How can I clear/remove /purge index.dat files using windows 8.1?

Discussion in 'Windows 8' started by quovadisuk, Mar 9, 2014.

  1. quovadisuk

    quovadisuk MDL Novice

    Mar 9, 2014
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    Can anyone advise , how I can clear these ? I used a pice of software on XP that worked well but is no longer compatible with windows 8.1 . If there is a way , can anyone advise please ( I am a newbie) ...once this is done ( if it can ) how can you check to see that it is in fact beeing cleared ? How can I check toinight that there is index files to clear ?

    kind regards all
     
  2. PaulDesmond

    PaulDesmond MDL Magnet

    Aug 6, 2009
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    get CCleaner's newest version
     
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  3. quovadisuk

    quovadisuk MDL Novice

    Mar 9, 2014
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    Removing index. Dat files

    From what I have read other people have used this method, and although the software is very user friendly it doesnt aways remove the index.dat ...Others more experienced have checked the for files and still find the there even though they have ran thi software ...how you check this I dont know being a newbie

    kind regards
     
  4. PaulDesmond

    PaulDesmond MDL Magnet

    Aug 6, 2009
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    CCleaner is a very sensitive software which does not damage your system like some other crap does. If this soft is used as it is supposed to, it cleans your system smoothly but not with the hammer. If the index.dat box is checked for cleaning purpose, it certainly does the job but carefully acts in any way afaik. Maybe some files are left over but these might be still necessary for proper function of IE
     
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  5. quovadisuk

    quovadisuk MDL Novice

    Mar 9, 2014
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    index.dat files


    As mentioned this is good software for browsers, but appears to less convincing on the inner C files that index.dat seems to lurge .... Even by running this software , you are advised that these have been removed but have they ? You a reliant on oe piece of software that could have not done its job well . There must be a way to check this has in fact been done ?

    regards
     
  6. Palladin

    Palladin MDL Senior Member

    Feb 1, 2014
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    #6 Palladin, Mar 10, 2014
    Last edited: Mar 11, 2014
    You cannot delete all the index.dat files as long as Windows is running. You can delete some, but not all.

    From an elevated command prompt type:
    "dir c:\index.dat /s /ah /p"
    without the quotes and you will see all the remaining index.dat files.

    There's probably about 40 of them, IRRC.

    The only way to get rid of them, is to boot off a another hard disk, or a Linux DVD and then search for them and delete them.

    If you take a look at the files you will see that many of them have file sizes of 16,384 bytes or 32,768 bytes. These are empty index.dat files. If the file sizes are any larger then they contain information, but more importantly these files point to directories that store the information.

    It looks something like this:

    index-dat-files.jpg

    Notice the directories above the index.dat file that is 638,976 bytes. These contain the actual files referenced to in index.dat. You can see there are a lot of them in the lower window. Deleting the index.dat file does nothing to delete the actual files referenced in index.dat file.

    I'm assuming that you want to delete the index.dat files for security reasons. Doing so will do nothing to protect your security. Any file that is deleted can be easily recovered. Deleting the index.dat file without deleting the files that it refers leaves your entire browsing history open to anybody that want's to see it.

    Deleting the index.dat files, *and* the files it refers to in all 40+ locations on your hard disk is a daunting challenge, and will take quite a while. And even after you do all of that, any forensic software program can recover all of them without any trouble.

    All browsers do this, so if it's security you are after, you cannot use IE. FireFox saves the cache files, but does so in one place, so they are easy to delete, but can still be recovered. FireFox can also be configured to *not* cache anything. A bit more secure, but still not 100%.

    You can run in a Virtual Machine, like VirtualBox, or VmWare Player, but the information is stored on your hard disk, and can be recovered. You can run a VPN, but then again, the information is stored on you hard disk.

    The only way to securely browse the internet, is to make a boot disk of a Linux distro, like Linux Mint 15/16, I prefer the Cinnamon version. It comes with FireFox pre-installed and configured. If you boot from the Linux Mint DVD and tell it not to install, then you will run the entire session off the DVD, and nothing will be written or stored on you hard disk, so there will be no traces of where you went on the internet, with the exception of your ISP's logs.
     
  7. quovadisuk

    quovadisuk MDL Novice

    Mar 9, 2014
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    index.dat

    Hi thank you for your detailed explanation greatly appreciated ... Having put this question on several forums some came back with this idea ... " Restart in safe mode weith command prompt type cd without quotes asmany times as you need to get to root of c type del index.dat /s type shutdown-r ...system will start normaly with a new and clean index.dat file

    Does this ring true ? ...the other question was would these be cleared if one was to do a factory reset ?

    kind regards





     
  8. Palladin

    Palladin MDL Senior Member

    Feb 1, 2014
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    No, because the advice is bogus.

    Don't believe me, then shell to Dos, and type CD a bunch of times, and report back what happens. If those people had a clue, they would have simply said to type cd\ and you only have to do it once.


    The first line of my answer......
    Running is Safe Mode, un-Safe Mode, doesn't change anything.

    If you type del index.dat /s it will run to completion, but there will be many errors.

    If you type dir c:\index.dat /s /ah /p don't be surprised if lots of index.dat files show up. The reason is that del index.dat /s is more bogus advice.

    All index.dat files are all marked Hidden/System and you need to specify the /ahs switch in the del command to delete Hidden and System files. If you don't they will not be deleted, whether you are running in safe mode or not.

    .
     
  9. quovadisuk

    quovadisuk MDL Novice

    Mar 9, 2014
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    Again , thank for the reply ... Its obvious I am well out of my depth here, and bow to you with regards your knowledge on this issue The information received from others does seem to be misleading ... To resolve the issue once and for all , would a factory reset completley wipe these files once and for all or does this still pose a problem ?, Ultimately if this fails, what is the the solution (wished I kept my mouth shut now) so everyone at work when we have a our break are now chipping in as to suggestions. One was to replace the old hard -drive with a new one, I felt this would be too extreme , but on reflction I suppose he may be right ..who knows ?
     
  10. pauldamo

    pauldamo MDL Senior Member

    Aug 3, 2009
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    have you tried the software called,PrivaZer?