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  1. #1
    Silver Lounger
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    Error in Barry Simon's advice?

    Don't get me wrong, I think Barry is great. However, the most recent issue of WWW lists comments by Barry that are not true. This is regarding the index.dat files in the TIF and the /Cookies folder.

    First, Barry confuses index.dat with user.dat and system.dat. The *index.dat* files are NOT "part of the registry" and they DO have "to do with cookies or Internet storage". This advice is simply incorrect.

    The index.dat files in these folders simply INDEX the entries of those folders. They have NOTHING to do with your registry.

    Second, although you can delete MOST of the TIF through the Tools|Internet Options...|Delete files, this does NOT, and I repeat, this does NOT correctly re-index the TIF!

    Also, deleting Cookies using Windows Explorer or any third party tool also neglects to correct the /Cookies/index.dat files.

    The CORRECT answer is that these files can ONLY be deleted in DOS. If you delete them in DOS (not just a DOS/command window), Windows will recreate them and have the CORRECTLY indexing the folders on reboot.

    Many of us simply add the deltree command to our autoexec.bat file and have them deleted and updated on each reboot.

  2. #2
    gumdrop
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    Re: Error in Barry Simon's advice?

    I have also played with the index.dat files, and what you say is true about how to delete them. However some people find it difficult to delete them in DOS because of the difficulty remembering the correct way to handle long pathnames with spaces in DOS. I have found another way of doing it. If you right click on the "Content.IE5" folder under the TIF folder, and click on delete, and let it go into the Recycle Bin, then reboot, Windows will replace both index.dat files, the one found in Windows/Cookies folder AND the one in Content.IE5 folder. Once rebooted, you are then allowed by windows to delete the Content.IE5 folder in the Recycle Bin. Also it's interesting to use DOS edit to view these index.dat files BEFORE & AFTER deleteing them. If you have deleted ALL files in these folders prior to deleting the index.dat files, the NEW index.dat file in Content.IE5 when viewed in DOS edit will show some very interesting things. Remember to scroll to the right all the way, which if I remember correctly is over a thousand characters, and scroll all the way down.
    You'll find that index.dat will have found PREVIOUS sites you have visited and incorporated them into the file. If you go thru this process again, and view it again, you will find even earlier sites you have visited. During this process I even had one index.dat that had copies of past e-mails in it. Go figure. I had to go thru this process a dozen times before I got what seemed to be the ORIGINAL index.dat, the one that has all the pre-arranged sites Microsoft puts in the original index.dat that they feel everyone will want to visit. (right!)
    ALSO have you ever done a file search for TIF? You may have MORE than one. At one time I had three. I had to edit the registry in 6 or 7 places to make sure they all pointed to the same one and only TIF folder BEFORE windows allowed me to delete the other TIF folders.

  3. #3
    Silver Lounger
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    Re: Error in Barry Simon's advice?

    All you say is correct. It appears that some programs like to move the TIF and even the /Cookies and /History folders. I have found several at times as well!

    I use a Binary Script Editor to view the contents of the index.dat files. That is how I KNOW exactly what they have in them and how to deal with them.

    My actual recommendation is to FULLY delete the TIF folder in the autoexec.bat file. Second, I delete the /Cookies/index.dat file.

    If you do this, BOTH index.dat files will CORRECTLY index your folders and ALL stray entries are GONE.

    Some people report an index.dat file in the /History folder as well, but for some reason my computers (10) do NOT have this.

    These are the EXACT lines I have in my autoexec.bat file:

    deltree /y c:windowstempor~1
    deltree /y c:windowscookiesindex.dat

    These will clean OUT your TIF and re-index both folders.

  4. #4
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    Re: Error in Barry Simon's advice?

    One should also do a "Search" (find) on 'index.dat' and search all drives. I have found several copies of it. I do run a dual boot (98/2000) machine. Each login (account) will have one of these files, also some profiles will have one listed.

    I have found that when I am logged in, I can delete all of the found 'index.dat' files except for the one that I am logged into. So I log out and log in as a another user and delete the other 'index.dat' file. If you try to delete the 'Admin' account file, your log in MUST have 'Admin' permissions.

    Now running HP Pavilion a6528p, with Win7 64 Bit OS.

  5. #5
    Silver Lounger
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    Re: Error in Barry Simon's advice?

    Correct, but I am a single user and I do not have User profiles activated. Therefore my easiest option is to delete the files in DOS. They are recreated in the boot process -- and correctly indexed. If you don't believe what a mess your index.dat files can get into, I highly recommend opening them with a binary text editor and you will be in for a big surprise.

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