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  1. #1
    5 Star Lounger
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    Why is this file in Windows folder?

    I seem to have several hundred (at least) of the files pictured below in my C:Windows folder. Deleting them seems to do no harm. I have previously found them in the C:WindowsSystem folder and deleted them with no (apparently) ill effects. More curious than anything, what causes these to get there in the first place? They almost look like registry entries of some sort.
    Attached Images Attached Images

  2. #2
    Uranium Lounger
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    Re: Why is this file in Windows folder?

    I kind of wonder if they are index files of some kind, although I don't recognize them....the bracketed strings resemble the CLSIDs that are all over the registry. You've got me curious enough that I'd like to look at one in a hex editor to see what the contents are - try downloading something like Crimson Editor or UltraEdit and open them in hexadeciaml mode. You might see your answer in the file itself.
    -Mark

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    Re: Why is this file in Windows folder?

    Thanks Mark,

    Downloaded Crimson Editor to open the file, but since I have most expediently deleted the files shown in my original post, there aren't any to open!

    Soon as I can find one that reappears, will open it with the editor and post back with the results!

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    Uranium Lounger
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    Re: Why is this file in Windows folder?

    Hi Michael:
    If I recall correctly, these are produced by mdm.exe (machine debug manager). I not only have deleted all the files but I changed the name of mdm.exe to mdm.old & went to msconfig (Start/Run/ & type msconfig, then <enter>) & unchecked the box on the startup tab. I have not noticed any adverse consequences. The executable file seems to produce to 2 files fffetc. every time you reboot, & they aren't deleted naturally.

    Oh, the files are courtesy of Visual Studio, Front Page 2000, or Office 2000 & they are temp files. You don't have extensions showing.

  5. #5
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    Re: Why is this file in Windows folder?

    Thanks Phil...indeed two more files were produced this AM after boot up. They are 0 bytes in size.

  6. #6
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    Re: Why is this file in Windows folder?

    <hr>I changed the name of mdm.exe to mdm.old & went to msconfig (Start/Run/ & type msconfig, then <enter>) & unchecked the box on the startup tab<hr>
    Is this a safe mod to make? I do not have MDM running automatically, also having removed all startup-type references to it through msconfig and regedit... but it keeps running on its own somehow. Also, for whatever reasons it gets summoned it never seems to shut down by itself. Caveat -- I am running ME and not 98, but I do believe the question remains relevant. <img src=/S/scratch.gif border=0 alt=scratch width=25 height=29>

  7. #7
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    Re: Why is this file in Windows folder?

    This might be of interest:

    Reader Richard A. Verde fell afoul of those *&@$&% little zero-byte files that start with the letters "fff" and seem to multiply like digital vermin.

    Fred, I don't know who else to turn to. I have been a subscriber of the Langa List for sometime and jumped on the chance for the Plus version as soon as you posted it. I am having a problem that no one seems to be able to explain. On boot up (I know its at that time because I clean them out, reboot and they are there again with the creation time of my last boot. They are 0k temp files being created in my windows folder that look like this

    fffe2ec5_{1FB13000-334A-11D5-ABB1-00E07D997069}.tmp

    I first found them using your clean up batch file, and there were hundreds!! What creates them? I have tried to track them down but with no luck. Any ideas or suggestions?

    The one good thing about "fff": files is that three-letter combination is fairly rare, and that means it's easier to search for the answer.

    For instance, searching Langa.Com. shows we've covered these pesky little ######s several times before. We gave a general answer, along with an easy fix, at here, and we went into more depth in here.

    The short answer is that they're caused by a annoying but nonvirulent bug in Microsoft Office. If you're running Windows9x, you can delete the files either by using CleanAll.Bat or by adding the line

    del c:windowsfff*.tmp

    to your Autoexec.bat file
    _________________________

    More definitive information can be found in the MSKB:

    Symptoms

    After you install Office 2000, you may notice files whose name begins with "fff" appearing in your Windows folder. For example, the file name may be similar to "fffeeecf_{44BE8B61-235B-11D2-8E66-D59A4E66D32D}.tmp". Also, every time you restart your computer, two more files beginning with "fff" appear in your Windows folder.

    Cause

    When you install the Microsoft Script Editor, a program called Mdm.exe (Machine Debug Manager, which is used to provide application debugging) is also installed. Mdm.exe creates these files in your Windows folder.

    Workaround

    To work around this issue, remove Mdm.exe to be started as a service on Window 95 and Windows 98 platforms. To do this, remove Mdm.exe from the list under the following registry key:
    HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINESoftwareMicrosoftWindowsCurrentV ersionRunServices
    After all running instances of Mdm.exe are ended and no longer listed within Task Manager, you can delete any of the TMP files from the root of the Windows directory without affecting either the Microsoft Script Editor or Mdm.exe. The effect of taking this step is that remote debugging is disabled, provided that an instance of Mdm.exe is not started at the time an error is encountered. However, if another application reinstalls Mdm.exe, or if Mdm.exe /Regserver is run on a computer that is running Window 95 or Windows 98, Mdm.exe is re-added to the RunServices registry key (see above for full path).

    NOTE: Running the Detect and Repair feature within Office 2000 causes Mdm.exe to be re-registered on the system.

    Additionally, if the system has Internet Explorer version 5 or later, Mdm.exe can still be configured to start at the startup of Window 95 or Windows 98, if the script debugging feature in Internet Explorer is turned on. You can turn off this feature within Internet Explorer. On the Tools menu, click Internet Options. On the Advanced tab under Setting, make sure that Disable script debugging is selected.

    More Information

    When Mdm.exe is registered on the Windows 95 or Windows 98 platform, the HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINESoftwareMicrosoftWindowsCurrentV ersionRunServices registry key is modified to include Mdm.exe to start as a "service".

    Windows 95 or Windows 98 starts each application listed under this key when Windows starts. This is done because DCOM on Windows 95 and Windows 98 does not support remote starting of DCOM components, which include Mdm.exe, although the implementation of DCOM on the Windows 95 or Windows 98 platform does permit connections to running objects. Therefore, upon installation, Mdm.exe registers itself to start each time Windows is started to enable the option of remote debugging with Mdm.exe.

    Due to the way DCOM is implemented on the Windows 95 and Windows 98 platforms, Mdm.exe creates temporary files in the Windows folder that DCOM uses for access and decline of user rights to the DCOM component. Typically, DCOM calls Mdm.exe for startup as a proxy for another application that requires debugging support. Upon the shutdown of this application, a call is made through DCOM to shut down the registered DCOM server and, on Windows 95 or Windows 98, clean up any temporary files created by Mdm.exe. Because Windows 95 or Windows 98 is starting Mdm.exe directly as a program and not as a DCOM server, no registration is performed in DCOM. Therefore, on the shutdown of Windows 95 or Windows 98, DCOM is not aware that the Mdm.exe program needs to be shut down and the TMP files created are in need of clean up. Because DCOM does not perform cleanup, the temporary files remain after shutdown, and Mdm.exe creates a new set of TMP files every time Windows 95 or Windows 98 is restarted.

  8. #8
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    Re: Why is this file in Windows folder?

    Wow, more answer than I could have hoped for. Thanks!, it explains a lot. I removed mdm.exe with msconfig, renamed it, and all seems well.

    ---------------------------------------
    NOTE: Running the Detect and Repair feature within Office 2000 causes Mdm.exe to be re-registered on the system.
    ---------------------------------------

    Did not know this however!

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