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Gremlin files on floppy disks after using Windows Explorer

Posted By: Will Hafer <>
Date: Sunday, 16 August 1998, at 11:38 p.m.

This is my third try at posting this message :(

I hope I make it this time.

I'm a long time DOS user who is reluctantly making the move to Windows 95. I still use my DOS machine for most of my work but, little by little, I'm copying my files over to my Windows machine.

For my file managers I'm using XTree Gold 2.5 on the DOS machine and Windows Explorer on the Windows machine. I'm using 3.5" floppy disks to transfer the files between machines.

I'm troubled by mysterious files that have been turning up on the floppy disks after they've been used in the drive in the Windows machine. These files all have certain characteristics in common: The are all 0 KB in size, the file names consist of two letters, lower case, with the first letter being a lower case "a." They also have the peculiar habit of appending to their two letter filenames random snippets from the XTREE screen display, like line drawing characters or the last 6 letter of other files' names.

These files only show up under XTREE. Neither DOS DIR nor Windows Explorer is able to see them.

When I've tried to open, move or delete these mystery files, Xtree informs me that they are read-only, hidden, archive, system files. But when I try to change the attributes I get an "access" denied message.

When I run Norton Utilities it claims to find a FAT error associated with these files and also claims to correct it. But after running Norton the files sill show up under XTREE and resolutely refuse to be tampered with in any way.

The only way I've figured out for getting rid of them is to move all other files out of the directory and then use the DOS DELTREE command to nuke the directory. That seems to work, but what a nuisance! And the fact that Norton claims to be finding FAT errors disturbs me.

I suspect that either Windows Explorer or Windows 95 is writing these files to my floppies since they only appear on disks that have been used in the Windows machine.

Does anyone know what these files are for, how they get on my floppies, how to get rid of them and most important, how to prevent them in the first place?

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