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help! recover old history


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~em's Avatar
~em ~em is offline
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02-Sep-2008, 06:24 PM #1
help! recover old history
hi. i'm trying to recover deleted history/cookies/cache from my computer [on all my user accounts] via the index.dat files. i am using vista, and through the control panel i have checked off to show all hidden files, file extensions and protected O/S files - thus i can and have located the several index.dat files on my computer. i know to use an index.dat reader to view the .dat file in text, but after downloading several different ones [super winspy, etc.] i am still unable to recover the days/months worth of history i am looking for.
before testing winspy, i did delete my browsing history through the control panel > internet properties > delete > delete all. now when i use winspy, nothing shows up. or if i try again after a few minutes of browsing online, only minutes worth of recent history seem retreivable.
i have read extensively that index.dat files save all of the browsing history done on your computer, no matter how often you delete your history. i have also read that index.dat files are extremely difficult to manually delete from computers, if not impossible. i have not manually deleted these files, or used any program to delete them - thus, i am extremely frustrated that i cannot recover my history with an index.dat reader, when i have read that anything done on my computer ever should be able to be retrieved from this process.

i have also read that if the index.dat are truley empty they should be between 16 and 32kb by default - whereas my files are in the thousands kb - so it seems clear to me, something is in them other than just a few minutes of browsing the web.

any advice, troubleshooting or information on how to actually recover deleted history would be very much appreciated.

thank you.

~em
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02-Sep-2008, 08:34 PM #2
Well, you have Super Winspy. If what you want to find in your
index.dat files doesn't show up, then it probably isn't there. The
history index.dat is the one you are mostly interested in checking.
If that one is small in size, then most likely it is gone. What size
is that one?

This is the path:
C:\Users\Your user acc't name\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Windows\History

You might not see it there though, using Windows Explorer.
Elvandil's Avatar
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02-Sep-2008, 09:41 PM #3
Have you tried the Index.dat Suite? It shows all the contents of all 61 of my index.dat files.

http://www.it-mate.co.uk/
~em's Avatar
~em ~em is offline
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02-Sep-2008, 10:04 PM #4
hello vistarookie. i have checked the windows history .dat file and it is actually quite large - 3389kbs. so something must be in there. and i can see all the .dat files as i have enabled my computer to veiw all hidden files. winspy is just not showing anything.

hi elvandil. i also tried index.dat suite - i prefered the layout to super winspy - but like super winspy, when i open my .dat files with it, nothing shows up, despite the fact that that all my .dat files are hundreds to thousands of kbs large.

very frustrating. but thank you both for your ideas!!

anyone else?
Elvandil's Avatar
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02-Sep-2008, 10:27 PM #5
Funny you can't see anything. But there is nothing special about index.dat files, and any text editor can open them. You might try something as simple as Metapad (which can at least detect different encodings) or Wordpad to see if they show anything. The large files (like over 1 MB) will likely take a long time to load in any text editor. Or try Universal Viewer.

Do you have any other programs that open text files? If so, try them.
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02-Sep-2008, 10:38 PM #6
Did you run the Index.dat column on Super Winspy?
Not the history column.

And did you run view for each .dat file in Index.dat Suite?

Doesn't make sense that you would not see anything?
Or are you saying you are not seeing anything of value to you?
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