I received an e-mail from a friend with an eml file extension name "Fwd_Fw_Sportsmanship.eml" I copied the attachment to the desktop and attempted to open it with Internet Explorer. Now I cannot delete nor rename the file, and it shows to be associated (has the E logo) with Internet Explorer. Several friends insist that it is a Nimda-type worm, but I do not find any other clues that it is. What is a logical approach to getting this file off my desktop, whether it is or isn't a virus or worm?
The name means nothing in itself. A virus or worm can use any name at all.
Have you tried scanning it with an up-to-date virus scanner? If that shows it as clean, have you tried deleting it after booting to a DOS prompt?
Since you tried to open it using IE, if it was infected, your system is probably infected now, and you'll need to use an AV product to clean it.
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