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Clean My History Files


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#1 rlight

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Posted 04 September 2006 - 04:26 PM

Recently, I purchased a used computer. It is a far better computer than the one I replaced. However, there are a few websites that the previous owner visited that I would rather not have in my computer history. I know the basics for removing/deleting cookies, etc. from my files, but is there a way to 'clean' these items completely from my history files?

thanks
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#2 rubiconeye

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Posted 04 September 2006 - 05:31 PM

is it internet explorer you are using for the internet?

if so, click on the 'tools' menu, go to 'internet options' and in the 'general' tab you should see a 'clear history' button.

if you are using another browser, please give details, ie, firefox, opera, whatever.

#3 rlight

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Posted 04 September 2006 - 05:53 PM

I am using IE and I delete the items in my History file and Temporary Internet Files on a regular basis in Internet Options.

However it is my understanding that even though I delete these files via Internet Options these files still exist on my harddrive and that is what I want to permanently remove.

Edited by rlight, 04 September 2006 - 05:55 PM.


#4 rubiconeye

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Posted 04 September 2006 - 07:34 PM

hi, rlight,

you could download and run 'ccleaner', a free download that will remove a lot of junk files, and clean index.dat files, etc. but, if the previous owner has stored undesirable files in folders created by him/her, then you may need to check folder by folder and this will take a bit of time.

you could always save your data and reinstall the os, opting for a full format as you do so, this will ensure you a 'clean' harddrive. if you want to be completely ott, you could overwrite your harddrive a few times with a programme like 'boot n nuke' to totally sanitize it! then install your os.

good luck

ps: type ccleaner in google to go to home download site.

#5 acklan

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Posted 04 September 2006 - 08:44 PM

If you have Spybot S&D you can use the Shredder feature in Advanced Mode to Wipe instead of deleting the files. This will overwrite the files rendering them unrecoverable.
There is a stand alone program to do the same thing. Right now I cannot remember it though.
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#6 jgweed

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Posted 05 September 2006 - 07:15 AM

The stand alone application is most likely Eraser. It is free and a link to the download site can be found here:

http://www.bleepingcomputer.com/forums/topic3616.html

If you use CCleaner, be EXTREMELY careful about which candidates you allow it to delete. It may present files that are essential to the correct operation of many different applications.

Regards,
John
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#7 acklan

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Posted 05 September 2006 - 08:48 AM

The stand alone application is most likely Eraser. It is free and a link to the download site can be found here:

http://www.bleepingcomputer.com/forums/topic3616.html

If you use CCleaner, be EXTREMELY careful about which candidates you allow it to delete. It may present files that are essential to the correct operation of many different applications.

Regards,
John

That's it. Thanks jgw.
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#8 rlight

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Posted 05 September 2006 - 09:59 PM

Thank you,
I appreciate your help.

rlight

#9 rlight

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Posted 20 September 2006 - 10:23 PM

I have looked at Eraser and it looks rather 'technical'. Is there a program out there that is not so 'advanced?.


rlight

#10 jgweed

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Posted 21 September 2006 - 12:09 AM

Hold in memory that what you are doing is overwriting files which cannot be retrieved; any application that does something as drastic as this is bound to be somewhat complicated.
Since you have already deleted the files you want erased, here is what you need to do.

Eraser Instructions:

1. Edit/Preferences/Erasing. You can set the FILES tab to #3, which will overwrite files (on-going) three times. This is generally sufficient for most users. Set the UNUSED DISK SPACE to #4, which will overwrite each file one time. Remember that as you add/delete files and applications, the empty space will in time be overwritten anyway. One pass should be sufficient (and faster).

2. Click on the "On Demand" icon in the main panel (to the left of the task list) Then go to:
File/ New Task/ Data tab. Check only the first option, "unused disk space", and then the drive you wish to overwrite. Click OK, and the result will be a line written in the Scheduler Panel.

3. Right click on the task line, then click on Run on the drop- down menu.

Regards,
John

Edited by jgweed, 21 September 2006 - 12:12 AM.

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#11 rlight

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Posted 26 September 2006 - 01:02 AM

Thanks jgweed,
I appreciate all your help.

rlight

#12 rlight

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Posted 01 October 2006 - 06:17 PM

Thanks again jgweed, for your help.
Does Eraser overwrite every file on my harddrive or just specific files that I have selected? Basically I want to overwrite websites that were visited by the previous owner of my computer, how would I choose these files? Is there a danger with using Eraser that I would erase files that are vital to my computer?

Also, in your instructions on how to use Eraser, you said "Check only the first option, "unused disk space" and then the drive you wish to overwrite." On my computer I have three choices Floppy, Local Disk C and Local Harddrive, I would assume that I select Local Harddrive. Is this correct?


rlight

Edited by rlight, 01 October 2006 - 06:38 PM.


#13 Enthusiast

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Posted 02 October 2006 - 05:59 AM

Your local hard drive is probably C: unless you have more than one hard drive and have installed Windows on a drive other than C: which would be unusual or you have the hard drive partitioned into more than one partition with Windows installed on a partition other than C: which would also be unusual.


Are you worried about only the files that show the browser history or the previous owners personal files in which they may have saved similar information relating to the topics on visited websites too?


Yes, you can hose your operating system and all the programs if you do not know what you are doing while using Eraser or similar aps.

Edited by Enthusiast, 02 October 2006 - 06:05 AM.


#14 Andersson

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Posted 02 October 2006 - 11:18 AM

I have looked at Eraser and it looks rather 'technical'. Is there a program out there that is not so 'advanced?.


rlight



CCleaner

Great program

#15 jgweed

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Posted 02 October 2006 - 12:56 PM

If you set the instructions as I indicated, and choose whatever drive designation you are using for your hard drive, it will over-write any unused space on the entire drive, which for Windows, includes any deleted files. I understand you to have already deleted anything you didn't want on the drive. Before you run the task, double check to make sure only the "unused" option is checked!
Regards,
John
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