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I noticed today that my WinXP machine has a bunch of folders with GUID looking names that will not delete. These folders contain many other numbered folders (e.g. 1025 1029), all of which contain eula.rtf and HotFixInstallerUI.dll.

Are these folders/files dangerous? is HotFixInstaller.exe a virus, or just a Microsoft executable hell bent on filling my harddrive?

It seems like a legit process but it concerns me because I had a portable drive hooked up, and one of these folders mysteriously appeared on that too.

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The numbers represent different code pages for different languages. This is normal. – bwDraco May 7 '11 at 16:02
@DragonLord Actually they represent the languages, not codepages. Windows NT never used codepages. – kinokijuf Jan 18 '12 at 20:28
up vote 3 down vote accepted

They are safe to delete, they are leftovers from MS updates that did not get cleaned up.

Try this

Open an elevated Command Prompt window and leave it open. Close all open programs. Click Start, Run and enter TASKMGR.EXE Go to the Processes tab and End Process on "Explorer.exe" Leave Task Manager open. Go back to the Command Prompt window and change to the directory the AVI (or other undeletable file) is located in. At the command prompt type DEL where is the full path to the file you wish to delete. Go back to Task Manager, click File, New Task and enter EXPLORER.EXE to restart the GUI shell. Close Task Manager.


This will delete a specific file in a folder

Del C:\folder name\HotFixInstaller.exe 

. To delete a folder and All it contents

RD /s C:\folder name

If this does not get the job done right click on the folder, select properties then go to the security tab and add your user account to the "Group or User Names" list and give it full permissions, then try delete again.

If all else fails boot from an Ubuntu CD (do not install Ubuntu, just run from CD) and delete the folder(s) while in Ubuntu.

Ubuntu Howto

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Sounds like MS patch installers from the usual Update tool.

A Microsoft KB article specifically mentions both HotFixInstaller.exe and HotFixInstallerui.dll here, but that does not rule out the possibility that a virus is masquerading as the file.

I would run a virus/malware checker and see if that comes up with anything significant.

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