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Green Eyes

Index.dat files

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Hi, If I am correct CCleaner marks index.dat files for deletion at time of next startup as they can't be deleted immediately as they are being used. I also believe the index.dat files contain much personal info that is held within the temporary files that can be immediately securely deleted (7 overwrites).

 

So my questions are - when the index.dat files are deleted at next startup are they securely deleted via the 7 overwrites (assuming this is set)? If not, should you run CCleaner again after next startup in order to securely delete the old index.dat files?

 

Or is there no way the information contained in index.dat files can ever be securely deleted.

 

Thanks in advance folks!

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Index.dat Analyzer shows the content of index.dat files.

Perhaps other tools can do this too or even better - I dont`t know.

 

With CCLeaner you can specify folders and files of your own choice to be cleaned at startup.

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I like and use Index.dat Suite to clean up the index.dat files:

http://support.it-mate.co.uk/?mode=Product...=index.datsuite

 

Index.dat Suite's current features include;

* View and delete index.dat files

* View and delete Temporary Internet Files (TIF)

* View and delete Cookies

* View and delete History

* View and delete Temp files

* View and delete Recent Documents

* Delete Typed URL's

* Delete Prefetch folder contents

* Auto-generation of batch file to assist in deleting the index.dat files in DOS.

* Optional add to RunOnce registry key

* Optional deletion of swap file (9x users only)

* Optional defrag after file deletion

* Full application logging

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Assuming you are using Windows XP, replace "Administrator" with your own personal User-Name and copy the following Script into Notepad.

 

Save the resulting file as IndexDat.cmd (no "txt"-Extension).

Echo Off

Cls

RD/S/Q "C:\Documents and Settings\Administrator\Application Data\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\UserData\index.dat"

RD/S/Q "C:\Documents and Settings\Administrator\Cookies\index.dat"

RD/S/Q "C:\Documents and Settings\Administrator\Local Settings\Temporary Internet Files\Content.IE5\index.dat"

RD/S/Q "C:\Documents and Settings\Administrator\UserData\index.dat"

RD/S/Q "C:\Documents and Settings\Default User\Cookies\index.dat"

RD/S/Q "C:\Documents and Settings\Default User\Local Settings\Temporary Internet Files\Content.IE5\index.dat"

RD/S/Q "C:\Documents and Settings\Local Service\Cookies\index.dat"

Echo Off

Cls

1. Subsequently copy the new IndexDat.cmd file into your profile (move the new IndexDat.CMD to C:/Documents and Settings/your user name/).

 

2. Go to C:/Documents and Settings/All Users/Start Menu/

right click on empty space and go to new and choose "Shortcut".

click on browse and locate IndexDat.CMD in your profile to have the Script executed at every System-Startup.

 

3. Finally there is still an alternative to combine this Script togeteher with the Freeware-Program Eraser at System-Startup.

 

Or is there no way the information contained in index.dat files can ever be securely deleted.

With CCleaner - No.

 

If you wish to have the Index.dat-Files permanently unreadable, you?d better switch to an alternative Browser (Firefox / Opera) and keep your system constantly defraged.

 

P.S. With a Knoppix-CD as a separate Boot-System, you might be able to delete files under XP as long as the mounted Host-Drive / Partition is not formatted as NTFS. For that you?ll need a Captive NTFS-Driver wich is not uncomplicated...

 

 

Oliver

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Assuming you are using Windows XP, replace "Administrator" with your own User-Name and copy the following Script into Notepad.

 

Save the resulting file as IndexDat.cmd (no "txt"-Extension).

Echo Off

Cls

Del "C:\Documents and Settings\Administrator\Application Data\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\UserData\index.dat"

Del "C:\Documents and Settings\Administrator\Cookies\index.dat"

Del "C:\Documents and Settings\Administrator\Local Settings\Temporary Internet Files\Content.IE5\index.dat"

Del "C:\Documents and Settings\Administrator\UserData\index.dat"

Del "C:\Documents and Settings\Default User\Cookies\index.dat"

Del "C:\Documents and Settings\Default User\Local Settings\Temporary Internet Files\Content.IE5\index.dat"

Del "C:\Documents and Settings\Local Service\Cookies\index.dat"

Subsequently copy the IndexDat.cmd file into your Autostart-Folder and log-in as Admin. With the following reboot the above designated Index.Dat-Files will be deleted - not wiped.

With CCleaner - No.

 

If you wish to have the Index.dat-Files permanently unreadable, you?d better switch to an alternative Browser (Firefox / Opera) and keep your system constantly defraged.

 

P.S. With a Knoppix-CD as a separate Boot-System, you might be able to delete files under XP as long as the mounted Host-Drive / Partition is not formatted as NTFS. For that you?ll need a Captive NTFS-Driver wich is not uncomplicated...

Oliver

 

 

 

Thanks folks.

 

So, in summary it seems CCleaner is a good tool for deleting to free space but not for security purposes if the index.dat files are not totally wiped - which means personal info could still be retrieved.

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Thanks folks.

 

So, in summary it seems CCleaner is a good tool for deleting to free space but not for security purposes if the index.dat files are not totally wiped - which means personal info could still be retrieved.

 

What about : ''CCleaner > 'Options' > 'Settings' > Secure deletion''

 

 

Echo Off

Cls

Del "C:\Documents and Settings\Administrator\Application Data\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\UserData\index.dat"

Del "C:\Documents and Settings\Administrator\Cookies\index.dat"

Del "C:\Documents and Settings\Administrator\Local Settings\Temporary Internet Files\Content.IE5\index.dat"

Del "C:\Documents and Settings\Administrator\UserData\index.dat"

Del "C:\Documents and Settings\Default User\Cookies\index.dat"

Del "C:\Documents and Settings\Default User\Local Settings\Temporary Internet Files\Content.IE5\index.dat"

Del "C:\Documents and Settings\Local Service\Cookies\index.dat"

 

 

OR this :

 

@echo offdel "%appdata%\Microsoft\Internet explorer\UserData\index.dat" del "%userprofile%\Cookies\index.dat" del "%userprofile%\Local Settings\Temporary Internet Files\Content.IE5\index.dat" del "%userprofile%\UserData\index.dat" del "C:\Documents and Settings\Default User\Cookies\index.dat" del "C:\Documents and Settings\Default User\Local Settings\Temporary Internet Files\Content.IE5\index.dat" del "C:\Documents and Settings\Local Service\Cookies\index.dat"

 

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Ayush wrote:

 

What about : ''CCleaner > 'Options' > 'Settings' > Secure deletion'

 

 

Because, from reading the above, the index.dat files are only deleted (at startup) rather than being securely deleted as with other files. As CCleaner cannot get at them to securely wipe them (because they are locked) it can only mark them to be deleted at startup - and presumably when they are deleted (at the next startup) they aren't wiped, just merely deleted.

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Green Eyes wrote:

So, in summary it seems CCleaner is a good tool for deleting to free space but not for security purposes if the index.dat files are not totally wiped - which means personal info could still be retrieved.

That is unfortunately true - and there are two general things to take care of concerning secure cleaning and saver surfing as far as I know.

 

a. There are much cooler tools around for the secure cleaning of designated files / partitions / or even entire disks - for instance the free tool Eraser.

 

b. Assuming you do care a lot for your own personal surfing privacy (at Home or Company) and your Harddisk is not small, you probably do yourself a big favour not to take any advantage of the Internet Explorer unless you really need it for certain reasons. Opera and Firefox provide a much better and safer surfing comfort without the use of any Index.dat files - since there is actually no real informatic reason for those files to exist.

 

Deleting the Index.dat files with the above given Autostart-Scripts and taking advantage of Alternative Browsers aswell as keeping your HD constantly defragmented with a free tool like Power Defragmenter might result in an impossibility to restore any available personal logged content from your Index.dat files later on by i.e. authorities...

 

 

Oliver

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IE7 running on WinXP Pro with SP2 (and all updates applied) includes a Browsing History Delete option on the Tools, Internet Options, General tab. Use the Delete All to clean up index.dat files although the "All" will also wipe cookies you may have set to save with CCleaner. Use the individual cleaning options, except the cookie cleaner, to leave your favorite cookies.

 

To see how this IE7 cleaning differs from CCleaner's, download Process Explorer from Sysinternals (http://www.microsoft.com/technet/sysinternals/default.mspx). With Process Explorer running, start IE7. In Process Explorer, show the lower pane (Control-L) and use the View option to set the Lower Pane View to display DLLs.

 

Once you're set up, highlight iexplore.exe (Internet Explorer) in Process Explorer. In the lower pane, after a brief delay, you'll see lots of entries. Scroll down to the index.dat entries. There will be several. You can double click any one of them and on the Strings tab see the content of the selected index.dat file.

 

The first thing you notice is data you would prefer not to be there including history, cookie data, etc. depending on which index.dat file you're examining. When you run CCleaner, the content of index.dat files doesn't change (until perhaps you reboot). However, if you use the IE7 Delete All function (keeping IE7 and Process Explorer open) you can go back and immediately, by opening them with Process Explorer, see what clean index.dat files look like.

 

I prefer the real-time deletion of IE7 but I like the convenience of CCleaner. So I use CCleaner for a single click wipe of the Temporary Internet Files and browsing history (but not the corresponding data in the index.dat files) to solve browser problems caused by these files. Then I use the IE7 deletion options for my session.

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wikitech wrote:

I prefer the real-time deletion of IE7 but I like the convenience of CCleaner.

Depends on the fact in how far you can really trust the integrated IE7 cleaning option.

 

If you do take advantage of a separate Hex-Editor and try to really look deep into the remaining informations that are still provided by the deleted index.dat-files (deleted by the IE7-Option as you have said), you might still obtain usefull data, because as far as I know, IE7 doesn?t clean those files - it just deletes some informations out of them. (what you call "Real-Time-Deletion").

 

Concerning my experience, the only way to not obtain any sensitive data out of the index.dat files, is just to completely delete or even better, to wipe them.

 

I changed the Script within the posts above because I made a mistake...

 

Merry X-Mas,

 

 

Oliver

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Here's also good program for dealing with index.dat files: http://www.snapfiles.com/get/indexdatsuite.html

 

With it you can search all index.dat files on your system and then generate a batch file to remove ID files during Windows startup.

 

Oh, just noticed that YoKenny already was mentioned this program. Well, now it is mentioned twice...

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I am a new poster here, but ive used CCleaner for some time.

 

I am curious if anybody here knows what happens when CCleaner is run in safe mode (using windows XP).

 

Ive read that Microsoft has acknowledged that "advanced users" can delete index.dat files when working in safe mode (Safe mode can be reached by hitting F8 repeatedly during startup).

 

I am hesitant to try this without having some clue as to its consequences. Any info would be great though.

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I am a new poster here, but ive used CCleaner for some time.

 

I am curious if anybody here knows what happens when CCleaner is run in safe mode (using windows XP).

 

Ive read that Microsoft has acknowledged that "advanced users" can delete index.dat files when working in safe mode (Safe mode can be reached by hitting F8 repeatedly during startup).

 

I am hesitant to try this without having some clue as to its consequences. Any info would be great though.

I've run CCleaner many times in safe mode without a problem. I think it just marks the index.dat for deletion at next restart as it does in normal mode

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