Caution - index.dat in NON MS Apps

Discussion in 'privacy problems' started by StevieO, Jun 24, 2009.

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  1. StevieO

    StevieO Registered Member

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    Wiping MS index.dats on reboot is an option that a number of us do. But if you have index.dat from other vendors, then these may need omitting/excluding from your Cleaner software.

    As an example, yesterday i discovered that DriveSentry has an index.dat when watching a review of it. I just searched on here and found a reference to it in post #923 https://www.wilderssecurity.com/showthread.php?t=209764&page=37

    I wonder how many others are out there ?
     
  2. the Tester

    the Tester Registered Member

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    This is news to me.
    The tools that I use to clear index.dat files have not detected or displayed any index.dat files from non-Microsoft programs yet.
     
  3. Nebulus

    Nebulus Registered Member

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    The location of MS index.dat files can be found in the registry, so I doubt that a good cleaning tool will start erasing all index.dat files on the HDD. If it does, then it's time to find a new tool :)
     
  4. the Tester

    the Tester Registered Member

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    That's the point I was trying to make.;)
     
  5. StevieO

    StevieO Registered Member

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    Hi all.

    Yes i'm aware that the Cleaners, i've used anyway, only include " normal " index.dats. But in another thread on here about index.dat some people wanted to know how to include others from different locations. I showed someone how to include Privie.dat in Ccleaner.

    Now if some reading thought they could just go and include all index.dats, then i thought it might be helpful to raise my concerns, as they might possibly do some damage.
     
  6. the Tester

    the Tester Registered Member

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    I see what you're saying.
    It's not a good idea to start including non-MS index.dat files for cleaning.
     
  7. snowdrift

    snowdrift Registered Member

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    Agent Ransack can search and find all index.dat files... it's freeware and you should be able to mass-select them all and delete them to the Recycle
    Bin. The one you cannot delete will have to be gotten with CCleaner upon reboot.

    Thumbs.dat can be found in a similar fashion and deleted en masse.
     
  8. LockBox

    LockBox Registered Member

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    I think a bit differently about this. If any developer is dumb enough to name anything to do with their program "index.dat" it's time not to find a new cleaner that won't erase it, but a new piece of software that's smart enough to know not to name any necessary files "index.dat".
     
  9. siberianwolf

    siberianwolf Registered Member

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    even just using the built-in windows search function with advanced options such as "search system folders" & "search hidden folders" ticked, will show you some non-ms index.dat files alongside ms index.dat files present on your pc. just start a search for the phrase "index.dat" and you'll see.
     
  10. the Tester

    the Tester Registered Member

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    I don't doubt that.
    My point is this, the programs that I use for cleaning index.dat files don't detect non-MS index.dat files. As long as they aren't detected I'm not bothered by their existence.
     
  11. Fly

    Fly Registered Member

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    I'm on Windows XP service pack 2.
    I just did that 'search', and I found only Microsoft/Windows index.dat files.

    I guess not many applications use their own 'index.dat' files ?
     
  12. majoMo

    majoMo Registered Member

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    A app. cleaner that does that is a good 'index.dat' files cleaner indeed.

    The app. that wants to clean "Windows system index.dat files" must to clean these files - never all index.dat files.

    Take notice though that Windows system index.dat files is not the same that MS index.dat files.

    E.g.: This MS index.dat file shouldn't be deleted never. In fact it isn't adviced to remove it.
     
  13. LockBox

    LockBox Registered Member

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    I don't know where all these mystery "index.dat" files are coming from. The only ones I ever have seen are the MS-related garbage files. I believe that every piece of software that someone has claimed to be creating their own index.dat files has proven to not be doing this. I still think there's not a developer dumb enough to put said file name in their application.

    As for the index.dat in the PC Health folder, some systems have trouble after deleting the file and only when Windows fails to recreate the file in its proper path.
     
  14. Rmus

    Rmus Exploit Analyst

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  15. the Tester

    the Tester Registered Member

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    I ran Agent Ransack like snowdrift suggested to see what would be detected.
    This box has XP SP3 and I don't have Adobe Photoshop.

    Out of 17 detections for "index.dat" files only two of the files were not Microsoft or Windows files. The files were related to Index.dat Analyzer and being that the name has "Index.dat" in it, I'm not surprised.

    Here's a screenshot....
     

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  16. LockBox

    LockBox Registered Member

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    The rest of the path (not shown) is probably "cache"?

    I just looked at 4 of the biggest Photoshop forums (including the official Adobe Forum) and there are mentions of index.dat in only the official forum and a search found exactly four mentions of it. Some say it's only there to help render cached thumbnails (similar to thumbs.db?) others don't seem sure, but all agree it's no big deal to delete. A Google search brought up nothing that even discussed index.dat and Photoshop. With all the index.dat cleaners, you would think this would come up all the time if it were a problem.

    If Adobe uses "index" as a file name with the .dat extension - it makes no sense. At any rate, deletion, per the references above, is no big deal.
     
  17. Carver

    Carver Registered Member

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    Mine index.dat in that folder has gone missing (don't know how or when it got deteted), I went to my other Windows XP PC and copyed the index.dat. I haven't installed it yet so I don't know if the transplant will work.
     
  18. Rmus

    Rmus Exploit Analyst

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    Excuse me, but that is not an incomplete path:

    indexdat2.gif

    I was not aware that the intelligence of a developer was somehow diminished by the use of a file called index.dat. I've used other programs over the years that had an index.dat, and it never occurred to me that Microsoft's use of it precluded anyone else from using that file name.

    That file name actually makes a lot of sense -- it is an index of data, in this case, information about what is loaded into the FileBrowser.

    EDIT:

    Their function is to store both metadata and thumbnail information. Instead of using this central cache, you can choose the 'export cache function' that creates *.md0 and *tb0 cache files that store the metadata and thumbnail information for each directory of images. The FileBrowser searches the separate directory cache files first, making thumbnail rendering almost instant on subsequent revisits to a particular directory of images.

    In my case, images are stored on a separate partition since my C: partition is frozen with Deep Freeze, meaning that the index.dat file and directory shown above always revert back to the previous state on reboot.

    There is also a 'Purge Cache' function that cleans out both the Directory and Index.dat file

    regards,

    rich
     
    Last edited: Jun 28, 2009
  19. LockBox

    LockBox Registered Member

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    Rich, Just to make it clear, I wasn't accusing you of leaving out the cache path. I only wrote that meaning "my best guess is it's a cache path".

    Google "index.dat" and you have to get deep, deep into the results before anything is about index.dat in relation to its use in any other application other than Windows - and it's this thread! My point is that it it is not common and because of the notoriety of the (infamous?) index.dat file, most developers would not name a file the same; and yes, I still believe using a major Windows system file name that many users have issues with would not be very smart. I didn't literally mean it as a marker of a developer's intelligence, but only colloquially.

    You seemed to take something personally and I'm sorry as I certainly never intended it that way at all. I've always had a lot of respect for your posts, have enjoyed our PM exchanges about Deep Freeze and such and feel bad that you took offense. Again, I certainly didn't intend it personally.
     
  20. Rmus

    Rmus Exploit Analyst

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    Hi Gerard,

    OK - I see your point. BTW - some years ago in a discussion with some Photoshop users, we noted that it must be very easy to purge an Index.dat file, since Adobe 7 does it: So why can't Microsoft do the same?!

    ----
    rich
     
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