Removing Index.dat manually

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Removing Index.dat manually

Postby akalian » Sat Sep 02, 2006 3:12 pm

I was searching for a way to remove index.dat from my Win 2K system, and after many downloads, much reading it was still there. PC Tools had what seemed to be the best program, so I downloaded it, but the demo version wouldn't delete index.dat, only the paid version would. Foooey.

There was one solution that seemed too good to be true, and it involved setting up a .CMD file with some delelte commands in it and putting it in the Shutdown System Profile. Only problem is that it didn't work.

One of the articles I read had a one liner that might have gone unnoticed, but it made sense, but it was too simple to work. But since I had about three hours invested in this, I figured a few more minutes wouldn't hurt. Well guess what, it worked, and worked flawlessly. I can only vouch that this will work on a Win2K system, but I'm betting it will work on XP as well.

Here's how to get rid of Index.dat the easy way. I log on as administrator ( I know you're not supposed to do that) Anyway, if you're not logged on as administrator, log on as administrator and create a user, say Foo and then give him administrative privalages. Log out as administrator, log in as Foo. Search the hard drive for "index.dat". Delete all files that show up in the account that you normally log, in my case it would be something like this:

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

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

Just delete them, and any others that show up under "Administrator" or whatever account you normally log on. You can mark them all for deletion and Windows will complain if there are any active, just choose Ignore and keep deleting.

Then log off as Foo, and back on as Administrator and Win2K will create a small 32K file, or 64K as needed, and it will be totally empty. You can then delete the user Foo you just created, or leave it there, for a purge now and then.

That's all there is to it. Your mileage may vary.

Al Kalian
Posts: 1
Joined: Sat Sep 02, 2006 2:55 pm

Postby sgould » Sun Sep 03, 2006 7:27 am

That's sounds like one way. But there are other, easier ways:

1. Open the file(s) you want deleted in Index Dat Spy. You can check the contents.

2. From the File menu, select Delete on Windows Restart.

3. Exit Index Dat Spy and restart Windows.

Upon restart, the file will be deleted. Note that most - if not all - index.dat files will automatically be recreated once Windows restarts. However, if you open the file(s) you deleted in Index Dat Spy you should see that they are now contain only blank entries.

Alternatively, if you also want to remove a lot of other temporary files from your computer at the same time you could use something like Windows CleanUp!

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Location: Dallas, TX, USA

RE: Removing Index.dat manually

Postby pikegreen » Tue Nov 14, 2006 11:52 am

Also applies to "Whats with the "Unexpected File Format", Fri Apr 28, 2006 11:12 am.

Under WinXP/SP2 all index.dat files are not necessarily the same format. On my machine, two files give the "Unexpected File Format" error:


"%USERPROFILE%\Application Data\Microsoft\Office\Recent\index.dat"

Index Dat Spy shuts down when one clicks OK in the "Unexpected File Format" dialog box.

I don't know what the effect of deleting these two files would be but I think the moral is be a bit cautious. I don't delete these two files and use Index Dat Spy to delete the others on restart.

Concerning "Very Poor Results; Uninstall Didn't Work", Tue Jan 17, 2006 11:44 pm, I have found Index Dat Spy to be a useful and interesting program. Flawless performance except as noted above. I haven't tried uninstalling as it has been unnecessary.

Steve: Enjoy your web site immensely. Thanks.

Regards to all,
Pike Green
Posts: 1
Joined: Mon Aug 28, 2006 9:36 am

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