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Author Topic: Microsoft updates - annoying folder proliferation  (Read 4671 times)

Carol Haynes

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Microsoft updates - annoying folder proliferation
« on: December 09, 2008, 11:01:19 AM »
Anyone got any idea at all how to force Microsoft Update to store its temporary folders in one place and preferably allow access to the folders so that you can see what is going on.

I have folders scattered over numerous drives and they all have subfolders which deny me (and administrator) access!

For example on my system I have loads of partitions - on drive "I" I have the following folders in the root directory:

1a772fc8c37fd821426f30
30d8929e48a7b73c47
3a0484dd97c4d735733c0e
4395cc56333a712314fe5492
73cfb0e8090c5d2261c6f95c

By disabling simple file sharing and forcing an ownership change I discovered that the first folder contains and Update.exe which seems to be a  Windows Service Pack.

Talk about an excellent way to obscure files and give malware the ideal opportunity to hide itself.

I did a google search on the folder names and there are no results (and neither does the MS website have any information on these folder names).

This process of bunging update files anywhere Mess Update feels like has always annoyed me - has anyone found a solution?

40hz

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Re: Microsoft updates - annoying folder proliferation
« Reply #1 on: December 09, 2008, 11:19:39 AM »
Is this happening under Vista? On my main XP machine I've got three partitions on the primary HD, four more on my secondary, and two each on two externals. I have display hidden and system  options on, and I'm logged on as Administrator, but I'm still not seeing anything resembling what you're seeing in your root.




cmpm

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Re: Microsoft updates - annoying folder proliferation
« Reply #2 on: December 09, 2008, 11:32:16 AM »
I'd bet on them being tied to some adblocker or spyblocker.

f0dder

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Re: Microsoft updates - annoying folder proliferation
« Reply #3 on: December 09, 2008, 11:49:46 AM »
Carol: never seen anything like that on any of the XP machines I've dealt with, and not on my Vista laptop either. I don't have a folder structure like that under %TEMP% either :-s
- carpe noctem

Darwin

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Re: Microsoft updates - annoying folder proliferation
« Reply #4 on: December 09, 2008, 11:53:21 AM »
Yeah... I just checked two XP Pro notebooks, one Win2k, and one Vista Home Premium notebook and none of them have anything remotely like the folders you are describing, Carol  :o

PS They're all completely up to date WRT MS updates and each has a copy of either Office 2003 Pro or Office 2007 Enterprise installed, each of which is also fully patched.
"Some people have a way with words, other people,... oh... have not way" - Steve Martin

Carol Haynes

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Re: Microsoft updates - annoying folder proliferation
« Reply #5 on: December 09, 2008, 01:03:17 PM »
Strange - how do you trace where they came from then?

Some of my drives are quite full - I suspect they are being used as temporary stores to unpack update files and they don't get cleaned.

Here is a screen shot of the file properties of the first file:

ss.png

f0dder

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Re: Microsoft updates - annoying folder proliferation
« Reply #6 on: December 09, 2008, 01:17:43 PM »
FileVersion info doesn't really say anything about the file (anybody can add a string like that) unless it's digitally signed. I'd look at the "Digital Signatures" tab instead :)
- carpe noctem

Carol Haynes

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Re: Microsoft updates - annoying folder proliferation
« Reply #7 on: December 09, 2008, 01:50:17 PM »
OK ...

ss.png

Grorgy

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Re: Microsoft updates - annoying folder proliferation
« Reply #8 on: December 09, 2008, 02:03:44 PM »
I see them too Carol, last one was when I installed windows desktop search for another trial run with it, the installation process seemed to just pick the emptiest drive i had, which was an external USB drive at the time, to use.  I had thought they were coming from some installation but wasnt sure what, this day I hapenned to have a file manager open and watched it appear lol.  I just delete them, has never caused me any trouble, windows search uninstalled ok after the files were gone.

Carol Haynes

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Re: Microsoft updates - annoying folder proliferation
« Reply #9 on: December 09, 2008, 03:14:30 PM »
Thanks - it isn't me going mad then ;)

zridling

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Re: Microsoft updates - annoying folder proliferation
« Reply #10 on: December 09, 2008, 03:56:16 PM »
One site I go to for help on these things is Annoyances.org

app103

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Re: Microsoft updates - annoying folder proliferation
« Reply #11 on: December 16, 2008, 02:49:54 AM »
I have seen this before on 3 different XP machines, and something similar on a WinME machine.

I have one sitting in the root of my C drive right this minute.

In the case of all with XP, the folders all look like what you described and they show up after an OS update from Microsoft, smack in the root of any random drive they feel like appearing in, with names just as random.

The WinME machine was a bit better, because those folders were named in a way that you'd know it was from Windows Update..WUtemp. (they were hidden folders, though)

If you would like to know what to do with them, here's an article explaining where they come from and if they are safe to delete: http://ask-leo.com/c...y_named_folders.html

f0dder

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Re: Microsoft updates - annoying folder proliferation
« Reply #12 on: December 16, 2008, 06:33:55 AM »
Hm, interesting - so you get them after any random update, not just a service pack?

I wouldn't feel scared about removing them, although I'd probably do a reboot first, just to make sure any install/cleanup actions have (at least attempted to) run.
- carpe noctem

Carol Haynes

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Re: Microsoft updates - annoying folder proliferation
« Reply #13 on: December 16, 2008, 07:41:18 AM »
Interestingly after my intial post I got a slew of Windows Updates. If you update through windows update you see nothing but if you manually download the patches then you see them unpack the files to a randomly named route level folder on the disc with the most space (I presume that is the criterion for choice as it seems pretty random and seem particularly stupid to select external USB drives!).

app103

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Re: Microsoft updates - annoying folder proliferation
« Reply #14 on: December 17, 2008, 03:46:53 AM »
Ahhh..that might be why I have one now. I recently updated/upgraded .NET manually, since they didn't offer me 3.5 through Windows Update.