Bizarre file named "~"
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Thread: Bizarre file named "~"

  1. #1
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
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    Bizarre file named "~"

    I have found at least six Windows PCs on my network that have one or more copies of a file where the entire file name is "~", no extension. Naturally I don't have one at my fingertips, so I can't give more details.
    The usual locations are: root C:, Desktop, My Documents, Windows. The file(s) are always dated "today". If I delete the file, it shows up again next time I remember to look days later.
    The PCs all have some version of Windows, Norton Corporate Anti-virus, and at least one has had Ad-Aware run on it multiple times.
    I am not sure if this is connected with mal-ware or not, or even what the dickens it is!

  2. #2
    At first thought, was going to say they're backup files... like I know for a fact that Word saves a copy of whatever you're working every few minutes to a hidden file named ~x.doc, x being a title of some sort... but after I reread what you said about there not being an extension of the file, I did a Google for it and found this:

    A file named with the single tilde character (~) appears on your desktop. What is it and why is it there?

    This file started appearing on people's desktop after the April 2003, Cumulative Patch for Outlook Express (330994) update released by Microsoft. If that update is installed and you take any action that changes the Windows Address Book the tilde file will appear on your desktop.

    You can find out more about the update itself from the Microsoft page...

    http://www.microsoft.com/windows/ie/...94/default.asp

    When you change the Address Book, what should happen is that a backup called YOURNAME.WA~ would be created in the directory C:\Windows\Application Data\Microsoft\Address Book. This is a backup to the Address Book named YOURNAME.WAB in that same directory. With the update installed, however, the backup does not get installed into the correct directory and the name gets shortened to just the ending tilde (~) character. This file appears on your Desktop instead of where it should appear.

    You have four options to "fix" this:

    * Uninstall the patch. If you do this you may open your computer to the security problems that the patch fixes. And, Windows Update will notice that the patch is not present and, depending on how you have Windows Update configured, may reinstall it automatically or ask you to allow it to reinstall it. You will have to tell Windows Update "no" if you don't want to continue having the tilde file on your Desktop.
    * Leave the patch installed and simply delete the tilde (~) file every time it appears. If you do this the consequence will be that you don't have a current backup of your Windows Address Book. Having this backup may or may not be important to you.
    * Leave the patch installed and move/rename the tilde (~) file every time it appears. While this would be the safest option it is also the one that requires the most work. You will have to rename the tilde (~) file to YOURNAME.WA~ (substitute your login name for YOURNAME) and then move the file to the C:\Windows\Application Data\Microsoft\Address Book directory and have it overwrite the file of the same name there.
    * Change the startup directory so the file appears elsewhere. If you right click on the Outlook Express shortcut and choose Properties from the menu you will be presented with a dialog box. One of the entries in the dialog will be "Start In:". Change that entry to read: C:\Program Files\Outlook Express\ and the tilde file should then be created in that directory instead of on the desktop. You should also change the shortcut in the Start|Programs menu the same way so the tilde files won't be produced there either. This won't solve the problem, of course, but it puts the file where you don't have to be bothered by it and, since you know where it is, can recover it if need be. (Thanks to a user for a pointer to this tip.)

    Microsoft is supposed to be aware of the problem and will likely eventually fix it (perhaps in a new version of the program instead of an update).

    If you're not certain, rename the file to TEST.WAB and move it to the indicated directory above. Then double click it and see if the Address Book applet in Windows starts and shows your address book.
    From: http://filext.com/faq/article.php?id=002

  3. #3
    Banned
    Join Date
    Oct 2002
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    25
    iankestor:
    with a little effort from ur side u could have easily found out the solution.. Try GOOGL(E)ing or using the search function on Antionline before posting here...

    Anyway, i think u got the solution of ur problem...

    Google Link

  4. #4
    Flash M0nkey
    Join Date
    Sep 2001
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    3,447
    tutsi what exactly did that achieve? plus did he think that he may have tried googling but with no success - try it yourself seach for "~" in google - it just goes **** up and can't handle it

    so lay off at least till you manage to get a decent amount of posts/aps/respect yourself......hopefully by that time you'll have grown up a little

    v_Ln

  5. #5
    King Arana: Super Moderator
    Join Date
    Oct 2002
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    4,055
    To add to what val said, tutsi what give's you the right to just dismiss his question like that. Do you know why people sign up for AntiOnline? It's to learn and ask question, just as he did.

    so lay off at least till you manage to get a decent amount of posts/aps/respect yourself......hopefully by that time you'll have grown up a little
    'Nuff said.
    Space For Rent.. =]

  6. #6
    Banned
    Join Date
    Oct 2002
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    25
    ohh! my intention was not to hurt somebody's feelings.. if it did, i take my words back...
    Well i was just suggesting him to do a bit of homework from his side..

  7. #7
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
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    18
    Thank you all for your responses. You all have excellent points. Thank you madjag for that text and link... I will save and peruse when I have the time (yeah right - when does any IT person have THAT?). Still - the document and information are invaluable. If nothing else, I can ignore the situation and breathe easy. HOWEVER, if it is that easy and obvious, why the cufflink can't Microsoft fix the knitted problem?
    tutsi is right - in my own office the constant refrain is "didn't you read the notes?" I did not think to search the Internet because a single character seemed a poor search, and because a Windows Find File (search, whatever you want to call it) on that single character will turn up EVERY BLESSED FILE ON THE HARD DRIVE!! Thank you Microsoft.
    Still, I could have searched. No one I have asked in person has the slightest clue what I am talking about (but then no one ever does) - even the technology-friendly folks.

    I have not yet used Google myself - I use basic search engines which frequently turn up too much noise anyway. Google just seems to be a VERY noisy one, though it does seem to get some good answers. No offense taken, although I am also pleased to see that people are supportive of newer users.

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