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Old 02-05-2003, 10:03 PM   #1
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M$ Internet Explorer and "index.dat"

Curious how many people realize this fact, but when you run Internet Explorer on Windows, it compiles a file of all the URLs you access in a file called "index.dat." Most curiously, it also hides the file in a folder that one can only access if you type in the exact folder path in the address bar, even if you have hidden and system files showing in your preferences. Even at that, you can't delete the file easily; only if you have a multi-user login and you delete other users' "index.dat" files.

Deleting the file has no negative effect on your system, and, after deleting it, IE just starts all over again in rebuilding the file.

Don't you love a lack of privacy?

Melon
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Old 02-05-2003, 10:06 PM   #2
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so, what is the exact folder path??
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Old 02-05-2003, 10:16 PM   #3
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Go to the menu.

Hit "Tools" --> "Internet Options" --> "Settings" button --> "View Files" button.

You're in the "Temporary Internet Files" folder. Without deleting anything in the address bar, add "\CONTENT.IE5" (no quotes).

It should look similar to this:

C:\Documents and Settings\....\Temporary Internet Files\CONTENT.IE5

(Note: This is the Win2K / WinXP folder structure. Just make sure that CONTENT.IE5 is appended to the Temporary Internet Files folder like this)

Hit "Enter" to go in (or the "Go" button) and you'll find your file.

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Old 02-05-2003, 10:24 PM   #4
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Actually, there's three "index.dat" files. One in CONTENT.IE5 and two in the "History" folder. Turning your page history to 0 days does no good. It still compiles the URLs.

Don't you love Micro$oft?

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Old 02-05-2003, 10:40 PM   #5
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gosh, this sucks.
thanks for the info!
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Old 02-05-2003, 10:48 PM   #6
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I F$cking hate them....Melon are you a web developer?
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Old 02-06-2003, 11:32 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally posted by DiGi
I F$cking hate them....Melon are you a web developer?
Yup...I do web design, multimedia design, video production, and have some audio production knowledge (but I'm really rusty on that right now).

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Old 02-06-2003, 11:37 AM   #8
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This is one reason why I stay away form IE, I prefer Opera.......plus my IT department dosent keep tabs on Opera the way they do on IE.....
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Old 02-06-2003, 11:58 AM   #9
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For a while now I'm a Mozilla user. Since 2 days I'm also trying out Phoenix (which is based on Mozilla). They are great, with better features than IE and no snooping around (both programs are Open Source, so the code is available for everyone to view and scrutinize it).

It will be a better day when there is no more IE.

C ya!

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Old 02-06-2003, 12:22 PM   #10
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If you periodically delete your cookies, history and temporary internet files, does it have any effect on the index.dat files?
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Old 02-06-2003, 12:53 PM   #11
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Originally posted by dipster
If you periodically delete your cookies, history and temporary internet files, does it have any effect on the index.dat files?
No. The index.dat files keep the URL entries, and anyone with the right kind of viewer program (I downloaded a freeware program, for instance) can look at all the URLs you've visited. The only way to get away is to either not use IE or to periodically delete the index.dat files. But, as I said above, that is not easy, and it is constructed that way on purpose.

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Old 02-06-2003, 01:16 PM   #12
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Very interesting, thanks for the info.
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Old 02-07-2003, 10:50 AM   #13
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Re: M$ Internet Explorer and "index.dat"

Quote:
Originally posted by melon
Curious how many people realize this fact
*raises hand*

But this is only because in my signature at work says.

Network Security

So it would be bad if I did not know that.


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Old 02-07-2003, 11:09 AM   #14
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Melon,

Are there any freeware programs to delete or modify the index.dat? It was easy to find viewers, but not so with something to "clean up" this file.
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Old 02-08-2003, 09:24 PM   #15
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Yes, melon, is there anything for pc illiterates like me, some nice little program that just erases that shit?

And when I got a firewall, can the index.dat data be sent anyway? I guess so, no - because I "allow XP" - or Explorer, logcial enough, to access the net!?!

Is there any program like PGP not only for mails, but for the whole system?
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