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Deleting The Hidden Browser History In Xp Home

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#1 RknRusty


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Posted 15 November 2007 - 10:56 AM

I read this article at http://sillydog.org/mshidden.php with interest, but it was intended for Windows 9x users. Is it still true with XP Home, that there are super secret hidden hidden files?

Without installing DOS x.x, I know of no way to get to my root directory to follow the instructions. Also, I grew up on DOS 5.0, and don't necessarily recognize these DOS commands in the article. For instance, is [cd\deltree/y temp] a compound command? To me, in 5.0, [cd] means "change directory"; [deltree], I assume, is the same as the old [del *.*/s]; and I have no idea what the "Y" switch is. Also, I would have expected this temp folder would be located at c:\windows\temp, but the way I read the article, he's pointing to c:\temp. A temp folder on the root directory just doesn't sound right to me.

If I have to install DOS to do this, does it matter what version I use? Maybe I can download a copy. After I write this, I'll search for it. I know I have a DOS prompt command from inside Windows, but I suspect it won't let me do this.

Am I just babbling, or can anyone point me in the right direction?


Edited by RknRusty, 15 November 2007 - 10:58 AM.

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#2 garmanma


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Posted 15 November 2007 - 03:40 PM

Try using the Recovery Console
offers a good tutorial
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#3 Budapest


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Posted 15 November 2007 - 03:54 PM

CCleaner will delete all the internet history files (along with other temp files).

Warning: If you choose to use CCleaner stay well away from the registry cleaner - you can do serious damage to Windows unless you know what you're doing.
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#4 1101doc


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Posted 15 November 2007 - 07:42 PM

Perhaps you are thinking of the Index.dat files?
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#5 RknRusty

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Posted 19 November 2007 - 11:31 AM

Thanks for the replies. I have not yet taken any action, since everywhere I look, there are different ideas about how to do it. 1101doc, the link you posted [http://www.exits.ro/index-dat-files.html] was helpful. I may try Noevidence, but first I'll take a look with index.dat viewer to see just what the files look like.

#6 tswsl1989


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Posted 19 November 2007 - 01:33 PM

The article you mentioned is (in my opinion anyway) slightly paranoid.
The index.dat files can't be deleted by yourself using windows XP, but you can delete them from another account on that computer.
Recovery console won't do it. It's normally set so that you can't access non-system areas with it.

Anyway, if you want to delete the files mentioned in the article, here's how.
1) Log on as another user.
If your the only user on the computer, reboot to safe mode (Restart, tap F8 until the menu appears, chose Safe Mode), then login as Administrator (normally no password required)
2) Open Windows Explorer\My Computer
3) Tools -> Folder Options. Click the view tab
4) Choose "Show hidden files and folders" and clear the box next to "Hide protected operating system files (recommended)"
N.B. This box is ticked for a reason. Be very careful.
5) Go to "C:\documents and settings\<<username>>\Local Settings"
6) Delete the contents of these folders
Temporary internet files
7) Under "C:\documents and settings\<<username>>", delete the contents of the "Cookies" folder
Do Not Delete The Folders Themselves
8) Reboot

If you want to clear the list of websites in the registry mentioned in the article, do the following when logged on normally (as you)
Tools->Delete browsing history->Delete Forms
Tools->Internet Options-> Content
There should be a delete button in a box labelled AutoComplete (Can't check, as I don't have IE6 to hand)

That should do the trick.

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