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Microsoft's Hidden Files About... You !

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posted on Aug, 19 2004 @ 11:31 AM
Microsoft's Hidden Files

"I am not in any way responsible for any (important) file loss or damage in any way as a result of following this article"
"This should only be done at your own risk"

The only loss i think from doing this will be any saved passwords for websites so remember to write them down before you attempt this.

You may or may not know that every website and every image you visit on any website gets put
into hidden folders on your hide drive that could contain unintentional discriminating evidence of your website visits. That is stored in your temporary internet files.

See for yourself...

(C: may be D: E: drives depending on what you set it to when you installed windows i think this article only applies to windows 95/98 i havent personally tested it on any other OS's)

Go to...

C:\WINDOWS\Temporary Internet Files

Now your probably think well yeah i already knew this, well delete them all and right click on your temporary internet files folder and you should see some space that is used that couldnt possibly be there because you've just deleted everything.


Now try this click Start/find/files or folders

Now click browse.


Then click the temporary internet files FOLDER

Ok now where it says NAMED in the FIND box type *.*
(they are asterisks.... shift+8 on your keyboard (UK))

After the search has finished the results should show thousands of files that couldnt be detected before.

What you should do now is try to delete every file and folder you can see.

You should also notice that there is a file called index.dat this file has alot of information regarding your website visits, i dont think you can actually delete this but there is always a way!(I will find out) so if anyone wants to find out how to delete this file (You could try opening it up in wordpad as it is quite a large file and see whats in it) I will try and find a way for you to delete it.

After doing this and you checked the space used by your temporary internet files BEFORE you deleted everything (right clicked temporary internet files and properties)you should have noticed more space being freed up AFTER you deleted everything.
(i gained 100mb of extra space!)

Hope this is of use to someone as not many people know about this sneaky little trick by Microsoft.

Take Care.

[edit on 19-8-2004 by markjaxson]

[edit on 19-8-2004 by John bull 1]

posted on Aug, 19 2004 @ 11:34 AM
Thats is why I use third party sofware to erase my internet trail.

posted on Aug, 19 2004 @ 11:35 AM
You could still try it manually to see if it has erased everything?
Just a thought.

posted on Aug, 19 2004 @ 11:41 AM
I know I use xp professional and I am pretty good at finding and delecting stuff my computer,

I only had to do the installation over only one time so far in a year and a half. So I am getting good.

posted on Aug, 19 2004 @ 12:29 PM
Or you could use another OS

posted on Aug, 19 2004 @ 12:34 PM
Haha i was expecting you to say that when i saw Linux replied to my thread in My Ats

Linux- For Hacker Made By Hackers

Needs more public advertising and support from more software companied cause Unix is a great OS iv never had it crash on me yet!
Although i like my windows (hate micro$h1te by the way)

posted on Aug, 19 2004 @ 12:45 PM
The reason these files aren't deleted the first time round is, like you said, because their hidden. Not showing Hidden files is a default, and M$ in their infinite wisdom has decided that Temp Internet files are system files.
You can "Un-Hide" Hidden and System files in all versions of Windows.

These are the directions for Win2k and above, but the steps should be similar for all versions of Windows.

Open "My Computer"
Select the "Tools" pulldown menu.
Select the "Folder Options" menu item.
Select the "View" Tab of the Folder Options dialog box.
You will find an option in there to "Show Hidden Files and Folders".
Check it.

You should now see all kinds of stuff you didn't see before. The next time you go to purge your Temporary Internet Files folder everything should go the first time around.

Good Luck

posted on Aug, 19 2004 @ 01:01 PM
That doesnt work (Just try my version and you'll see)
The files are intentionally hidden even if you do the tools/unhide hidden folders it wont work (at least it doesnt on my PC)

If you could do the unhide files and folders then i wouldnt have taken time to write this.

Its because they are just not visible by going to temp internet files and you can do anything you want but you wont be able to see the VERY Hidden folders.

posted on Aug, 19 2004 @ 01:14 PM
"Index.dat" file in Temporary Internet Files is the visit history that IE stores.

It's ludicrous to think that MS reads this file or any file on your computer, for that matter.

Sysadmins all over the world monitor network traffic... if any of them detected Windows sending personal data without the user knowing, hell would break loose everywhere.

That file constitutes your View->Explorer Bar->History and can be easily wiped of all data by deleting temporary internet files and then clicking "Clear History".

Not rocket science, for sure. Nothing sinister either.

posted on Aug, 19 2004 @ 01:17 PM
LMAO this is almost as bad as this:

I have tried it on my old Excel, if you have it too go ahead, its mighty interesting just beware!

posted on Aug, 19 2004 @ 01:35 PM

Originally posted by phreak_of_nature
The reason these files aren't deleted the first time round is, like you said, because their hidden. Not showing Hidden files is a default, and M$ in their infinite wisdom has decided that Temp Internet files are system files.
You can "Un-Hide" Hidden and System files in all versions of Windows.
Good Luck

Also you might want to try unchecking Hide protected operating system files. New trojans and such are taking advantage of this option - even to the extent of AV not being able to scan the executable file.

[edit on 19-8-2004 by Linux]

posted on Aug, 19 2004 @ 02:13 PM

Originally posted by markjaxson
That doesnt work (Just try my version and you'll see)
The files are intentionally hidden even if you do the tools/unhide hidden folders it wont work (at least it doesnt on my PC)

Must just be your PC.

Every single machine I have ever owned or used, I have made these changes to. Every single one of them without flaw has shown all the files. And every single time I have deleted them, they are ALL gone.

The steps, as I laid out do not relate to the index.dat. This file will not be removed by clearing you internet cache the proper way, but it's contents can be removed by following the advice given by Hawk.

I would also recommend following Linux's advice and showing the System Files. Of course if you are using Win9x I don't believe that was an option.

posted on Aug, 19 2004 @ 03:14 PM
The MS-Dos way. 8P

In the case of 95 and 98, simply reboot into Dos mode(not the Dos emulation window). Enter 'C:', hit enter to root your C drive, then 'CD Windows', enter to get into the windows folder. Finally 'Dir/w/ah Te*.*' This should pull up Temp and Temporary Internet Files(Temp~x where x is a number if lfn are not being used). 'Deltree Te*.*' This should wipe both out. If not, simply cd into the remaining folder, 'dir/w/ah', to see any remaining hidden files, you can now 'attrib -r-a-s-h' to remove readonly,archive,system, and hidden attributes. 'cd..' to get back to where you were. Try 'Deltree Te*.*' again.

This can also be useful for certain files that can be stubborn, such as a win32 virus whose file name you know, since the anti-virus was able to detect it but could not delete or store it somewhere, yet luckily logged the filename.

An undocumented tip that may remove booting headaches for 95/98. If your computer is not booting up and complains that the operating system is missing, simply insert a boot disk(with the dos command files stashed on it), reboot with the disk in drive. 'c:' , 'path=c:\;a:\' , 'fdisk /mbr' should get ya on your way. Root C,hit enter,set path for c and a, enter, then.....
fdisk /mbr hit enter. The last command will replace your "Master Boot Record" . If that fails, then reboot, 'c:' , 'path=c:\;a:\' , "sys a: c:". The last command here will copy the system files from your floppy to C drive's root, then activate them. Remove disk, reboot, have a nice day.

Hope this helps....

posted on Aug, 19 2004 @ 03:23 PM

posted on Aug, 19 2004 @ 03:26 PM
Be aware of that regardless whether you try to hide your tracks there are usually traces of the Internet activity on the computer anyway that is easily recovered with forensic software like Encase or Ilook.

// k

[Edited on 19-8-2004 by kickass]

posted on Aug, 19 2004 @ 04:56 PM
kickass makes a very good point, its pretty much a waste to clean up your computer if there are logs existing outside of your control (ie your ISP, servers youve requested files from, etc) There are ways to obscure your actions, but most fall under the category of shady and/or illegal and often arent worth the risk involved. You want security on your end? buy that 120gb encryping HD from and put everything on that, then take it with you when you leave your computer, thats about the only way your going to keep your data safe, and even then thats not a guarantee.

posted on Aug, 19 2004 @ 09:31 PM
OMG I put up an article about hidden folders and a couple of people like to argue against it (say that theres another way which doesnt work!), i was just trying to inform whoever might not know about this. If you know this then why bother replying to this thread your obviously intelligent enough to write your own articles on anything regarding known or unknown facts!

Jesus! And to say this is supposed to be a website for open minded people who might or might not know about certain things.

Why do i even bother.

And YES Encase can recover anything you delete aslong as its not already been wrote over. There's another forensic program called F.R.E.D which can recover deleted files.

I didnt write anything that said i could remove anything that could'nt be traced i was just merely pointing out that there are folders that most people dont know about and if you wanted to securely delete anything incriminating the best software would be Evidence Eliminator which uses a DOD Eliminating file erase.

The only reason why i wanted to point this out was incase someone didnt know about it so they could check it out themselves and do whatever they want, theres no need to disagree with me or disregard my article.

And yes maybe your ISP servers keep a log file of all your actions, i didnt write this for that reason i am just pointing out that this is happening on your computer, this is not supposed to be a guaranteed advice on how to clean up your system.

[Edited on 20-8-2004 by markjaxson]

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