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Hey...I just remembered all those pop-ups I used to get saying that windows had all these 'secret' internet files and that it recorded wherever you went.
Is this true? Does Windows XP keep a running log of URL's deep within it's technical bowels?
1. If the answer to QUESTION 1 is 'yes' then please tell me so, and continue reading.
2. If the answer to QUESTION 2 is 'no' then please tell me so, but you have no reason to read any further.
Where is this location? I don't keep an internet history in Mozilla Firefox, nor Internet Explorer, and have several sites I cannot recall the names of that I would like to.
Thanks for all your help in the past, and hopefully with this one too!
03-30-04, 10:20 PM
Popups lying? Never! ;)
There's no deeply hidden list of URLs you've vistied. Just your IE History (which you cannot delete without using IE's "clear history" OR, logging off and deleting it as an administrator), the same thing for your cookies, and for firefox's history and cookies.
Ideally, deleting your profile off the system should clear it of any surfing history. (Minus spyware that may be tracking you)
If you run a proxy server locally (at home, or at work), or your ISP runs one, that would also keep logs about where you are visiting. Some of the proxies at work, or at your ISP may run may be transparent to you. If your ISP states that they use any acceleration or caching technology, then your being proxied.
And, of course, the logs on the webserver will also log that you were there.
Edit: mistype: "Cookies" .. not "bookmarks"
1 Yes and No.
Explorer does keep a list of url's thatyou can clear easily. However some programs will "lock" the history files and the history will either not erase or come back. Here is a link to a good list of those programs and a decent removal tool.
The sneaky part is that windows keeps a bigger list in files named index.dat. these files are usually found in the cookies directory of your documents and settings/user . These files cannot be deleted through windows. you need to boot to dos to delete them. In IE6 this is not such a big deal. they keep a lot less history as they used to (IE4+5 kept big lists and i thing privacy issues caused them to curtail this). If you would like to see whats in there here is a cool page with an index.dat viewer. the only thing thats changed is in the settings you need to tell it to scan the whole harddrive as the locations have changed since the making of the progam.
Here is a microsoft article on an issue where this file becomes too large. hmmmm well then STOP TRACKING US! hahahaha
the other program that can keep track of programs is windows media player. this is getting more and more integrated into windows so it is keeping track of more and more stuff. MS has released a special add on to delete this history (which is not easy to do manually) here http://www.microsoft.com/windows/windowsmedia/download/default.asp
I hope some of this is useful to you.
Thanks for the replys guys. I'll have a look at those index.dat files later on today, after my educational facilitation period (school :) )
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