Cleaning out your virtual 'Black Box' in Windows XP

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Servant of Eru

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Sep 13, 2003
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I got these instructions off of The Screen Savers on Tech TV, I tried them out, and they appear to work, these are instructions to delete the files from your harddrive that are used by law enforcement to track your internet activities in the event that they seize your computer. It's really simple assuming you know how to boot into safe mode (default F8 key with almost all motherboards), and that you can type some simple command lines into the cmd.exe window.

Press F8 to get the selection screen for the various safe modes, select Safe Mode with Command Prompt and continue.

Login as Administrator

When the window titled cmd.exe pops up, first type in "CD\" (without the quotes) to access your HDD.

Type "del index.dat /s" (without the quotes) to delete all the hidden, and normally write protected files from you HDD. These are hidden even when you select to show all files in Windows, and even in regular Safe Mode, if you attempt to bring up the cmd.exe window by using Run, the files are constantly in use, even in Safe Mode, and can therefore not be deleted unless in Safe Mode with Command Prompt. It may take a moment for it to find all the files depending on the size of your HDD.

Type "shutdown -r" (without the quotes) into the command line once it's finished, this should bring up a window with a countdown saying your computer will shutdown in 30 seconds. Rather remniscent of the Blaster Worm. :rolleyes:

After this, assuming you've been being a good little boy or girl, and deleting your cookie, and history files regularly, as well as getting rid of Spyware, all your internet activities should be untraceable by looking at your PC's HDD. Enjoy. :D


A link to the with full instructions, though not quite as detailed as I've laid them out here, can be found HERE
 
Joined
Jul 29, 2001
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Window washer and other apps do exactly the same thing as well as overwrite what they have deleted with a series of 1's and 0's.
 
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Jan 2, 2003
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I've been helping a very special gal, and friend, with her new graphix and tweaking site by posting some of my Favorite Tips and Tweaks. (Maybe some of you guys and gals could add some of your favs, too.) Anyway, I posted something I think is interesting about Index.dat files. Scroll a little ways down and look for this thread "Index.dat Files...Ever Wonder What's In Them?"

http://s2.excoboard.com/exco/forum.php?forumid=2900
 
Joined
Feb 6, 2002
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1,683
would it be possible to maybe add this into a shutdown procedure so that it deletes the files each time you shut down? Perhaps putting it into a batch file?

I'm thinking back to a tip that explained how to delete temporary files on shutdown.
 
Joined
Jan 2, 2003
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I guess if you want to do it upon reboot, you might as well do it with spider116. Seems like the simpliest way.

http://216.239.37.104/translate_c?h...earch?q=spider116&hl=en&lr=&ie=UTF-8&oe=UTF-8


One potential something discovered about using this program...

If you use Spider a program to clean the index.dat files off your puter.You erased the index.dat file that System Information needs to function properly.The index.dat file should be located in this folder: C:\WINDOWS\PCHEALTH\HELPCTR\OfflineCache

If the file isn't there, make another copy and paste another index.dat file there and System Information should function again.
 
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Most of these applications give you the option to do a scan and cleanup at bootup.
 
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