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    totalpcnoob's Avatar
    totalpcnoob Posts: 3, Reputation: 1
    New Member

    Jul 6, 2004, 11:36 AM
    I cannot clear my internet history!
    When I go to Tools, Internet options and click "clear history" then click on the pic of the clock with the arrow (history) the sites I've visited are still there. The thing is the function worked the other day and my history could be cleared. I don't really care about all the cookies and temp. files, I just want my history of sites to be cleared.

    What is wrong, it worked the other day?
    Whiskey14's Avatar
    Whiskey14 Posts: 219, Reputation: 16
    Full Member

    Jul 11, 2004, 10:33 PM
    Re: I cannot clear my internet history!
    If you are using Internet Explorer, go to Tools, Internet Options, under the General tab click Clear History, that's all you have to do.

    If you really want to clear your surfing tracks:

    Even if you regularly clear your Internet History, Temp files, and cookies to keep ordinary snoops at bay, you're overlooking a very important detail: index.dat files. These hidden files contain information about your IE surfing history and your Outlook activity. On tonight's 'Savers, I'll tell you a simple way to uncover and clear 'em out manually.

    Microsoft claims index.dat files cache webpages you visit to help speed up the loading time in Internet Explorer. A lot of folks disagree, and there are a few conspiracy theories floating around about what index.dat files are really for. I'm not really worried because I know an easy way to get rid of them.

    Come out, come out wherever you are!

    Index.dat files aren't only hidden, they're system files. Even if you select to show hidden files in your folder options, they remain unseen. To track down index.dat files, you need to know where to look.

    File names and locations depend on which version of Internet Explorer you have. Assuming you run IE 4.0 or above, the file names will be "index.dat."

    In WinXP, here's where you'll usually find them.

    * C:\Documents and Settings\username\cookies
    * C:\Documents and Settings\username\Local Settings\History
    * C:\Documents and Settings\username\Local Settings\Temporary Internet Files

    Clean house

    I like to think we all learn more about Windows each time we get our hands dirty, and you'll have an easier time clearing out index.dat files manually than downloading a third-party program to do it for you.

    1. Restart your computer in Safe Mode with Command Prompt. (Press F8 on startup and choose Safe Mode With Command Prompt.)

    2. Log on as administrator. Enter your password.

    3. Once you reach the command prompt, type "CD\" (no quotes) and hit Enter to get to your root directory.

    4. Type "del index.dat /s" (no quotes) and hit Enter to erase all files named index.dat on your computer.

    5. Type "shutdown -r" (no quotes) to restart your computer normally.

    Your index.dat files will return once Windows boots up normally again, but they'll be empty! Have fun hiding your dirty little secrets. ;-)
    Sarah - G4 TechTV

    Hope this helps!
    jclore's Avatar
    jclore Posts: 1, Reputation: 1
    New Member

    Aug 5, 2004, 07:23 AM
    Re: I cannot clear my internet history!
    Great Post Whiskey14!

    I did a little experiment on deleting this file without restarting.  It's possible but to be quite honest restarting is probably easier.  For anyone who cares here is what I did. This is pretty technical and is only for people who really care what is stopping them from deleting these files without rebooting.   Save all your work before proceeding!

    1. Download following utilities: (grab kill.exe)

    2. Extract files to a folder on your PC.  I downloaded to the ever so descriptive C:\temp2.

    3. Start a command prompt and change to the directory with handle.exe

    4. Launch the following command:
    C:\temp2>handle > test.txt

    5. Do not close the command prompt.  You'll see why in a sec...

    6. Open test.txt in notepad and bring up search utility with CTRL+F

    7. Type index.dat in the box and click find next. Note the PID for the section index.dat is located in.  Click on find next again and repeat.  Do this until you have all PID's.  In my case I found 4 PID's.

    8. Close all windows except the command prompt. (you did leave that open right :P)

    9. I also saved kill.exe to c:\temp2 so I ran the following (note at the end of this you type explorer to get desktop back):

    C:\temp2>kill 3504
    Process #3504 killed

    C:\temp2>kill 756
    Process #756 killed

    C:\temp2>kill 2756
    Process #2756 killed

    C:\temp2>kill 2812
    Process #2812 killed


    C:\>del index.dat /s
    Deleted file - C:\Documents and Settings\jclore\Cookies\index.dat
    Deleted file - C:\Documents and Settings\jclore\Local Settings\History\History.IE5\index.dat
    Deleted file - C:\Documents and Settings\jclore\Local Settings\History\History.I
    Deleted file - C:\Documents and Settings\jclore\Local Settings\Temporary Internet Files\Content.IE5\index.dat





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