View Full Version : Where is the record of "files already downloaded" from the web?

13-10-2002, 07:27 AM
I run Windows XP Professional. I have installed Window Washer, Cache Sentry and all those good things that are supposed to delete index.dat and like files.

(And to forestall the inevitable question - yes, I do have something to hide; it's called my private life, and is none of anyone else's business. I am less concerned with the attentions of law enforcement and more with the marketing-oriented installers of spyware and, dare I say it, Microsoft)

In spite of trying my best to delete known "index" files, "histories", etc, I went back to a website I had last visited three months ago, attempted to download a file and was told "You have already downloaded this file: (cancel; re-download)."

There is clearly a record still in the PC of sites visited and/or files downloaded from the web, for at least three months back.

I use Download Accelerator Pro, and it's possible the record is residing in there. But equally possible that there is still an untouched index.dat or other "real history" file being kept by XP.

I even downloaded a trial of Webroot's Privacy Protector, which, among other things, "hides" downloaded files. Files downloaded while in a "secure session" cannot be seen while outside a secure session.

However, when I go into a secure session, download a file from a website, come out of secure session and attempt to download the same file, SOMETHING still knows I have already downloaded this file.

Where is that record kept and is it possible to delete it?

Jim B
13-10-2002, 08:26 AM
Have you deleted all IE Cookies.

13-10-2002, 12:30 PM
I was under the impression Window Washer did that. But, just in case it didn't I deleted them (and went into the cookies directory and checked that there were no cookies left there). I then WindowWashed again.

I deleted the copy of the file residing in my "Downloads" folder, in case the site was simply scanning that (in itself a disturbing prospect: but the three-month-old file I referred to earlier had long ago been moved to a CD and deleted off the C drive).

I then went back into IE, went to the site, and it *still* knew I had downloded that file.

I switched to Nestcape (4.7) and it "knew" too. And Opera. "This file is already in your download list," said the message.

So where is the "download list"?

This has now ceased to be a "privacy fear" (if it ever really was: what can marketers or law-enforcement really do with just a filename?). It's now entered the category of "bugging the life out of me and I have to have an answer, just for my personal satisfaction."

Any more suggestions? Maybe the website keeps a record, somehow attached to my ID or IP address. But three months?

13-10-2002, 12:35 PM
The problem is with DAP.

You probably still have the download sitting in the download folder of DAP. Delete it from there and it should work again.

13-10-2002, 12:53 PM
I was coming in here to announce with great satisfaction that I'd found the "list"; but "JM" got there before me. Download Accelerator Plus does, indeed, retain a record of all downloaded files, after the download has been completed.

It's easy to clear the list, and yes, the "knowledge" of a previous download then disappears.

So if you use DAP and you *are* nervous about anyone knowing where you've been, do remember to clean out that list every so often.

Thanks all,


Incidentally, while looking in the cookies folder Documents&Settings/(user profile)/cookies , I found *one* of XP's copies of index.dat. Of course, when I tried to delete it I got "another user or program is using this file." I'll try closing everything else and doing it again. But it's almost certainly not the only copy.

Billy T
13-10-2002, 04:16 PM
Hi Argus

There are several iterations of Index.dat files in any computer but not all hold data you would necessarily want to delete.

To find all of them I use Ztree file manager (free download) to identify their locations, then delete them using a boot disk and batch file. There are commercial products that will get rid of them as well but my boot disk works fine for me.

BTW, there is probably more than one cookies file on your computer as well and if you have more than one user profile that also adds to the number. I delete all Index.dat files regardless of their contents as they regenerate automatically anyway.


Billy 8-{)