Take the 2-minute tour ×
Super User is a question and answer site for computer enthusiasts and power users. It's 100% free, no registration required.

BACKSTORY: I was out of town for a while and I forgot to turn my computer off. When I came back I saw that a desktop.ini file was on my desktop (using Windows 7). I thought that was odd because I knew it was a system file and it usually didn't show up due to the fact that I had disable the feature to show system files. Also it wasn't translucent like the other system files. I went to my control panel and saw that the "Hide protected operating system files" was indeed enabled. This puzzled me so I disabled the setting and another one was on my desktop like it usually is hidden.

So now I have to desktop.ini files on my desktop: one hidden and one not hidden. I am doing an antivirus check to see if anything was going on and I will give an update soon. I am pretty sure these files are harmless and could be deleted but I would rather get another person's opinion on the subject.

Thanks!

UPDATE: I did an anti-virus scan and it seems I have no problems. It is odd because the file seems to maintain system file properties such as not being able to be edited and other things. Also I have tried restarting my computer and it is still not hidden.

So the question remains: What should I do with the file and what caused it?

ANOTHER UPDATE: I deleted the file and turned off my computer and it looks like no harm was done. It is still strange that only one was hidden though.

share|improve this question
1  
I know this isn't of much help but it maybe informative, one of the desktop.ini files is the one that is in the "Public" user desktop folder the other is the on on your user's desktop folder. –  Sane Nov 21 '12 at 2:20
    
@Sane Yes, it seems you are right. The one that is, I guess, not a system file seems to be in the "Public" desktop folder. Interesting... –  EpicDavi Nov 21 '12 at 2:32
    
The likely problem is that you are hiding registered extensions. The one probably has an extension such as .txt or .exe or .bat. I definitely would not trust that computer for security. At the least I would uninstall and re-install any security related software. I would also check permissions on all accounts. –  vgoff Nov 21 '12 at 3:51
    
@vgoff Both files (hidden and not) are .ini files. I have multiple security programs on my computer, such as anti-virus programs and malware removal, and have used all of them to determine that I do not have a virus. I am the only account on the computer. It would be helpful if you would explain how to fix/what you mean by "hiding registered extensions". Thanks for the suggestions though. –  EpicDavi Nov 21 '12 at 3:59
1  
Having two Desktop.ini files on the Desktop is completely normal in Windows 7. If one suddenly showed up, its attributes probably got modified somehow. –  Karan Nov 21 '12 at 18:19
show 4 more comments

Your Answer

 
discard

By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.