Interesting file in cookies folder
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Thread: Interesting file in cookies folder

  1. #1
    Senior Member therenegade's Avatar
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    Interesting file in cookies folder

    I noticed that there's a file called index.dat in my cookies folder.I opened it and it said that it was locked for editing by 'another user'..funny...as I dont have another user on my comp(I'm not on a LAN either).I opened it up with read only priveleges,it was unintelligible.Any idea of what this could be?

  2. #2
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    Good Day,

    www.google.com is your friend.

    First page opened was:

    http://www.acesoft.net/delete_index.dat_files.htm

    Index.dat--What is Index.dat File ?

    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Index.dat are files hidden on your computer that contain all of the Web sites that you have ever visited. Every URL, and every Web page is listed there. Not only that but all of the email that has been sent or received through Outlook or Outlook Express is also being logged. The file names and locations depend on what version of Internet Explorer you have. If you are running IE version 4.0 or above, the file name is "index.dat". Microsoft has not supplied an adequate explanation as to what these files are for or why they have been hidden so well.

    According to Microsoft, these files are used to cache visited Web sites to help speed up the loading of Web pages in Internet Explorer. Obviously this cannot be the case because when you clear the Temporary Internet Files the "index.dat" files remain behind and continue to grow. If you delete or clear the Temporary Internet Files, there is absolutely no need to index the URL cache because those files no longer exist.

    On a Windows 9x computer these files are located in the following locations:

    \WINDOWS\Cookies\index.dat
    \WINDOWS\History\index.dat
    \WINDOWS\Temporary Internet Files\index.dat
    \WINDOWS\Cookies\index.dat
    \WINDOWS\History\index.dat
    \WINDOWS\Temporary Internet Files\index.dat


    In Windows 2000 and Windows XP there are several "index.dat" files in these locations:

    \Documents and Settings\<Username>\Cookies\index.dat

    \Documents and Settings\<Username>\Local Settings\History\History.IE5\index.dat

    \Documents and Settings\<Username>\Local Settings\History\History.IE5\MSHist012001123120020101\index.dat
    \Documents and Settings\<Username>\Local
    Settings\History\History.IE5\MSHist012002010720020114\index.dat

    \Documents and Settings\<Username>\Local
    Internet Files\Content.IE5\index.dat

    Index.dat files can be very hard to find. If you are in Windows, even with "Show hidden files and folders" enabled, index.dat files are not visible and cannot be found if you do a search for index.dat files. The reason that these files are so invisible is that they are not just hidden, they have been designated as "system" files. System files and folders are treated differently in DOS and Windows and are effectively cloaked from casual searches.


    Index.dat files are always being used by windows system, you can not delete index.dat files manually, and even you clear Temporary Internet Files on Internet Option of Internet Explorer, it will not delete index.dat files.



    Now that's scary stuff, you can use some utilities to delete them, as the ad says, but they are everywhere and ever-knowing!



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  3. #3
    Senior Member therenegade's Avatar
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    umm yep,I had that much,just wanted to see if that was all it was...and the file was sitting right there in the folder lol..windows needs to hide files better

  4. #4
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    I've always seen them, but never really figured out how to remove the index.dat

    If you were able to, wouldn't the computer stop logging all that info about those sites because the folder didn't exist? Once I deleted all the extra temp internet folders, and low and behold, the folder stayed empty. I don't know if it changed the path and put them somewhere else or what. But for the most part I didn't have to clean the temp internet folder any longer..

    cheers

    edit: Found the answer as well. IE is completely integrated into the MS OS and just as quickly as I would delete it, Explorer would create another. You can delete the files in the index.dat folder with utilities or

    Windows 95 and 98, reboot into MS-DOS mode and run the following commands at the command prompt:

    cd windows
    deltree /y cookies
    deltree /y history
    deltree /y tempor~1

    If your computer runs on Windows NT, 2000 or XP, this is very easy. You simply log out of your normal account and into an account with administrator privileges. Create a new administrator account from Control Panel > Users if you have to do so.

    Navigate to the folder locations using Windows Explorer and simply delete them. Since you are not logged into those accounts, Windows is not using them and they can be deleted normally. The next time you log on, Windows will try to open the index.dat files, find they are missing and recreate them and their folders from a default template.

    In Windows NT, 2000 and XP, the folders are located in these locations:
    C:\Documents and Settings\[Username]\Cookies\
    C:\Documents and Settings\[Username]\Local Settings\History\
    C:\Documents and Settings\[Username]\Local Settings\Temporary Internet Files\Content.IE5\

    http://www.spywareinfo.com/articles/del_index.dat/
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  5. #5
    according to the above story, if you would do something illegal, or if someone with enough knowledge would get there hands on your system, they would be able to see every move you ever made.... not a pretty thought!!

    perhaps it is possible to create a script, that can run as a service which automatically deletes the files at boot up or shutdown....

    i'll get into that, its pretty interesting

  6. #6
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    lepricaun,

    It should be easy enough to set up a batch to run at startup like you said and include cleaning out that junk. You might want to add whatever other cleaning you want to do as well.

    For win98 you could include:

    del C:\windows\ff*.temp
    del C:\windows\temp\*.* > NUL
    del C:\windows\system\advert.dll
    del C:\windows\win386.swp
    deltree /y C:\windows\recent\*.* > NUL

    and from above:

    deltree /y C:\windows\cookies
    deltree /y C:\windows\history
    deltree /y C:\windows\tempor~1


    Now that would just about clean everything but the bathroom....

    cheers
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  7. #7
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    Search a bit more on AO. There are several threads, some quite recent, on how you can handle those pesky index.dat files.

    Again, you can create batch files, that will delete the contents on restart or start-up, or you can also drag and drop them into the "shredder" of Spybot S&D. You'll have to restart the box
    and your index.dat files will have a paltry 32 bytes in them.

  8. #8
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    I have accumulated quite a collection of batch files, scripts, articles and programs aimed at dealing with index.dat files. Hardware Hell has a substantial thread in their forum on batch files that users created to delete these files - ranging from Windows 98 to Windows XP . . . You cannot use the same batch file on every operating system. I've also found that what works on one system, may not necessarily work on another . . . even if they have the same OS and program setups.

    If anyone is interested, I would be more than happy to supply copies of what I have. Here is the link for the Hardware Hell thread (http://hardwarehell.com/discus/messa...html#POST11208).

    V.
    All truths are easy to understand once they are discovered; the point is to discover them. What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters compared to what lies within us.

  9. #9
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    This is all very curious, as I'm not sure whether these index.dat files were intended to track what you are doing or not.
    I suspect not, and it is probably just down to out of date code.

    However MS has never over the last 5 years given a reason for why these files exist in the first place, and what they are supposed to be used for ...

    You can delete them all with no side affects, which can be done by various means depending on your environment - and even stranger it has no affect on how your system works

    The simplest solution for WinXP is - boot in safe mode & then open a command prompt window. Type "cd:\" to get yourself back to the root directory (C:\) , and then "del index.dat /s" which will purge all of the little buggers ..

    Incidentally, index.dat files are recreated at 32 bytes, but they will rapidly grow again.

    However, the side affects are interesting, as you can see what someone has looked at using IE, even if it was 3 years ago

  10. #10
    Regal Making Handler
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    I would think that the index dat files are a deliberate addition to windows. This enables the authorities to gain evidence should they wish.

    Software like Encase, wich the authorties use to gather evidence. Has the ability to extract typed urls from index dat files.
    What happens if a big asteroid hits the Earth? Judging from realistic simulations involving a sledge hammer and a common laboratory frog, we can assume it will be pretty bad. - Dave Barry

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