It’s amazing how often you get the feeling with computers that someone has virtually trampled on your toes, or unceremoniously shoved you out of the way. The latest Patch Wednesday updates (here in England, patch Tuesday usually catches up with us on Wednesday) seemed to coincide with a driver update for NVidia cards to resolve a vulnerability, and since then I’ve been trying to clean up some picture files that NVidia feel they are free to dump into the My Pictures folder.
Of course, at first you have to wonder how just installing a video card can open up your computer to remote attacks that can take over the whole machine. Not that I had any idea up until last week that I actually had NVidia GeForce cards in my two Media Center boxes. Or, until I looked at the preference settings in the video driver console, that the driver checked for updates every day – and obviously not very successfully if it needs a Patch Wednesday to kick off the update process.
But what galled me was that, after the update, I had a new folder in the public pictures folder full of weird 3D sample files that the video card doesn’t actually recognize as I didn’t install the 3D driver. Because we use Media Center as our main TV and entertainment system, I like to manage the pictures folder so that we can browse our collection of digital photos, and they are also displayed by the screensaver. I don’t really want some unusable files dropped in there, especially by an update that doesn’t bother to ask for my permission.
And what’s worse is that, on one of the two machines, I can’t delete them. The owner, and the only account with permissions to delete them, is the built-in SYSTEM account – which is presumably used by the driver update program. I managed to add my domain admin account to the list of permissions and even take ownership, but I still can’t delete them. I have no idea why. All I managed to do was set the hidden flag on the folder so that they don’t show up in Media Center. Yet on the other machine I was able to delete the 3D sample files using my domain admin account.
Of course, it could just be that the flat file system of my hard drive doesn’t recognize the extra dimension…