Question on empty folders in appdata folder


D

Don B

Hey gang,

I recently noticed I had several empty folders in my
username-appdata-local folder.

These empty folders, and there were several, were named with a sequence
of letters/numbers enclosed in parenthesis- nothing that really easily
identified what program put them there.

I am assuming these same empty folders are probably safe to delete out
of there? I am guessing some apps put them there for temporary usage,
and when done just leave behind an empty folder? I know they take up no
space as each folder shows as 0 kb, but I like a clean folder if you
know what I mean.

I deleted all of these around 4-5 days ago - they are still in my
recycle bin "just in case", but so far have seen no evidence they were
in fact required to remain in there.

Since deleting the several that were there, there have been two new ones
put in, that are empty as well.

Any thoughts on this?

Thanks,
 
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W

...winston

They are safe to delete.

Are you buy any chance using a Windows Live Essential application (Mail,
Messenger, PhotoGallery etc.) ?



--
....winston
msft mvp mail


"Don B" wrote in message

Hey gang,

I recently noticed I had several empty folders in my
username-appdata-local folder.

These empty folders, and there were several, were named with a sequence
of letters/numbers enclosed in parenthesis- nothing that really easily
identified what program put them there.

I am assuming these same empty folders are probably safe to delete out
of there? I am guessing some apps put them there for temporary usage,
and when done just leave behind an empty folder? I know they take up no
space as each folder shows as 0 kb, but I like a clean folder if you
know what I mean.

I deleted all of these around 4-5 days ago - they are still in my
recycle bin "just in case", but so far have seen no evidence they were
in fact required to remain in there.

Since deleting the several that were there, there have been two new ones
put in, that are empty as well.

Any thoughts on this?

Thanks,
 
G

Gene E. Bloch

Hey gang,
I recently noticed I had several empty folders in my username-appdata-local
folder.
These empty folders, and there were several, were named with a sequence of
letters/numbers enclosed in parenthesis- nothing that really easily
identified what program put them there.
I am assuming these same empty folders are probably safe to delete out of
there? I am guessing some apps put them there for temporary usage, and when
done just leave behind an empty folder? I know they take up no space as each
folder shows as 0 kb, but I like a clean folder if you know what I mean.
I deleted all of these around 4-5 days ago - they are still in my recycle bin
"just in case", but so far have seen no evidence they were in fact required
to remain in there.
Since deleting the several that were there, there have been two new ones put
in, that are empty as well.
Any thoughts on this?
You're lucky, I don't have any of those in my AppData\Local directory.

Are they enclosed in parentheses "()" or in curly braces "{}"? If the
latter, they are most likely GUIDs left over from some installation or
uninstallation process, and are harmless, AFAIK. Especially since they
are empty.

GUIDs (Globally Unique IDentifiers) are supposed to be random
hexadecimal values grouped with hyphens, and they look like this
made-up example:

{01234567-89ab-cdef-0123-456789012345}

They are sometimes randomly generated. They have many characters to
minimize the possibility of coincidences. Thirty-two hex digits
corresponds to 128 bits, hence can take on around 3e38, or 3 times 10
to the 38th, different values.

There are probably hundreds in the Registry. You could copy the value
from one of your folders and search within the registry for entries
containing that value. That might give you a clue, but there are no
guarantees, unfortunately.

Or just ignore the above & follow ...winston's advice :)
 
D

Don B

They are safe to delete.

Are you buy any chance using a Windows Live Essential application (Mail,
Messenger, PhotoGallery etc.) ?
Thanks Winston - and while I have Windows Live installed, have not used
it in quite some time...

Thanks,
 
D

Don B

You're lucky, I don't have any of those in my AppData\Local directory.

Are they enclosed in parentheses "()" or in curly braces "{}"? If the
latter, they are most likely GUIDs left over from some installation or
uninstallation process, and are harmless, AFAIK. Especially since they
are empty.

GUIDs (Globally Unique IDentifiers) are supposed to be random
hexadecimal values grouped with hyphens, and they look like this made-up
example:

{01234567-89ab-cdef-0123-456789012345}

They are sometimes randomly generated. They have many characters to
minimize the possibility of coincidences. Thirty-two hex digits
corresponds to 128 bits, hence can take on around 3e38, or 3 times 10 to
the 38th, different values.

There are probably hundreds in the Registry. You could copy the value
from one of your folders and search within the registry for entries
containing that value. That might give you a clue, but there are no
guarantees, unfortunately.

Or just ignore the above & follow ...winston's advice :)
Actually yes, upon looking again, the are enclosed in curley brackets,
and certainly look like the GUID's you mention...

I have installed a few programs of late, probably explains them.

Thanks ,
 
W

...winston

To fill in some blanks regarding the hex named Zero-byte AppData/Local/ e.g.
{2F4F9A60-....} folders

WL Essentials:
WL Essentials will create these folders (when in use) since it has the
ability to do at least three 'phone-home' type hard coded 'features'
- Technically a bug in the program (unresolved at least through 2011 QFE2)
since the files should be placed in the AppData/Local/Temp folder for
Windows to cleanup (but they're not).
- The suite is version aware and has the ability to determine if an update
is available (i.e. a current version request), if available the program(s)
are capable of displaying an 'Update' prompt (outside of Windows/Microsoft
Update)
- The mail client will auto-poll (regardless of user configuration settings
disabled - Send immediately/Send every x minutes). I.e. It's 'Live' and by
design intended for use with Live services (i.e. Hotmail type accounts to
ensure mail, contacts, calendar are in sync)...the use or not use of a Live
ID to sign on to Live services is not relevant to the polling and likewise
it does not matter if present mail accounts are pop3/IMAP/HTTP...it
auto-polls regardless approx. every hour (afaics about 71 min)
- The Messenger client (since it requires a Live ID signon) when in use, is
always communicating back and forth to ensure that contacts and social
connected services data is current.

While very little info is publicly available on exactly what in WLE creates
them, they are created...one may also notice that sometimes they are in
groups of two (with similar time stamps).

WLE QFE3 was released a few days ago and I don't know (haven't really looked
either) if the annoyance is still present. Like everyone else, I delete
them if I happen to open that folder, if not I just ignore them (zero byte
folders from WLE while a nuisance have yet to be proven to create problems).

Other application software:
- Other programs (install/uninstall etc.) may also incorrectly place
folders in the same location instead of the AppData/Local/Temp folder
(sometimes due to not being coded to accommodate the differences between XP
and Vista/Win7).

The registry:
Attempting to find those {DCBC2A71..} like folder name values in the
registry may be fruitless (they just don't exist)..since not being written
to the *.dat file

I.e. If zero bytes, delete them to the Recycle bin, then empty at a later
time. If one of those is in use (unlikely) Windows will usually complaint
with a message (e.g. Access Denied, Try Again, etc.)



--
....winston
msft mvp mail


"Don B" wrote in message

You're lucky, I don't have any of those in my AppData\Local directory.

Are they enclosed in parentheses "()" or in curly braces "{}"? If the
latter, they are most likely GUIDs left over from some installation or
uninstallation process, and are harmless, AFAIK. Especially since they
are empty.

GUIDs (Globally Unique IDentifiers) are supposed to be random
hexadecimal values grouped with hyphens, and they look like this made-up
example:

{01234567-89ab-cdef-0123-456789012345}

They are sometimes randomly generated. They have many characters to
minimize the possibility of coincidences. Thirty-two hex digits
corresponds to 128 bits, hence can take on around 3e38, or 3 times 10 to
the 38th, different values.

There are probably hundreds in the Registry. You could copy the value
from one of your folders and search within the registry for entries
containing that value. That might give you a clue, but there are no
guarantees, unfortunately.

Or just ignore the above & follow ...winston's advice :)
Actually yes, upon looking again, the are enclosed in curley brackets,
and certainly look like the GUID's you mention...

I have installed a few programs of late, probably explains them.

Thanks ,
 
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D

Dave-UK

...winston said:
- The mail client will auto-poll (regardless of user configuration settings
disabled - Send immediately/Send every x minutes). I.e. It's 'Live' and by
design intended for use with Live services (i.e. Hotmail type accounts to
ensure mail, contacts, calendar are in sync)...the use or not use of a Live
ID to sign on to Live services is not relevant to the polling and likewise
it does not matter if present mail accounts are pop3/IMAP/HTTP...it
auto-polls regardless approx. every hour (afaics about 71 min)
- The Messenger client (since it requires a Live ID signon) when in use, is
always communicating back and forth to ensure that contacts and social
connected services data is current.
Some time ago I noticed that every time I ran Windows Live Mail it phoned home to here:
config.messenger.msn.com
Since I don't use any of the 'Live sign-in' crap or Messenger and I don't want it to
phone anywhere behind my back I edited msmail.dll with a hex editor to mangle the
address to something like this:
confug.messenger.mzn.com
That seems to stop it.
 
P

Paul

Dave-UK said:
Some time ago I noticed that every time I ran Windows Live Mail it
phoned home to here:
config.messenger.msn.com Since I don't use any of the 'Live sign-in'
crap or Messenger and I don't want it to phone anywhere behind my back I
edited msmail.dll with a hex editor to mangle the address to something
like this: confug.messenger.mzn.com That seems to stop it.
Someone at Microsoft has read this message, and is busy this morning,
adding a "confug.messenger.mzn.com" to their servers. After all,
we don't want any of that fine, sweet, information to get lost.

It's like in earlier OSes, where you go to do a local file search,
and the computer sends a few packets off to Microsoft as well.

One way to do this without a hex editor, is to put some entries
in the "host" file. Something like this. This remaps a given
symbolic address, to the local loopback address, so the packet
never leaves the computer.

nosey.microsoft.com 127.0.0.1

You could handle your problem that way, as long as the program
making the report to Microsoft, doesn't wait two minutes for
a timeout in software to occur. If there was a pronounced
delay because of that, then your "whack a mole" hex editor
solution sounds good :)

The only entries I have in my "hosts", are as many Facebook
tracking addresses as I could add to the table. I don't have a
Facebook account, and I also don't appreciate being tracked
by virtually every web site I visit.

There are web sites, that provide copies of "host" files
with all sorts of nuisances redirected to 127.0.0.1 loopback
address, to reduce tracking. You can take one of those
lists, and edit it to suit your own tastes in redirection.

The "host" file, is basically a local DNS lookup, which overrides
the network DNS, and provides your own local definition of a
limited set of addresses.

http://www.windowsreference.com/windows-7/edit-hosts-file-in-windows-7-windows-vista/

http://www.tweaksforgeeks.com/windows7/2011/02/windows-7-hosts-file-ignored

Paul
 
D

Dave-UK

Paul said:
Someone at Microsoft has read this message, and is busy this morning,
adding a "confug.messenger.mzn.com" to their servers. After all,
we don't want any of that fine, sweet, information to get lost.

It's like in earlier OSes, where you go to do a local file search,
and the computer sends a few packets off to Microsoft as well.

One way to do this without a hex editor, is to put some entries
in the "host" file. Something like this. This remaps a given
symbolic address, to the local loopback address, so the packet
never leaves the computer.

nosey.microsoft.com 127.0.0.1

You could handle your problem that way, as long as the program
making the report to Microsoft, doesn't wait two minutes for
a timeout in software to occur. If there was a pronounced
delay because of that, then your "whack a mole" hex editor
solution sounds good :)

The only entries I have in my "hosts", are as many Facebook
tracking addresses as I could add to the table. I don't have a
Facebook account, and I also don't appreciate being tracked
by virtually every web site I visit.

There are web sites, that provide copies of "host" files
with all sorts of nuisances redirected to 127.0.0.1 loopback
address, to reduce tracking. You can take one of those
lists, and edit it to suit your own tastes in redirection.

The "host" file, is basically a local DNS lookup, which overrides
the network DNS, and provides your own local definition of a
limited set of addresses.

http://www.windowsreference.com/windows-7/edit-hosts-file-in-windows-7-windows-vista/

http://www.tweaksforgeeks.com/windows7/2011/02/windows-7-hosts-file-ignored

Paul
Thanks, I hadn't considered a hosts file solution. I was so pissed off I just had a knee-jerk
reaction and decided to blast away at the dll! :)
 
J

J. P. Gilliver (John)

In message <4f6c4097$0$511$c3e8da3$4db35a27@news.astraweb.com>, Dave-UK
Some time ago I noticed that every time I ran Windows Live Mail it
phoned home to here:
config.messenger.msn.com Since I don't use any of the 'Live sign-in'
crap or Messenger and I don't want it to phone anywhere behind my back
I edited msmail.dll with a hex editor to mangle the address to
something like this: confug.messenger.mzn.com That seems to stop it.
As well as the hosts file solution someone mentioned, wouldn't a
firewall also have caught it? With my (very ancient) firewall, whenever
something tries to call out, I get a popup, which has permit and deny
buttons, as well as the option to select always permit or deny for that
particular application/site combination.
 
D

Dave-UK

J. P. Gilliver (John) said:
In message <4f6c4097$0$511$c3e8da3$4db35a27@news.astraweb.com>, Dave-UK

As well as the hosts file solution someone mentioned, wouldn't a
firewall also have caught it? With my (very ancient) firewall, whenever
something tries to call out, I get a popup, which has permit and deny
buttons, as well as the option to select always permit or deny for that
particular application/site combination.
--
Possibly, but I've had a quick look at the Windows firewall settings and although
I can block wlmail.exe (which I don't want to block) I can't see a way of blocking
config.messenger.msn.com which is called by msmail.dll via wlmail.exe .
 
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J

J. P. Gilliver (John)

Dave-UK said:
Possibly, but I've had a quick look at the Windows firewall settings
and although
I can block wlmail.exe (which I don't want to block) I can't see a way
of blocking config.messenger.msn.com which is called by msmail.dll via
wlmail.exe .
Ah, since it (Kerio Personal Firewall alias KPF, 2.1.5) is a very old
version even for XP, I doubt it'll work on 7 (-:! However, its
descendant - Sunbelt somethingorother (I think it's called VIPRE now,
but that's a complete suite, not just a firewall) probably does, though,
as it's a current project.
 

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