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Thread: Cookie problem

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    Cookie problem

    Having a very weird problem with MSIE cookies and don't know where to turn. As you know cookies are stored (in XP at least) in c:\Documents and Settings\username\Cookies and are files with the file name username@site.txt . All of a sudden, my cookies are stored as files with random names like G4MNXJNJ.txt . I'm not a cookie expert, but the content of the file looks roughly like what I'd expect, and they are almost all 1 KB files. I don't think sites can then retrieve the cookies, which means I have to log in again (and again) to some sites. This has happened on two different PCs I use, one with MSIE8 and another with MSIE7. They have different security software installed. I've cleared cookies and temporary internet files, to no avail. All of the files in the Cookies folder are now of this random 8-character filename variety. Any idea what could be causing this and what the solution is? I've searched a bit, and don't see any discussion of this problem. (Could be my search keywords are not good enough - would take any suggestions there too.) If it weren't happening on two different PCs - that started on the exact same day - I might think there's something wrong with my particular system. But it was very weird - both machines started having this problem the same time a couple of weeks back. Thanks in advance for any thoughts or suggestions on what the problem is, how to diagnose what the problem is, etc.

    More info (posted later) - it's even weirder. In Temporary Internet Files, the files have the filenames (username@google.com), but not in the Cookies folder (G4MNXJNJ.txt). The seemingly-random 8 character filenames appear to change when there is activity on the associated site - you wind up with a different random character name in the Cookies folder, even though TIF appears unchanged. Sometimes sites can't seem to find cookies, even though I think they are there. And I think that Chrome - on both computers - is also having the same problem with sites unable to find cookies, even though Chrome has a very different cookie storage system. I haven't done as much legwork on the problem in Chrome, but the symptoms are the same - sites don't find a Chrome cookie that should be there. Not sure if that sheds any light.
    Last edited by BruceV; 2011-08-19 at 07:49.

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    Cookie Filenames are Randomized

    Quote Originally Posted by BruceV View Post
    Having a very weird problem with MSIE cookies and don't know where to turn. As you know cookies are stored (in XP at least) in c:\Documents and Settings\username\Cookies and are files with the file name username@site.txt . All of a sudden, my cookies are stored as files with random names like G4MNXJNJ.txt.
    There is a discussion re: "Cookie Filenames are Randomized" in latest Windows Update at:

    http://tinyurl.com/3uj94hb

    and also at

    http://tinyurl.com/3o8z8o8

  3. The Following User Says Thank You to mlthal For This Useful Post:

    BruceV (2011-08-19)

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    Thanks very much, mlthal. That explains the mystery of the filenames. Even though the MSDN post says MSIE 9.0.2, this also happened with MSIE 8 and the antique MSIE 7 required for my work computer.

    However, it doesn't explain why at least one major site loses my cookie frequently, both in MSIE and Chrome. Their suggestion, to clear all cookies and cache, hasn't helped. It happens often enough that it's a major annoyance, but not every time I launch a browser, so I haven't found any pattern of reproducibility. But at least the file name mystery is solved - random file names are now what's to be expected, and MS says it shouldn't cause problems.

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    Silver Lounger Banyarola's Avatar
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    What bothers me about the filename thing is that you can't browse the cookies and decide which ones to keep.

    Of course you could open each cookie with notepad but that would take forever.

    I haven't had the problem you are having...
    "If You Are Reading This In English, Thank A VET"

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    I agree - I used to delete specific cookies manually myself. There are free utilities that provide the ability to do this. The ones I've tried are, at least temporariliy, broken. WinPatrol (the second tinyurl above) is talking about releasing an update. My favorite, Karen's Cookie Viewer (http://www.karenware.com/powertools/ptcookie.asp) is broken, although I don't know if it's due to this specific issue or not.

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    Silver Lounger Banyarola's Avatar
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    I can see cookies in Karen's but I think they are ones that I have saved before the change took place.
    But, from what I read, it seems that when the cookies you can now see are changed they will revert to the new naming system.

    Have you ever noticed that whenever Microsoft comes out with something new to make your life easier and safer it takes more control of your computer and leaves less control for the user..
    "If You Are Reading This In English, Thank A VET"

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