rmdir command issued during Windows 98SE boot sequence
Posted on 2004-03-25
Unfortunately, I am sharing a single user Windows 98SE PC with others who always swear, they never did anything when things go wrong. After removing i.exe, a Trojan Horse downloader successfully with AVG 6.0 free edition, build 639 (3/22/04), suddenly the message:
Invalid path, not directory,
or directory not empty
which occurs after Windows 98 loads and right before the desktop is loaded and displays. I did a step-by-step boot by holding F8 down and saw nothing out of the ordinary. I do not know what issues the rmdir command described above, only that is being issued after all the drivers have been loaded. But then, goind to the C:\WINDOWS\TEMP directory, I find 5 of these strange subdirectories:
_istmp5.dir which contains the following files:
_ins5576._mp 544 KB _MP File
_wutl951.dll 46KB Application
ZDatal51.dll 52KB Application
None of this exists on a parallel Windows 98SE PC and my attention to these folders and files was only drawn to it by the above mentioned failing rmdir command, the failure of which is prominently echoed at each boot, because there apparently is no _ISTMP0.DIR subdirectory inside of the _ISTMP5.DIR directory. The only other weird files I could not find by comparison on my parallel Windows 98SE PC are strange .exe files in the root directory, which also worry me: There is link.exe, gd.exe and best.exe and they have just the DOS executable program logo, no information whatsoever and recent dates. Then there is HXDLAZWM.exe with a weird yellow spiral logo and ss_IGN7_setup.exe with a logo with a tiny PC, a tiny white horse on a black background, a CD shown in front with a tiny open box to the right. My suspicion is that these files should for starters not be in the root directory at all and that they probably left-overs from previous clean-ups, viruses, Trojan Horses, installed crap or the like. I have not re-installed Windows 98SE on this PC since 9/03/03, hence there could be a lot of trash.
1) What issues the above rmdir command?
2) How can I stop it?
3) Are these _istmpx.dir directories and these strange files of any importance, or can they be deleted? Is there a risk in deleting them?
4) Are the unidentified .exe files in the root directory valid, invalid, or even a risk, so that they should be removed?
Thank you very much in advance.