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Boot to safe mode.
Start, Run, Tpye:
cmd /k index.dat /s
All index.dat files will be deleted but will be created, but blank.
You can include an instruction to do this in your own batch file if you like, along with removing your Temp Internet Files folder (then recreate it) and even adding a clean registry key or two for recently viewed files in some programs, if you feel the urge.
This seems like ultra paranoia, but its a neat trick all the same. I can't be bothered to go to the trouble myself, but I've written a few such batch files for friends who wanted the end result and had no idea ofhow to get there.
For Win9X you can drag a shortcut to your batch file to the start menu with good results which allows the 'cleansing' to be done as the system boots up.
For Win 2k or XP it works best if you boot from a startup floppy and run the batch file from it or, depending on how enthusiastic your batch file is, rather than boot to safe mode you can often just use the Task Manager to close Explorer (explorer.exe) then open a command prompt and type the path to your batch file to run it.
Personally, I just leave my index.dat and all of my recently viewed file lists well alone, but if you feel the urge, you can use a batch file to effectively scrub your system sqeaky clean.
click here for some excellent examples of registry keys and a privacy.cmd batch file to download and try, if you must.
"Personally, I just leave my index.dat and all of my recently viewed file lists well alone"
I've never actually deleted any index.dats but i do clear the recent documents.
I find it more convenient to be able to recall a document from the list of recently viewed files in Start, Documents (Win9x, 2k or XP Classic View) or if need be by extending that to Internet Explorer and it's 'memory' of everywhere you've been, including your local files.
I also like the ability to click on File in Word and similar programs and quickly launch up one of the last four documents I worked on. Very useful, at least to me and how I work and use my computers.
I'm a lazy hack about this sort of thing because there's absolutely nothing I'm worried about anyone ever seeing on my PC's and only my wife and I use our computers anyway. I periodically clean out my Temporary Internet Files and run Disk Cleanup and that's about it.
I can understand why people might want to take steps to prevent their information from potentially being made available somehow to others and it can be interesting to play with registry entries and batch files (among other things) as a means to that end. This is especially true when you consider how invasive some of the thrid party software solutions can be that claim to clean up your internet and general PC use history.
Horses for courses I suppose.
There's nothing wrong with it either way.
I use Netscape so it's not a problem
click here is easier!
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