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Random folder names in Windows

Discussion in 'Software' started by Gaz 45, Feb 20, 2007.

  1. Gaz 45

    Gaz 45 Kilobyte Poster

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    Just heard from a friend, her laptop's lost all folder names in My Computer - they're all just random strings of numbers & letters now (program files is still there) - any ideas how to fix?
    I know you get the odd random folder name normally but this seems to have renamed all of them!
    Not sure of the OS (she's not here, support by text message!) but if I had to guess it'll be XP home or Pro.
    Thanks
     
    Certifications: MCP (70-229, 70-228), MBioch
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  2. hbroomhall

    hbroomhall Petabyte Poster Gold Member

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    Difficult with so little info. I assume the Windows folder is still OK or it probably wouldn't boot. What else is still there?

    Could be anything from user error to a trojan.

    Note that there *are* folders in XP which appear to have random names.

    Harry.
     
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  3. BosonMichael
    Highly Decorated Member Award

    BosonMichael Yottabyte Poster

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    Perhaps the random folder names isn't permanent, but it just looks that way due to a trojan taking over the UI and showing you what it wants to show you. Rootkits often use this technique to hide themselves so you can't see them when you view folders locally. This would explain how Windows can boot, but after you're booted, everything looks "corrupted" in your folder view.

    Couple things you could try - have you tried booting from a boot disk and seeing if the folders show up OK? Another thing you can do is try to browse the computer's files over the network... for example, try to view \\computername\c$ to see if you can see the computer's C: drive. Even if a trojan is affecting the local UI, you'll still be able to see everything OK from a networked PC. If either of those methods work, it's likely that you have an infected PC.
     
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  4. Gaz 45

    Gaz 45 Kilobyte Poster

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    Cheers guys
    It's occured to me a virus of some sort may be involved.
    Problem is I don't have any access to the laptop - it's a friends who's not here.
    Laptop's working fine though so unless I can get hold of it who knows?
    Just wondering if anyone had encountered the problem before.
     
    Certifications: MCP (70-229, 70-228), MBioch
    WIP: MCDBA (70-290)
  5. Raffaz

    Raffaz Kebab Lover Gold Member

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    Just a thought, but is it possible they could be system restore folders, im pretty sure they are random names.
     
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  6. hbroomhall

    hbroomhall Petabyte Poster Gold Member

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    Hence my comment about appearing to have random names. The system restore directories for the M$ updates actualy have the KB number for the update as part of the filename!

    Harry.
     
    Certifications: ECDL A+ Network+ i-Net+
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  7. Raffaz

    Raffaz Kebab Lover Gold Member

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    I was just thinking along the lines of someone not knowing a pc, might possibly describe system restore like that mate. Someone with no knowledge of a pc wont even know what KB is
     
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  8. Bluerinse
    Honorary Member

    Bluerinse Exabyte Poster

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    It might be worth booting into safe mode. If it's okay in safe mode I woud suspect malware of some kind.

    Get the person to do an on-line AV scan with this site..

    http://housecall.trendmicro.com/

    In case her AV program is missing some nasty.
     
    Certifications: C&G Electronics - MCSA (W2K) MCSE (W2K)

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