and it let me, so that leads me to believe that this is not an OS-related folder. I suspect that the file was marked as a protected Operating System Directory, though, which would cause it to remain hidden even after you select the option to show hidden files. (This is sometimes called a "super hidden" folder, because it doesn't show up when hidden files are set to visible) First, are you able to view the folder on the command line? (At the command line, enter dir !) If not, it is possible there is something else trying to hide the folder.

You can also try viewing the folder in explorer, by going to the same menu where you selected to view hidden files and folders. A few options below that is "Hide protected operating system files (Recommended)" see if unchecking this box displays the folder. As soon as you are done, though, re-enable the hiding of protected files.
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#4 svaric2

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Posted 22 January 2009 - 08:27 PM

I managed to see what's inside the folder by restarting the computer in recovery mode and voila I saw the ! folder, opened it and saw a gazillion shortcuts of porn avi's. WTF? I never knew of this, and ive scanned my computer for viruses and spyware and it was always clean. How it got there I haven't a clue. If itt doesn't have anything to do with operating system files or anything, how the heck was this folder hidden like this?

Anyways I can see it in recovery mode but can't delete it or anything. Isn't there some msDOS magic trick for deleting something like this? Its taking up like 1 gig of space!

Thanks for the help.

#5 svaric2

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Posted 22 January 2009 - 08:31 PM

Nevermind, I did it.

I just opened up command prompt, typed in dir !, and it showed me everything in the folder, (like 10,000 files, holy crap!!!)

then I typed "DEL DIR !" and put Yes and it deleted it. Now its gone. Sweet.

Thanks for your advice guys!

#6 I.T. Works

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Posted 22 January 2009 - 10:24 PM

Man I didn't see that coming! :huh:
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#7 InterestinglyAverage

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Posted 26 January 2009 - 10:53 AM

If you are the only user of the computer, and there is nothing on the system that should have caused that folder to exist, I would now take a look at your security - uninstall your a/v and firewall and install clean versions downloaded from a clean computer, check your router configuration, reset passwords, etc. Basically, if you didn't put the files there, and nobody else did, it is possible the computer was compromised. ! is often used in naming shared files, so it is possible your computer was being used to host these files for resharing, so finding any backdoors and exploits on the system should be a priority now.
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#8 svaric2

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Posted 26 January 2009 - 08:34 PM

I'm not the only user, my bro's been on my computer a few times. Time to open up a can of whoopass!!!!!!!




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