1.    11 Apr 2016 #1
    Join Date : Mar 2016
    Posts : 33
    Windows 10

    Strange hidden folders in C:/ - Can they safely be deleted?


    On my C root disk I have lots of strange hidden folders.

    Can they safely be deleted? They do not contain anything except a .log file in the $SysReset folder

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      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  2.    11 Apr 2016 #2

    I don't mean to be an alarmist or anything, but the only mention of the ~axdw folders is in the context of a Trojan/Worm named trojan.win32.fraudpack.adxw. That said, I've never heard of any of the so-called "reporting authorities" that claim to offer repair tools for this putative malware, and I do see mention of a "fake antivirus repair" repair utility that deals with this apparent problem. Bizarre! Seems like you're not the only person to be troubled by this phenomenon.

    I just visited the searchable threats database at McAfee and it comes up with no hits on that names as search term. My advice would be to run MalwareBytes or Trend Micro Housecall on your PC, and if you come up clean, go ahead and remove these files. Otherwise, follow their repair recommendations, and then see if these folders are still hanging around. If they only contain logs anyway, they can easily be dispensed with. You just don't want them to be a telltale sign for something potentially worse lurking in your system.

      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  3.    11 Apr 2016 #3

    Hoggorm, AXDW stands for Athens Exclusive Designers' Week (Seriously).

    Okay, I advise you to follow Ed's advice. Malwarebytes Free Edition will warn you if they are harmful. If not, set a System Restore Point, empty your Recycle Bin (so they'll be easier to restore if necessary) and then delete them as Ed says.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  4.    11 Apr 2016 #4
    Join Date : Mar 2016
    Posts : 33
    Windows 10

    I just did a scan with Malwarebytes Free edition and it did not find anything.

    All those AXDW folders are empty. The log file mentioned is in the $SysReset folder only.

    As far as I can understand this folder is:

    "Created once you perform a System Refresh and the SysReset folder contains information about, ranging from log files to migration xml documents, all of which provide useful information to a forensic investigator."

    I installed Windows 10 via Windows 7 and actually did a system refresh, so I guess this is remains from that event.

    I'll try to delete the SysReset folder (as I am no forensic investigator) and those AXDW folders as well.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  5.    12 Apr 2016 #5
    Join Date : Jul 2015
    Posts : 20
    Windows 10 Pro 64-bit

    If those are leftover files from the upgrade, they should go away if you run a "Disk Cleanup" on your C:\ drive's properties. Though I have never heard of or seen any such files being created by Windows.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  6.    12 Apr 2016 #6
    Join Date : Mar 2016
    Posts : 33
    Windows 10

    Only the $SysReset folder is as far as I can understand leftovers from the system refresh. The AXDW folders I have no idea what are.

    In an earlier post in this thread I reported that those folders did not contain any files, something that is true when I open them (I have obviously hidden files and folders visible). However - when deleting them it took some time because they all had 3000 files without any name or size (!).

    I've run virus checks and antimalware on them without finding anything. After a reboot I am still here, so hopefully nothing very bad has happened...
      My System SpecsSystem Spec


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