View Full Version : phantom .exe files on the Desktop

10-30-2005, 07:56 AM
I am quite new to the macs, so possibly this is a very silly question.

I notice quite frequently that some phantom files with .exe extension are appearing on my desktop. They all have Ms Excell icons and are dissapearing when I try to click on them.

I noticed that they appear when I'm browsing and downloading something from the internet.

Has anyone any idea what these phantom files are?

Tahnk you,

PB G4, 15", 10.3.9.

10-30-2005, 08:26 AM
What application are you using to download?

Are you sure that they have .exe extensions? Absolutely positive? What is it you are trying to download? Can you give us a screenshot?


10-30-2005, 08:43 AM
Thank you for the answer. Yes, the files are .exe files, wich is very strange...

Here is the screenshot:


10-30-2005, 11:57 AM
One would tend to think this is some sort of PC virus file; the Excel icon is a red herring--I'd guess that the Mac OS can't identify it any better than that, so it uses the Excel icon. Of course, such files are not dangerous in themselves to you, because and .exe file can't run on your Mac (I didn't see any evidence of virtual PC anywhere!), but that you are doing something which permits unwanted files to be downloaded IS a cause of concern. The "exefile.jpg" is also very suspicious. I'd suggest reviewing your habits about e-mail attachments, the kinds of websites you vist, and so forth so that you don't accidently some time get something that MIGHT be harmful. But this is just speculation--I've never actually seen this behavior before.

Joe VanZandt

10-30-2005, 12:10 PM
I think I have some kind of explanation for the behavior. I see phantom files when I'm downloading by Firefox. As I recall now I always see phantom files for any downloads but extension usually corresponds to the extension of the downloaded file, e.g. if I'm downloading .zip file, extension of the phantom file is also .zip.

It seems that there is some problem with .rar files, which is wrongly recognaized as .exe file. So maybe it is Firefox problem ...

as for "exefile.jpg", this file has nothing to do with the matter (it was created by me).

Thanks again!

10-30-2005, 01:03 PM
I seem to remember getting temp files with an old version of Firefox.... might be worth updating to the most recent version of Firefox (if you arnt already on it)

Also..... I seem to remember someone on these forums saying that keeping LOADS of stuff on your desktop rather than filing it in your documents folder can slow your mac down.... not sure if thats folk law or fact.... anyone?!

11-01-2005, 01:46 PM
It seems that the link to the screenshot is not working.

Here is the new link http://www.badongo.com/pic.php?file=screenshot+image__2005-10-30_exefile.jpg