Deletion Of Index.Dat Files

Discussion in 'other software & services' started by Kas, Feb 17, 2009.

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  1. Kas

    Kas Registered Member

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    After reading all I could about Index.dat files, I concluded that these files record EVERY site we have ever visited since our PC cracked open the eggshell. Many comments on the web condemn Index.dat files as a threat to privacy - wide open to hackers and servers alike to see our entire history.
    Also they take up an enormous amount of bytes.

    SO, I used EASYCLEANER 2.0.6.380 by ToniArts to delete a few - two could not be deleted. All are types IE5\MSHistory\Index.dat etc. ; the main file contains 1,228,800 bytes and will not delete.
    Result - my history for last week and previous is gone even though the large file is still intact.

    QUESTIONS ??
    1) Is it really wise to delete Index.dat files and lose your history, even though they pose a real security threat ?

    2) The deleted files are in the Recycle Bin. I thought it was OK to do this since I can RESTORE items in the bin - do this all the time.

    BUT, when I try to restore the Index.dat files, a message asks if I wish to replace an existing file with the deleted item - when I say YES - another message says I cannot do this as a file already exists with the same name and asks me to RENAME THE INDEX.DAT FILE I wish to restore !! Stumped at this point,
    WHAT NAME DOES IT WANT ?

    Help please !! especially on HOW I can restore these deleted files back to their comfy little holes, my gory history will return for all to see and have fun with and we will all live happily ever after like peas in a pod.

    Waiting for my friendly and welcome super-sleuths to respond.
    Many thanks to you all
    KAS
    :eek:
     
  2. Fly

    Fly Registered Member

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    I don't want to hijack your thread, but:

    For as far as I know, CCleaner would delete the index.dat file (are there more than one?).

    Webroot has fallen out of favor, but I have a copy of Window Washer.
    It lets you overwrite the index.dat file (are there more than one??).

    What's really the difference, from a practical perspective ?
     
  3. Kas

    Kas Registered Member

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    ================

    Hi, that was quick.
    CCLEANER I use all the time. It DOES delete an Index.dat file, but I don`t know what the devil it is grabbing - it certainly does not grab the files listed by EASYCLEANER. They appear to be immune to CCLEANER.
    At present (it varies) I have 5 Index.dat files listed by EC ;-
    1 @ ~ 1,230,000 - will not delete
    1 @ ~ 180,000
    1 @ ~ 147,000
    2 @ ~ 33,000

    My concern is ;-
    Why should we have our entire browsing life recorded for all to play with ?

    Is it wise to delete Index.dat files from a system functional point of view, even though all your criminal records are on display to any nosey-parker ?

    What the dickens do we need browsing history for any way beyond a few days ?
    * I am assuming that Email history IS NOT subject to Index.dat files, because THAT is essential to retain.

    Cheers for now
    KAS
     
  4. JRViejo

    JRViejo Global Moderator

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    @Fly,
    Yes, there are more than one. This old article The truth about the index.dat files: What, why and where? will offer more insight into index.dat files for you and Kas.

    @Kas,
    I use CCleaner now but at one time, I used Index.dat Suite in my old 98SE PC to clean them out. I now use the Suite in my XP PC just to view their contents once in awhile. There is a No Install version in their download page, but as with any software, use it at your own peril.
     
  5. the Tester

    the Tester Registered Member

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    1) I have been deleting Index.dat files for quite a few years with no ill effects.
    2)I wouldn't bother with restoring the Index.dat files. Windows will refill them as you surf. What may causing problems with you trying to restore Index.dat files is that they are locked files.

    Almost every program that deals with Index.dat files that I have looked at clean those files at startup. CCleaner, Super Cleaner,IDS suite,Advanced System Care, and System TuneUp all have worked for me.
     
  6. Longboard

    Longboard Registered Member

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    ;) Yes screeny shows simple search for index.dat

    I also have used the very powerful Index.dat Suite
    There is a good index.dat file viewer here:
    http://www.stevengould.org/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=57&Itemid=220

    Imho Easy Cleaner is a great little tool, but, has not been updated for some time -? since 2007 ?.

    CCleaner, again, imho is a GREAT GREAT freeware utility, perhaps not the most powerful 'cleaner' but on the whole safe and effective, to clean index.dat files with CC, needs a reboot.

    As per the screeny:
    Note that many of my index.dat files are 16 kb which afaik is the 'default' size of empty 'cookie'.dat files.

    The size of a clean History index.dat file is also 16 KB.

    When clean the size of Temporary Internet Files (Cache) index.dat file is 32 KB.

    In rare cases when you have special Internet applications installed on your machine, you need to add 16 KB to the values above.

    Another little free utility for useful cleanups is MRU Blaster from javacools
    http://www.javacoolsoftware.com/mrublaster.html
    will often pick up stuff others have left behind.
    The MRU lists are older but javacools has promised an update when he can :)
     

    Attached Files:

  7. EASTER

    EASTER Registered Member

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    You think you covered all your tracks? Go to NIRSOFT and D/L ShellBags and check out even more sesssion evidence OF YOUR TRACKS.

    I use a reg file to blast them off the system too.

    EASTER
     
  8. prius04

    prius04 Registered Member

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    Well, that was interesting. I found references to the likes of accounting, tax, and financial s/w that I had uninstalled a couple of years ago.

    I just deleted the whole deal (after I did a full image) and that was that. Regardless, I find it truly bizarre that the registry keeps track of all that junk, seemingly forever.
     
  9. the Tester

    the Tester Registered Member

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    I ran ShellBags and I see what you mean.
    There is more junk on my pc than I expected.
     
  10. EASTER

    EASTER Registered Member

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    Microsoft Windows among many other things good or bad is also an excellent COPY MACHINE!

    It stores a pletora of data in very many places a user would have no idea was there.

    In short, with a standard windows system, there is NO PRIVACY AT ALL or even erasing everything that only takes up space, hence the many apps which been designed to try to dig up, identify their hiding places, and completely readicate former activities.

    EASTER
     
  11. axial

    axial Registered Member

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  12. Carver

    Carver Registered Member

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    Oh my lord, all that junk in my registry.
     
  13. Rmus

    Rmus Exploit Analyst

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    The Shell/NoRoam keys in WinXP replaced the Streams and StreamMRU keys in Win2K:

    streamMRU.gif

    This is useful for controlling how you want your folders to display: size, placement, explorer view or folder view, etc.

    One of the wonderful uses of a reboot-to-restore product like Deep Freeze (DF) is that you can control what MRU and other such stuff you want saved. If you install DF as soon as the OS is installed and your filing system is set up, you can open your principal folders as you want them displayed. This information will be stored in the Registry. After you freeze the system partition, nothing else written to that partition, including the Registry, is saved upon reboot. I have 73 folder views saved as Streams. That folder information in the Registry is nothing that isn't already viewable from Windows Explorer. Anything else done during a session is discarded on reboot.

    This will also include all stuff written to temp folders, Recent folder, etc, and of course, all Index.dat files will retain nothing written to them upon reboot, therefore, will always stay at their initial file size of 16 or 32K.

    So, some type of reboot-to-restore program is a useful maintenance tool in addition to providing security. I never have to defrag the system partition and of course, the Page file is always clean.

    If the program is installed on a clean, fresh system, your system partition will always remain clean and uncluttered.

    ----
    rich
     
  14. Fly

    Fly Registered Member

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    Does anyone know how good Window Washer (I have a copy) is at deleting (technically overwriting) index.dat files ?

    I have used this utility before, it has an option to overwrite index.dat (probably only 'index.dat' is mentioned, singular, not plural, but maybe more than one is covered). This Windows XP Home Edition has actually only one account that is used. Does CCleaner (or others) delete more ?

    I know Webroot is out of favor, but I just happen to have a copy.

    Also, it has the ability to overwrite slack space, or something like that. How does that compare to other utilities, especially CCleaner ?

    I also wonder how significant it is to delete/overwrite LocalSettings and SystemProfile index.dat files (and if Webroot covers this).

    My impression is that not much (if any) of my surfing is stored there (I use IE 7). At least, in the current configuration. In the past I've had a mess with cookies stored in local settings etc., but not anymore. Maybe this gets too technical, but could a .NET setup or McAfee software have anything to do with that ? For as far as I know, McAfee uses a .NET setup, and it prevents many indirect cookies like Doubleclick (settings: allow direct cookies, block indirect cookies, box for session cookies not ticked) from being stored.
     
    Last edited: Feb 18, 2009
  15. EASTER

    EASTER Registered Member

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    I use this reg file to clear out the ShellBagsView entries i found on the net one night. It works but i can only guarantee on XP/XP Pro. Dunno about other platforms.
    Just another in a clean up routine i go thru every single day, in my case not for privacy so much as for performance. I'm very high on disk performance and IMO anything including shell bags is just more material that eventually slows down Windows performance over time.

    Theres likely even more such clean tweaks on the net and i'm always trying to find them so please share anymore if you run across any. Index.Dat Suite does a fair job at cleaning up after internet sessions too.

    EASTER
     
  16. Rmus

    Rmus Exploit Analyst

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    Hi Easter,

    I'm curious, since you use Deep Freeze, why bother with those cleaning procedures when a simple reboot will take care of everything?

    ----
    rich
     
  17. EASTER

    EASTER Registered Member

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    Regards Rmus

    It's been forever and a day since i used Deep Freeze, thats why.

    Not that it's fell out of favor with me or anything of the sort, because i am still very high on that app and likely always will be, it's just that i keep it loaded on another different static drive i rarely use because of so much testing i go through on this current system. Thats all. LoL

    EASTER
     
  18. Kas

    Kas Registered Member

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    What a wonderful Forum this is. The replies to my thread are so interesting and appear to help others.

    Index.dat files to me are a technical design feature that in theory are necessary for recovery purposes, but in practice are a threat and disgrace to personal privacy, laying out all our activities for all to see.

    I find it an obnoxious SNOOP infestation to my privacy.

    * I alone should have the right to record my activities. NOBODY else.
    * I alone should have the right to delete THE LOT at any time I wish
    and start again from scratch with a clean sheet.

    If any one of us had BIG BROTHER recording our every movements, then the divorce rate would go up by several times and the narcotics mob would be on us like a dose of salts.

    Could somebody please tell me HOW - I am not a boffin like some of you are -
    TO DELETE THESE OBNOXIOUS INDEX.DAT FILES AS ROUTINE.

    CCleaner and Easycleaner are useless.

    Please - how can I get rid of this implanted scurge on my computer ?
    KAS
    :argh:
     
  19. the Tester

    the Tester Registered Member

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  20. Kas

    Kas Registered Member

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    =======
    I downloaded IndexDat Suite after reading about it on the website. They say it does all kinds of nice things, but how do you select what you want ?
    In the absence of a guide, I am flying blind.

    A panel comes up saying RUN. I have not done so yet because I do not know what to expect next. I need a selective list so I can choose what output I get. Do I get that after clicking RUN ?
    Can we trust this provider ? Did it go OK when you used it ?
    KAS
     
  21. the Tester

    the Tester Registered Member

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    You click find. By default the boxes for all index.dat files that are found will be checked. You can unclick any that you want to.I usually left them all clicked. You can view the index.dat files by highlighting a file and clicking the third tab from the left at the top . Clicking the black tab will generate the batch file that clears the files at reboot. IDS sets a restore point and then offers to reboot. You get a notice when accessing the file viewer that it may take x minutes. It never takes that long here. Less than a minute anyway. The only annoyance that I have with it is switching back from the viewer. You have to click the x in the right hand corner to switch back to finder(files found).
    The link in my last post is where I have always downloaded from. It's trustworthy from my experience.
    It worked fine for me. I found that two payware cleaners that I have clean the Index.dat files so I quit using IDS.
     
  22. Longboard

    Longboard Registered Member

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    Hello Kas:
    There are many more expert users here than me who will help, for starters:
    Why do you say that ??
    What specific problems/failures with CC ??
    Did you set up CC options then reboot the box in an admin account?
    Did you ask at CC forums?

    Can you give a screeny to show what files (and where they are) are not deleted or reset to boot defaults by CC. ??

    You haven't been specific re:
    If that is 1.2mb, That is a very large .dat file
    Where is it?

    This will guide you as to a method that may remove some undeleted index.dat files, but will only delete one file at a time:

    Delete the Index.dat file in Internet Explorer:

    This will work but is also very time consuming:

    This utility may help subject to how good your file search might be, but also time consuming: http://ccollomb.free.fr/unlocker/

    TBH it's so long ago that used IDS I cant recall all the specifics, the FAQs and How To's on their home page are very helpful.

    You dont sound like you are going to give up..;)

    EDIT:
    as per the tester
    :thumb:
     
  23. Kas

    Kas Registered Member

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    Hi Longboard,
    WOW, what a grand reply you gave.
    It will take me some time to plod my way through your suggestions, but I promise that I will come back to you.
    I am no PC expert although I am very familiar with computers. Some of the dialogue you boffins use leaves me a little bewildered. But I try hard to cope.

    I use CCleaner all the time for many things, perhaps I am not using it properly for Index.dat. I simply check the box, analyse and GO. It does not clear the several files shown by Easycleaner.
    Dumb question - How do I logon as Administrator ? Safe Mode lets me, but normal mode has not got that choice.
    Many thanks
    KAS
    :argh:
     
  24. Kas

    Kas Registered Member

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    Would ALL the very kind responders to my thread please note that I am reading every reply and appreciate your efforts immensely.
    I cannot reply to each post, but rest assured I am very grateful to you all.
    KAS
    *puppy*
     
  25. Longboard

    Longboard Registered Member

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    You have to set options in CC then clean as you would normally, but, must also reboot at that time ( or any other time ) to clean index.dat files.

    Then do another search or check your problem files for deletion/reset/size/contents.

    How are your user accounts set-up ??
    Are you running as admin ?

    As noted by the tester there are multiple commercial utilities that claim to delete index.dat files:
    I've never used it, but I think Privacy Guardian v4.1 has a free cut down tool and a free trial
    http://www.pctools.com/privacy-guardian/
    LoooL despite the recommendation by "DrPhil", I think this app has some credibility. :cautious:

    You could search for Acesoft, Cyberscrub, Glary Utilities etc etc
    the tester might be willing to give you his recommendations.

    I have in the past used jv16 tools from macecraft with success. http://www.macecraft.com/downloads/
    Strongly recommended by many and a free trial.

    It's hard to recommend/list any apps that one has not used: there may be some "catches" with commercial apps or indeed some pitfalls with freebies
    Be wary re some installs.
    >Image first.<

    Another interesting freebie might be:
    http://www.codeode.com/privacymantra/index.html
     
    Last edited: Feb 21, 2009
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