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Windows 7: Need help identifying file types

10 Jan 2018   #1
PDXmatt

Windows 7 Professional x64
 
 
Need help identifying file types

I've been creating registry entries for unknown file types on my computer. I've been having a hard time figuring out what some of these are, I've spent hours googling them but the sites I've found seem to be talking about different files than the ones in system32. Does anybody know what kind of file spcinstrumentation.man is? I'm pretty sure it's not a Unix Manual.


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10 Jan 2018   #2
Alejandro85

Windows 7 Ultimate x64
 
 

I use the TrID program to learn what a file really is, regardless of its extension. It'll tell a file type based on its contents rather on its name.

Regardless, I also have this same file, and it seems to be standard. Opening it in simple notepad will show it's actually an XML file describing an "instrumentation manifest" (which justifies the file name). No idea what it really does, but most likely it's part of Windows, so I would say to leave it alone.

It's definitely not a man page, as the extension would imply, but a deviation from the convention regarding file extensions. Just an example that shows that file extensions are 100% meaningless to what a file really is.
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11 Jan 2018   #3
PDXmatt

Windows 7 Professional x64
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Alejandro85 View Post
I use the TrID program to learn what a file really is, regardless of its extension. It'll tell a file type based on its contents rather on its name.

Regardless, I also have this same file, and it seems to be standard. Opening it in simple notepad will show it's actually an XML file describing an "instrumentation manifest" (which justifies the file name). No idea what it really does, but most likely it's part of Windows, so I would say to leave it alone.

It's definitely not a man page, as the extension would imply, but a deviation from the convention regarding file extensions. Just an example that shows that file extensions are 100% meaningless to what a file really is.
Thanks! I'm not planning on deleting or modifying any of these files, I simply want to have a name for them registered, and also an icon for them if I find one, and a program set to open them if they are able to be opened.
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11 Jan 2018   #4
torchwood

W7 home premium 32bit/W7HP 64bit/w10 tp insider ring
 
 

Hi PDXmatt,

That file is part of the updating process - usually seen in the CBS log

Allthough if you google it there are reports its a virus

Roy
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11 Jan 2018   #5
PDXmatt

Windows 7 Professional x64
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by torchwood View Post
Hi PDXmatt,

That file is part of the updating process - usually seen in the CBS log

Allthough if you google it there are reports its a virus

Roy
It seems like every time I google a file from the Windows or System32 folder I find reports of them being a possible virus. It's so hard to figure out what some of these files actually do. Does anyone know what ativcaxx.vp or iglhxa64.vp are? They appear to be some kind of driver file, but I'm really curious what exactly they're for so I can give .vp an accurate name in the registry
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11 Jan 2018   #6
RoWin7

Win 7 Ultimate 64-bit
 
 

You're doing this backwards and making extra work for yourself. You don't have to know the purpose of every system32 file, of which I have 16,685. Windows has a total of 120,000. Your system knows what to do with them. Wait till you come upon an unknown file while working, and then see if any of your programs open it. You'll find there are very few anyway.

Some sites tell you every file is a virus to get you to download a phony A-V program. There's a reliable list at bleepingcomputer.com.
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12 Jan 2018   #7
PDXmatt

Windows 7 Professional x64
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by RoWin7 View Post
You're doing this backwards and making extra work for yourself. You don't have to know the purpose of every system32 file, of which I have 16,685. Windows has a total of 120,000. Your system knows what to do with them. Wait till you come upon an unknown file while working, and then see if any of your programs open it. You'll find there are very few anyway.

Some sites tell you every file is a virus to get you to download a phony A-V program. There's a reliable list at bleepingcomputer.com.
I know I don't have to, it's just something I've been doing for the hell of it. I'm only interested in what kind of driver it is so I can give it a accurate name in the registry. It's just annoying googling these files, but not one of the results actually say what it is. I've been creating a key for the extensions in HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT, then making a (EXT)_auto_file key that I point it to. I've probably identified over a hundred file types like this.
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12 Jan 2018   #8
RoWin7

Win 7 Ultimate 64-bit
 
 

You won't find the purpose of most of them because you won't be using them.They're used by the system under the hood, and you won't be aware of most of them working. You'll never have the need to start up most of them manually. I occasionally read .dat files, Readme.txt and .ini files in Notepad, and that's about it.
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12 Jan 2018   #9
Barman58

Windows 10 Pro x64 x3, Ubuntu
 
 

Not sure how deep you want to take this, it can be quite a rabbit hole
This is a section from MSDN that gives advice and suggestions ...

File Types and File Associations (Windows)
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13 Jan 2018   #10
PDXmatt

Windows 7 Professional x64
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by RoWin7 View Post
You won't find the purpose of most of them because you won't be using them.They're used by the system under the hood, and you won't be aware of most of them working. You'll never have the need to start up most of them manually. I occasionally read .dat files, Readme.txt and .ini files in Notepad, and that's about it.
Yeah, I know I don't need to open them. It's just so it shows what kind of file it is in details, tiles and content view. There's no need for me to do it, I'm just curious about what they are.
Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Barman58 View Post
Not sure how deep you want to take this, it can be quite a rabbit hole
This is a section from MSDN that gives advice and suggestions ...

File Types and File Associations (Windows)
Thanks, I've done most of the file types I was curious about, so I'm pretty much done for now. I know I'll never be able to identify every file type, it was just for fun.
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