Mysterious Random Folders


Mysterious Random Folders

Ask the Doctor LogoI have four hard drives I use for storage. One of my drives is a 1TB WD Caviar Green. A folder named “35c7b77f9e7bab635e2efb4b74b9” keeps appearing, with a file “MPMiniSigStub.exe” and a bunch of files with names like “1.81.790.0_to_1.81.799.0_mpasdlta.vdm._p.” When I delete the folder a new one with a similar randomly generated name appears in its place, with similar files in it. I scanned with Malwarebytes’ Anti-Malware, Norton 360 4.0, and Microsoft Security Essentials; none of them detected anything bad. I have also “hidden” the folder, but it reverts back to non-hidden status.

—Kevin Young

Kevin, your mysterious folder is a temp folder created by Microsoft, and the files all deal with updates to Microsoft Security Essentials. MPMiniSigStub.exe contains anti-malware signatures, and the files with mpasdlta.vdm in their names are Microsoft virus definition for Security Essentials. The reason they’re showing up on that drive, according to a Microsoft Answers forum post, is that the Windows update process (which MSE also uses) stores its temp files in whichever volume has the most free space.

Mysterious folder full of mysterious files? Scans turn up nothing? Try Googling the file names; it may yield answers!

Incidentally, if you’re running both Norton 360 and Microsoft Security Essentials, you should remove one. Running multiple security suites actually decreases your security, as they could conflict with each other.


SUBMIT YOUR QUESTION Are flames shooting out of the back of your rig? First, grab a fire extinguisher and douse the flames. Once the pyrotechnic display has fizzled, email the doctor at for advice on how to solve your technological woes.




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