HTML in index.dat
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Thread: HTML in index.dat

  1. #1
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    HTML in index.dat

    Okay, guys, this is really weird. I don't really know why this happened, or how, so I'm just going to tell you everything I did and maybe you can figure it out for me.

    I was reading an article at Astalavista on how to delete your Index.dat file. Having tried a few methods before, and being unsuccessful, I was naturally interested in finding a method that worked.

    I opened AutoExec.bat in NotePad and placed these lines in it before the last one:

    deltree /Y c:\windows\history\
    deltree /Y c:\windows\cookies\
    deltree /Y c:\windows\tempor~1\

    Later, I restarted. When I clicked OK to Restart (I'm positive the radio button next to Restart was filled) I got the screen saying, "Windows is shutting down." And it froze there. Having no other option, I shut my machine off by the switch and turned it back on. Having then selected DOS from my Linux dual-boot screen, text ran up saying what files were being deleted, such as my cookies. The screen stayed up C:\Windows\tempor~1\content.ie5 for a very long time. (I'm using IE 6, by the way...) I just sat and looked at the screen waiting for it to do something. I was pretty sure it hadn't locked up, because some of the other files took a bit to delete, and my computer was making a whole bunch of sounds. Finally, after it was done, it booted into Windows 98 normally. I checked my index.dat file, and no longer were the URLs and machine language there, but rather content from a Web site I had read about a week before. It was in clear, complete paragraphs. As for the image files on the site, they were shown as <.img src="filename.ext"> At the end of the document, a word was cut off, almost as if there were a character limit. (Is there?) I restarted again, and this time it went smoothly, like a normal restart should. No lock-up, no unusually long wait. When I checked index.dat again, it was all gone. No paragraphs of text from that site I read, no URLs, no machine language. All that was in the file was something along the lines of this: Client UrlCache MMF Ver 5.2. Having felt somewhat like an idiot for deleting the evidence of this screwed up occurance, I decided not to post asking about it.... Until...

    Okay, so I restarted one last time and went to bed. Next day (today), I come home from school, view a few sites, and check if the file would still work as it always used to, and what do I find? Reminants of that article I had read. It was no longer in full, complete paragraphs, but now in garbled up word fragments. I took a screen grab and attached it to this post.

    The site with the article I read is right here:

    http://www.dkvine.com/features/xbox25.html

    Isn't that weird? Can anyone explain how that might have happened? Sorry for the long-windedness, I just wanted to be clear. I'm not making any of this up.
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  2. #2
    Hi mom!
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    A couple of things:

    I don't have a clue what index.dat does, but from what I hear from you, it's where iexplore logs its history, right? Cache maybe?

    The [img]bladibla.gif[/img] thing that you saw, is a HTML reference to a picture. Basicly, it's telling your browser to show a picture on a webpage.

    Furthermore, adding or removing lines from autoexec.bat will not cause computer-hangs on windows SHUTDOWN. However, be aware, if you don't know what you're doing, you might cause a lot of damage:

    Autoexec.bat is a batch-file executed upon boot of the system. A batch-file is, simply put, a list of commands which are executed one at a time one. The deltree command, which you're using, is used to remove directories recursively: it's like rm -r dir in linux, be very careful using it.

    Last, I just gave up on Iexplore. I had some problems with it, and tried to reinstall it. To do that, I wanted to remove it, manually. After stuggling with it for about two hours, I ended up deleting every single thing that remotely made me think it had anything to do with Iexplore. Good enough, upon reboot, Iexplore refused to start. Opening .html, starting it trought /start/run, I tried it all, nothing. Suddenly, I thought of Windows Update, and how it complained every time it wasn't run by iexplore. Wondering what kind of error it would give now, I descided to start it trough the start-menu. I was stunned when I watched iexplore popup.

    Morale of the story: Messing with iexplore gives you headaches.

    Hope this helps a bit
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  3. #3
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    Thats wierd... What version of Windows are you using? Which edition of the many crash-and-bug-ridden mosters are you using? [I use windows myself, though I wish I didn't, so I'm not saying windows is bad... just that its crash-and-bug-ridden!]
    One Ring to rule them all, One Ring to find them.
    One Ring to bring them all and in the darkness bind them.
    (The Lord Of The Rings)
    http://www.bytekill.net
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  4. #4
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    I know what img src=" " is, and I know what deltree is. I don't believe that was my question though. I also know what AutoExec.bat and what normal batch files are as well.

    I didn't say that I think my editting of autoexec.bat was the cause of the lock-up. My computer locked up on-restart, and that was a long while after I had editted autoexec.bat.

    I'm using Windows 98, as was stated in my lengthy post. I'm sorry about how long it was, that must have got lost somewhere in there....

    A very brief description of my first post: An entire Web page was in my index.dat file rather than just URLs. Why? How?
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  5. #5
    Hi mom!
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    My guess is that's it's cached for some reason or another - but why do you really care?
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  6. #6
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    Ah. Sorry, I don't have access to a Win98 machine to try it out on at the moment... the monitors gone on my 98 box...
    One Ring to rule them all, One Ring to find them.
    One Ring to bring them all and in the darkness bind them.
    (The Lord Of The Rings)
    http://www.bytekill.net
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  7. #7
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    Originally posted by Rewandythal
    Thats wierd... What version of Windows are you using? Which edition of the many crash-and-bug-ridden mosters are you using? [I use windows myself, though I wish I didn't, so I'm not saying windows is bad... just that its crash-and-bug-ridden!]
    The information above is quite important, you did also mention DOS.. Do you use another DOS then the one come with your Win version? It can be a problem with long filenames and locked files removed in a wrong way under a old DOS.

    One other important thing to remember is that you should avoid use autoexec.bat for such jobs. Atleast as long as you don't have to hide the "application" for other users you should use "autostart" or "startup" (depends on win version).

    And use "del" with switches instead of "deltree" since "deltree" is a rather dangerous thing to use ;-).

    Hope this got you a bit closer to the solution of y problem.
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  8. #8
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    I don't really care. I don't know why I'm so curious, to tell you the truth. Call me paranoid, but when this happened to me, those rumors about Microsoft monitoring us popped in my head. Heh, guess it's not that important.

    I would try to repeat the steps that made this happen, but I can't really make my computer intentially lock up the way it did, nor can I make it take an unusually long time deleting the files on startup. Would if I could, but I can't, so I won't.

    Nope. Same DOS that came with my Windows.

    Hmm... Guess I'll never know why. Thanks for the attempts though. Just out of curiosity, now, why is deltree dangerous?
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  9. #9
    Hi mom!
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    deltree your root, and find out
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