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 email@example.com . 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 (firstname.lastname@example.org), 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.