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Thread: Really Hidden Files (for XP only)

  1. #1
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2002

    Really Hidden Files (for XP only)

    Microsoft's Really Hidden Files: Updated Specifically for XP:

    http://www.**** has a nice little tut on Microsofts Really Hidden Files which shows you how to find cached information stored about you and what your doing on your win95/98 box. Unfortunately, they do not tell you about XP, where they have changed everything around a little. This TUT is to show you where this information is stored on XP and how to get rid of it!

    Before you begin:

    Please ensure that you have done the following:
    You are log 'd on as Administrator (or the first user created during setup)
    You have set the XP theme to Classic (might work otherwise, didn't test)

    1. double click my computer
    2. double click your primary drive (i.e. C )
    3. click Tools on the menu
    4. select Folder Options
    5. select View
    6. make sure Show Hidden files and folders is Selected
    7. Uncheck the box next to "Hide protected operating system files(Recommended)
    8. click Apply
    9. Click OK
    10. double click Documents and Settings
    11. Double click desired User (you can do this for each individual user, each has their own cache)
    12. Double click Local Settings
    13. Double Click Temporary Internet Files
    14. Highlight the Address in the Address bar, copy it, put it in a TextPad (notepad)

    This next part is a little tricky. You will need to open a Command prompt, click Start, Run, type Command, Press OK
    You need to get dos to the same folder you browsed to, but in order to do that, you must Truncate the address so that Dos can understand it. For example, if my username were pothead, it would look like this:
    or if it were winbitazz it would look like this:
    Anything over 8 chars is truncated with a ~1, (this of course means that anything over 8 chars will have the first six chars showing followed by a '~1' makeing up 8 chars, for example georgecarlin.txt would be truncated to george~1.txt> Its called 8.3 filenameing system.) you may have to play with it a few minutes as not all systems and usernames are the same, sorry

    15. Type: Edit desktop.ini
    16. Once desktop.ini opens, push the down arrow once, putting your cursor on the second line. Put a minus sign at the beginning of this line. Also add a minus sign immediately after the =
    17. Click File, Save
    18. Click back to your Windows Explorer
    19. Hit the Back button
    20. double click Temporary Internet Files (yes i know you were just there)
    21. A new folder should have appeared, Content.IE5. double click it
    22. explore all the files, and see what Microsoft has been collecting about you

    Side Note: I feel this comes under Personal Security, not to metion a real waste of space! I had 1.5 gigs in there and I only have a 6 gig drive! This is not really fair from a consumer point of view, seems they want your drive to fill up so you must upgrade it.... If anyone feels this should not be posted, let me know and I will delete it, no neg points needed.....
    Ron Paul: Hope for America

  2. #2
    AO übergeek phishphreek's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2002
    That method is much easier than the one I've been taking...

    All this time, I've been going to the recovery console to get rid of that crap.

    I was most surprised to see Outlook messages with attachments were still there... even though they've long since been deleted.

  3. #3
    Once youve done all that, is it safe to delete the file, or just the contents, also is there anyway to prevent data from being saved there?
    Mafia = Organized Crime
    Government = Unorganized Crime

  4. #4
    AO übergeek phishphreek's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2002
    You can move the folder in internet options.

    You can also reduce the size limit to put in the temporary internet folder. The minimum is 1mb. Though you may be able to tweak that in the registry. I've never tried. I was looking for a way to move the files directly to the recylce bin... but as of yet haven't found a way.

    You could always use a different web browser... there are several more out there that are just as good if not better. Many people here think anything is better than IE... including Lynx.

  5. #5
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Seems mine are really empty... something must be cleaning them itself. Maybe MRU Blaster ?

    I use Mozilla most of the time anyway, maybe this is the reason

  6. #6
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Well I just did this at work, and only had 6.66MB of information in there (7.53MB on disk)... heheh, weird how M$ is. Plus at work I have Windows 2000, so it will work on both XP and 2000 following the steps listed above.

    Very good post though, interested to see what I got in that folder at home...
    [shadow]There is no right and wrong, only fun and boring...
    Formatting my server because someone hacked into it sounds pretty boring to me...
    That\'s why it\'s all about!

  7. #7
    Old-Fogey:Addicts founder Terr's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2001
    Seattle, WA
    FYI... Not sure about 95 but it works with 95... if you want to go to the folder 'My Documents' you can also do this:
    cd "my documents"
    rather than
    cd mydocu~1

    Just use the quotes.
    [HvC]Terr: L33T Technical Proficiency

  8. #8
    Senior Member Zonewalker's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2002
    hmm... interestingly I didn't actually have to do all of the above in order to see my content.IE5 folder, it's already there.... having said that I use a RAM disk to store ALL of my temporary internet information on, including index.dat... gets wiped away every time I switch the computer off... so I never actually have to worry about putting temp internet stuff anywhere near a recycle bin and never have to worry about persistent cookies or anything

    Quis Custodiet Ipsos Custodes

  9. #9


    I recently got a program called SYSTEM MECHANIC it works on almost all microsoft and mac computers including XP. The cool thing about this program is that you can fine tune your internet, computer speed, installation of software and other intresting objects of fun. Also one of the best things about this program is that you can install the Incinerator for complete deleting of stuff you decide to delete, but be warned that once you delete an item there is no way to get it back. You can set the amount of times the data is overwritten with random data and when you restart your computer or shutdown to dos, your computer completely deletes that data from the system.

    Believe me it does alot to delete cookies and the cache!
    It might even protect your ass from all those sites we're not really supposed to see (i.e. Porn, Government, Military)!

  10. #10
    Damn Microsoft! I use IE a fair amount (unfortunately), so I've probably got a good amount of junk - I've gotta go get to cleanin'!

    Things like this piss me off - but what doesn't when you are having a bad day..
    - Maverick

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