Results 1 to 6 of 6
  1. #1
    Lounger
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    Liverpool,merseyside,UK
    Posts
    27
    Thanks
    3
    Thanked 5 Times in 1 Post

    Strange files in Archived Access and excel folder

    Hi I have just discovered duplicate file entries in this format pr99.xls~MUTMO4Q2, in an archived folder containing access and excel files. I cannot open them, does anyone know what they are, how they could have got there and if they are malware? They all say they were accessed last night at 00:08hrs.

    Thanks in advance.

  2. #2
    Silver Lounger
    Join Date
    Mar 2014
    Location
    Forever West
    Posts
    2,072
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 259 Times in 248 Posts
    Archived files and Folders frequently are compressed and/or encrypted, usually by the program/s used to archive them. Could that be the case here?

  3. #3
    Lounger
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    Liverpool,merseyside,UK
    Posts
    27
    Thanks
    3
    Thanked 5 Times in 1 Post
    Not in this case. They are just old files kept in a 'normal' folder on a second HDD in the PC. They are backed up also to a Blueray disc. The only entry I can see in the event viewer around that time, is an instance of Acronis TrueImage which shows a crash. I remembered had done a restore from disc image earlier in the day, so am wondering if Acronis may be the culprit.

  4. #4
    4 Star Lounger
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    Fort McMurray, Alberta, Canada
    Posts
    559
    Thanks
    51
    Thanked 68 Times in 66 Posts
    Seems pretty clear to me that this is an Excel file, or some variant of one (.xls).

    Some other stuff that is highly speculative:

    1). It is unusual to see a tilde in a filename (~). The most common use of this character in this context is for Microsoft long filename support with old software and FAT volumes. When a 16-bit program accesses an LFN file, they get an algorithmically truncated version of the LFN (eg. SHORT~1.TXT). The problem with this explanation is that the tilde is always part of the filename portion for LFN support. Your file has the tilde in the file extension. Oh, and those old 8+3 filenames always used upper case, no lower case allowed;
    2). The character sequence "Q2" is suggestive. In a financial context this typically means "Fiscal Quarter 2". However it's such a small part of the name that I'm not comfortable with that interpretation. If you kept going with this idea though, "pr99" could be interpreted as "payroll 99";
    3). In fact it's notable that the whole sequence "~MUTMO4Q2" simply seems to have been tacked on to the entire file name.

    There's something you could try. It's a tiny bit risky and could crash Excel. The basic idea is that this is an Excel file with a corrupted name. Rename "pr99.xls~MUTMO4Q2" as "pr99.xls" and let Excel try to open it. If it works then you've found a solution. If it doesn't work then immediately rename the file back again.

    The other idea is to open the file in Notepad and try to get some clues based upon what Notepad can show you. Sometimes files have standardized headers that can identify what type of file they are. If you are really lucky you might be able to read substantial portions of the data.
    Last edited by BHarder; 2016-03-31 at 20:44. Reason: Added case comment.

  5. The Following User Says Thank You to BHarder For This Useful Post:

    Robertos (2016-04-01)

  6. #5
    Lounger
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    Liverpool,merseyside,UK
    Posts
    27
    Thanks
    3
    Thanked 5 Times in 1 Post
    Thanks for the pointers. Renaming the file(s) restored them to a 'proper' excel file. It appears that they were a backup created by Acronis TrueImage when it crashed, something I had not come across before as restoring disk images and recovering files had always worked properly - just lucky I guess.

  7. #6
    WS Lounge VIP mrjimphelps's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    USA
    Posts
    3,396
    Thanks
    445
    Thanked 404 Times in 376 Posts
    You can always safely copy files like that to another location, giving the copy an ".xls" or ".xlsx" extension. In fact, I prefer to copy it and then mess with the copy, so as not to take a chance on corrupting the "original".

  8. The Following User Says Thank You to mrjimphelps For This Useful Post:

    RockE (2016-04-02)

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •