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  1. #1
    4 Star Lounger
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    Strange Desktop Icon

    I am running Windows98SEand occasionally get a strange icon on my desktop. It is a blank sheet with a small Windows logo in it. The file name is ~, that's right , just a tilde and the file is 330 kb. What is this, where did it come form, and can I safely delete it?

  2. #2
    Uranium Lounger
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    Re: Strange Desktop Icon

    The icon you see is the icon Windows uses when a file doesn't have an associated application with it. Most files starting with ~ can be deleted, BUT only if an application that running isn't using it. Win98 won't let you delete a file that is currently being used. You can delete & restore it. However, since you only see it sometimes, do you run an application just before you see it? Most temp files are kept in the temp folder or in the folder in which the application is using. e.g. MS Word creates temp files that start with a tilde & reside in the same folder as the file it relates to. I certainly hate to tell you to delete a file that neither of us has any idea of how it's created.

    When you right click it, does it have an Open with... command on the menu. If so, you could look at it with a text editor & see if you could discover anything about it. Since you don't know what it is, I would NOT double click it. I assume that you've run an up to date anti virus program & looked for <!post=spyware,296439>spyware<!/post>.
    Hope this helps,

  3. #3
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    Re: Strange Desktop Icon

    If you open the "tilde" file you will find that it contains part or all of your Outlook Express Address Book. This is a well-known bug that occurred after one of the IE updates. While MS is "aware of the problem", it apparently does not hold a very high position on their ToDo List. You can delete it as often as it appears - which is usually after you make changes to your Address Book. One day an update to IE will solve the problem.

  4. #4
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    Re: Strange Desktop Icon

    The file name doesn't just start with a tilde, the tilde is the whole file name. And opening it with Wordpad just gives screeds of unreadable little squares etc. Maybe R2 has the answer.

  5. #5
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    Re: Strange Desktop Icon

    I opened this file with Wordpad, jus ta whole lot of unreadable little squares etc. I cannot be sure if I made changes to my address book before it appeared or not. Perhaps I should relegate it to the Recycle Bin for a time and see if that has any effect, and if not, then delete it completely

  6. #6
    Uranium Lounger
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    Re: Strange Desktop Icon

    I believe that R2 is correct. But as a fail-safe check before deleting or moving it to the Recycle Bin (where it could be inadvertently deleted) try renaming it (if you can) to something like ~(old) and see what, if anything, happens?
    <IMG SRC=http://www.wopr.com/w3tuserpics/DocWatson_sig.gif>

  7. #7
    Plutonium Lounger
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    Re: Strange Desktop Icon

    I know this is slightly off topic, but try opening the file with WORD and select UNICODE as the type of file. You might be able to see something other than the little squares. Just don't save or whatever when you're done "looking" at it.

  8. #8
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    Re: Strange Desktop Icon

    I tried opening in Word using unicode and I got an 834 page document with entries such as S M T P - V: . * p c o o g a n @ a c t r i x . c o . n z

  9. #9
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    Re: Strange Desktop Icon

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

    Look up tilde file and Desktop on Google and you will find many hits.

  10. #10
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    Re: Strange Desktop Icon

    I made a change to my address book and after rebooting a similar icon appeared on my desktop, so that confirms the OE theory. Thanks for the Google link. I have renamed the file and saved it to floppy as suggetsed. Thanks for your help.

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