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Google AFE


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#1 Sean T. McBeth   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 1641

Posted 06 January 2006 - 11:04 AM

trying to clean all the crap off of my mother's new dell laptop. They've really gone overboard with the garbage on these things lately. I bought a dell 3 years ago and it didn't have this much garbage on it. Stuff like 3 different setup programs to install files for AOL, EarthLink, or whatever. Stuff like the Wild Tangent Web Driver. Stuff that nobody should really have on there computer. But, my father wanted the service warranty on the computer, and Dell was the cheapest around, so we went with it. I kick myself in the ass every time I capitulate on that issue, when will I learn? Anyway, on to the confusitoriation. I found something weird called "Google AFE". It's located in c:\program files\GoogleAFE, and has one file "GoogleAE.dll". I don't know why the F is missing, because every other bit of version information refers to it as GoogleAFE.dll. Suprise, suprise, I can't get a google search to return anything meaningful (mostly stuff in spanish or about truck parts). I got an MSN search to return two forum posts where it was mentioned but nobody knew what it was. I have no idea what this thing is, and I don't see where anyone else knows either. One forum post was just inquisitive, one was stating that while it was on his computer, modifying his hosts file to block banner ads caused a strange error message to appear on a dell productification of a google page (incidentally, the default homepage on dell computers these days). After removing it, he said everything worked properly, but still didn't know what it was. Under file properties -> version: File Version: 1.0.0.1 Description: GoogleAFE.dll Copyright: Google©. all rights reserved Company: Google Product Name: Sample code for GoogleAFE WTF?

[Formerly "capn_midnight". See some of my projects. Find me on twitter tumblr G+ Github.]


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#2 Sean T. McBeth   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 1641

Posted 06 January 2006 - 11:16 AM

hell, the file is small (88KB), if anyone wants to look at it, tear it apart with a hex editor or something, here it is.

[Formerly "capn_midnight". See some of my projects. Find me on twitter tumblr G+ Github.]


#3 Extrarius   Members   -  Reputation: 1412

Posted 06 January 2006 - 11:21 AM

Have you done a registry search for the file name? If not, that might give information about what it's attached to in the system (if anything)

Have you checked if it's under IE's "Tools | Options | Programs | [Manage Add-ons...]"?

You might also want to use some tools from SysInternals, such as Autoruns together with Process Explorer to see if it's used by something that starts up automatically.

I just opened it up in Dependency Walker and the only part of the windows api it uses is all COM-related stuff, so I'd bet it's some kind of shell or browser extension.

#4 SKATIN_HARD   Members   -  Reputation: 175

Posted 06 January 2006 - 11:28 AM

Did it come with a Windows XP cd? Or did it come with a set of cd's that have the factory image on them? I would say just reinstall windows if you could. It is crazy how much junk comes loaded on a pc now.

#5 Sean T. McBeth   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 1641

Posted 06 January 2006 - 11:30 AM

Quote:
Original post by SKATIN_HARD
Did it come with a Windows XP cd? Or did it come with a set of cd's that have the factory image on them? I would say just reinstall windows if you could. It is crazy how much junk comes loaded on a pc now.


yeah, that was my first inclination when the thing arrived two weeks ago, but lo and behold, apparently Dell doesn't think you're entitled to CDs for software you paid for!

[Formerly "capn_midnight". See some of my projects. Find me on twitter tumblr G+ Github.]


#6 stimarco   Members   -  Reputation: 1071

Posted 06 January 2006 - 11:45 AM


The GoogleAFE file seems to be an IE plug-in. From the resource section at the end of the DLL file, it appears to be .NET-related and may be involved in one (or more) of the following:

1. Google Toolbar.
2. Google Desktop Search (unlikely given the file's tiny size)
3. Pop-up blocking
4. A support file for Google's Arabic website. (Probably unlikely.)

Of the four, I'd rank pop-up blocking as the most likely as the program seems to involve looking at the title bars of open windows.



Then again, it could always be a Vast Global Conspiracy.

--
Sean Timarco Baggaley


#7 Sean T. McBeth   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 1641

Posted 06 January 2006 - 11:48 AM

yeah, I'm counting on the VSG

[Formerly "capn_midnight". See some of my projects. Find me on twitter tumblr G+ Github.]


#8 nagromo   Members   -  Reputation: 676

Posted 06 January 2006 - 01:42 PM

Quote:
Original post by capn_midnight
Quote:
Original post by SKATIN_HARD
Did it come with a Windows XP cd? Or did it come with a set of cd's that have the factory image on them? I would say just reinstall windows if you could. It is crazy how much junk comes loaded on a pc now.


yeah, that was my first inclination when the thing arrived two weeks ago, but lo and behold, apparently Dell doesn't think you're entitled to CDs for software you paid for!


I got a Dell notebook this summer; it came with a tool to let you burn an XP install CD. It installed cleanly, too, with the service packs and drivers but not the extra crap. I think it's in Start->Dell Accessories, but I'm not sure because I've upgraded to XP Pro from MSDN. I was annoyed at Dell that the CD wasn't included, too, but somehow I learned about it on Dell's site. I can't find it now, though.

Apparently they think the majority of computer users shouldn't have a Windows install CD (they might be right), and anyone who should can burn it themselves.

It only lets you burn a single copy before the program deletes itself, though.

#9 Avatar God   Members   -  Reputation: 1072

Posted 06 January 2006 - 01:53 PM

Wow, my Dell came with all the CDs. That's really unfortunate that they don't do that anymore. And by unfortunate, I mean stupid.

Which is good, because I've reinstalled Windows about 8 times in two years so far on this PC. On the other hand, I'm completely happy with my Dell warranty, as they've replaced (for free) a power supply, a CPU, two motherboards, RAM, keyboard/mouse, and a DVD drive. Except for the mouse/keyboard, I can't blame the hardware problems on Dell, either.

You should be able to ask Dell to send you the CDs though. I realize you get the crappy support system though (for the non-XPS systems), so that might not be as easy as it should be.
gsgraham.comSo, no, zebras are not causing hurricanes.

#10 Mastaba   Members   -  Reputation: 757

Posted 06 January 2006 - 02:27 PM

It seems to me to be branding related. It has the following link hardcoded in it: http://www.google.com/hws/dell/afe?hl=en&s=

Which would normally do a Google search with the search term at the end of the link.




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