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Lots of SET??.TMP files in \SYSTEM32

Posted on 1998-05-04
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Last Modified: 2013-12-28
In the \WINNT\SYSTEM32 folder exists dozens of SET*.TMP files, such as...

SETE3.TMP
SETE4.TMP
SETE6.TMP
SETE7.TMP
SETE8.TMP

...and so on. There must be close to 80 of these type of files.

What are they, and can they be safely deleted?

I would have thought temporary files should go into the \TEMP folder, not the SYSTEM32 folder.
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Question by:Softtech
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Expert Comment

by:TimCaturaHouser
ID: 1778219
I have never seen this type of file in system32.
Why don't you open one or two in wordpad to see if you can find a pattern, like Word for Windows dumping .TMP files there... that is what is sounds like......

If you can see a pattern as I have suggested, you would know they are dumpable.....

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Expert Comment

by:mikecr
ID: 1778220
Did you happen to install anything on this computer lately? You need to set a Temp environment by putting "Set Temp=C:\Temp in the autoexec.bat file and it will then put the temp file's in there. Normally, any temp file with a tmp extension can be deleted except for some that are created by Powerpoint in Office 97. I would check to see if a program is creating these files before you try to delete them. Use the process of elimination. See if they are created when Windows starts, when you start or while running a certain program. See what happens first, but you can normally under most circumstances delete tmp files.

I hope this helps.
Mike
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Accepted Solution

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MaDdUCK earned 20 total points
ID: 1778221
Do this:
Move all the files to a temporary directory and see if your computer works fine. If that is so, then you can delete the files. The next step is to resume normal operation, but the check your c;\winnt\systen32 directory very frequently to see which application dumps the files there. Once we identified the guilty one, we can tweak the settings. Let me know what's going on.
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Author Comment

by:Softtech
ID: 1778222
All of the files internally look like executables...here's a binary dump of just one of these .TMP files:

??¦? ¦?-!+?L-!Th
is program canno
t be run in DOS
mode.???$
PE  L?? -Sú2

And then you find stuff like this towards the end of the file:

( C )   M i c r
o s o f t   C o
r p .   1 9 8 1
- 1 9 9 6   B ?
? O r i g i n a
l F i l e n a m
e   O L E C N V
3 2 . D L L
z - ? P r o d u
c t N a m e
M i c r o s o f
t ( R )   W i n
d o w s   N T (
T M )   O p e r
a t i n g   S y
s t e m     . ?
? P r o d u c t
V e r s i o n
4 . 0 0     D
? V a r F i l e
I n f o     $ ?


...which makes it appear that these are DLLs renamed.  Perhaps when a service pack was installed, or when Internet Explorer 4.0 was installed?

I suspect Microsoft is the guilty party.  No other company would have the nerve to rename 80 DLLs. The question is, which Microsoft product did this?

These definitely are not "scratch" files intended for the c:\temp directory.  It appears that all of the TMP files have Version Control information in them, if I click on "Properties".

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Expert Comment

by:MaDdUCK
ID: 1778223
Have you temporarily moved them to another directory? Do that before you delete them!!!
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Expert Comment

by:raGadiraju
ID: 33476899
The problem is the process creating these files is VB called from iexplore under power user credentials (found using filemon). They can create the file but they cannot delete the file. Just the other day I deleted 45 GB of these 1MB files.
I have tried creating the set commands in autoexec.nt to no avail.
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