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  Google Earth unsolicited download to system temp directory 
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Dr. Peaceful Jun 21, 2012, 06:45pm EDT Reply - Quote - Report Abuse
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I've been puzzled by this issue for a while now. Searching the web for solution didn't come up with much. I am wondering if anyone here has experienced the same problem before, OR has any clue to the cause of the problem and/or method to fix it.

Here are the detail descriptions of the problem:
1. Once or twice a day, an unrequested download seemingly from Google Earth is placed into the system temp directory of my computer. Actual path is: "c:\windows\temp\._msige61\program files\Google\Google Earth\plugin\", always the same. The download would be over 500 files and 120 MB in size. The largest I've seen is over 160 MB.

2. I used CCleaner, that's how I noticed the size and location of the unrequested download. CCleaner can clean the entire download without any problem. But the next day, the download would come back, and doesn't matter where I plug into the Internet.

3. I do have Google Earth 6.2 installed. The download above seems to be for version 6.1, older than what I have. Manually clicking the update menu item in Google Earth, would result in saying "no update available this time".

4. I've disabled all Google Update services. I've scan through all startup processes and running processes, but none are related to Google, as far as I can tell.

5. I have 3 browsers: IE9, FF13, Chrome19. No Google related plug-ins for IE9. FF13 has Google Earth 6.2 Plug-in and Google Update 1.3 (disabled). Chrome also has Google Earth 6.2 Plug-in and Google Update 1.3 (disabled). I've disabled both Google Update Plug-ins above and as well as the Google Update system services, but the download above would still come back!

6. I've suspected the download is from either a virus or malware. But scans from AVG and Malwarebytes came up with nothing!

7. I've suspected corrupted installation of Chrome or Google Earth. Uninstall and reinstalled both, but the download still comes back!

8. Fortunately, this has only affected 1 of my PCs. No other PC has experienced the same behavior.

So as you can see, I've tried everything that I can think of. I am out of ideas. Please help! Any idea is welcome, thanks!

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Afrow UK Jun 21, 2012, 07:04pm EDT Reply - Quote - Report Abuse
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>> Re: Google Earth unsolicited download to system temp directory
Install Fiddler and see what comes up.

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Dr. Peaceful Jun 22, 2012, 03:47am EDT Reply - Quote - Report Abuse
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>> Re: Google Earth unsolicited download to system temp directory
Some updates, I've caught one of these downloads in progress. Now I am more convince this may actually be legit Google "business". ;) Thanks for the suggestion of Fiddler, but I do have a software firewall, which I use to monitor some of the traffics. Only the legit program (as far as I know) are allow through, so that decrease the chances of something not legit to download something into my PC.

Anyway, I've caught a download in progress going into Program Files\Google\Update\Install\{ [some hash key here] }\GoogleEarth-Win-Bundle-[version number].exe This file is only 16MB in size, so doesn't take long to be downloaded.

The time stamp for the creation of the above folder and the time stamp for the creation of Windows\Temp\._msige61\ was about the same. The size for the contents in the "._msige61" folder is ~110MB. Around the same time, in the Event Viewer, items for gupdate and gupdatem appeared.

Manually invoked the GoogleEarth-Win-Bundle executable (yeah, I took my chances ;) ), result in the same "._msige61" folder & content under my user's temp folder ( Users\[username]\AppData\Local\Temp\._msige61\ ). Also ~110MB in size. This confirmed that the 16MB executable unpacked into ~110MB of files by itself.

The installation went into an interactive setup, which allowed me to select options and hit next for more steps. I didn't continue the installation process, but it did seem to be a legit installer program.

Google is known to use the following for updating their software in a PC.
1 executable: Program Files\Google\Update\GoogleUpdate.exe
2 services: gupdate (GoogleUpdate.exe /svc) and gupdatem (GoogleUpdate.exe /medsvc)
2 schedule tasks: GoogleUpdateTaskMachineCore and GoogleUpdateTaskMachineUA

The part that beats me is that I've deleted both schedule tasks and stopped both services above, how in the world would they "reactivate" itself and continue to download stuffs? Also, as you can see, the installer does not have a good cleanup function, it left you a whole dump (> 100MB) of temp files!

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