First, let me put your mind at ease. There’s no problem.
They’re definitely oddly named directories, but it’s just Internet Explorer being … well, being Internet Explorer.
Here’s what’s going on …
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As you browse the internet, IE “caches”, or keeps local copies of, lots of the files that are downloaded as part of your surfing. For example the images that might be part of a web page are downloaded and placed in the cache.
Why? So that when you return to that page, or another page that references the same image, IE doesn’t have to download it again. And again. And again.
The result is that your browsing experience is much faster.
Did I mention that there could be a lot of files? Thousands of files. Thousands and thousands of files.
Various hard disk file systems (FAT, FAT32, NTFS, and perhaps others we haven’t even thought of yet) have different limits and performance characteristics when you place a large number of files in a single directory. But they all do relatively well with lower numbers of files. Rather than throw all the files into a single directory, IE creates several subdirectories, and spreads the files among them.
So why the odd names? To be brutally honest, I’m not sure. There may be some very geeky reason that it makes the software elegant or more effective, I suppose. Personally, I’d have chosen more normal names, in case real people end up actually seeing them and getting confused or concerned. And of course your question is not uncommon, and shows that’s exactly what happens.
And there’s the key; these directories were actually never meant to be viewed directly by real people. The intent is that Internet Explorer would manage them. In fact, Windows Explorer even goes the extra mile to hide those directories by making it look like all the files in them are actually directly in Temporary Internet Files.
If you view the “Temporary Internet Files” directory in Windows Explorer, you’ll see that it contains lots of files. (You may have to configure Windows Explorer to “Show hidden files and folders” – I touch on that in Part 2 of How should I set up my computer?) However, if you open up a Windows Command Prompt, and navigate to that same directory, you’ll see the list of subdirectories with funny names and a file “index.dat”, which is what IE uses to keep track of what files are where in the subdirectory. The actual files you saw listed in Windows Explorer are actually distributed within the subdirectories here.
I wouldn’t expect Norton or Spybot to say anything because everything is as expected.
Confusing, perhaps, but as expected.