Where are all these scrap files coming from?

Question

I have recently upgraded my OS from Win98 to XP. I did a full version install from scratch. I also recently changed my browser from Netscape 4.7 to 7.0. When I download a file from the internet with Netscape the file comes up as a Scrap file. When I download this file it will not execute or install the program that it is supposed to install. If I use Internet Explorer to do the download, the file will execute. Obviously the IE download is changing the file so that it can be executed and Netscape is not. What I do not understand is why , all of a sudden I am seeing so many Scrap files and why the will not execute with Netscape. I have searched the internet for information of this problem and have not found any solution. I hope that you can provide some help.

Thanks

Answer

This question was answered on January 21, 2003. Much of the information contained herein may have changed since posting.

First, back up all valuable data on your hard drive to other media This shouldn't be much of a problem, since you've recently reinstalled.

Do a virus scan to be certain there is no rogue software involved There is something called a “Scrap File Trojan”, descriptions of which can be found by searching Google.com This is most likely the cause of your problem

Read everything about the virus you can, as removal of these things can be difficult Sometimes, it’s best to reformat your system and reinstall everything - again Employing some quick research, I have found no practical instructions for deleting or uninstalling a scrap file virus It worms its way throughout your system, attacks your registry, and then quickly spreads through e-mail, potentially leaving you friendless.

However, Scrap Files could be there for legitimate reasons that have to do with another program As an example, a scrap file is created when a PC user drags part of a Word or Excel document to the desktop But since these things seem to be proliferating all over your PC, I suspect a worm type virus.

One more thing I notice by your profile, you are using Windows XP If, by chance, you are using the Administrator account for daily use, create a limited account Many viruses seek to take over your PC by taking advantage of Administrative Privileges.

RG

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Author

Posted by Robert of Mesa Community College on January 21, 2003