quote:Originally posted by jsb1
I examined the files themselves (not that I dont trust what IE is displaying, mind you[
]). The files appear to be used by lots of apps (not just IE).
AFAIK, they are used by IE, Windows Explorer (the Windows Shell), and anything that relies on the IE rendering engine. Outside of that, I dont know anything that uses them (but I didnt create them, so I might be missing something[
]). Their purpose is pretty simple as far as I know: act as an lookup table to content stored by the now somewhat "integrated" Internet Explorer/Windows Explorer engine.
quote:They appear to have a standard 3-part format. The first part looks like a tree, the second is a hash table, and the third is the data, not encrypted. When the files are cleaned by IE, they are reset to an empty state (theres no data, but a repeating pattern). I noticed this in all the versions I found, except the one I noted earlier.
That seems to be an improvement over previous IE versions which reportedly didnt even "clean" them. Even with this "cleaning" that you are reporting, I still find that the index.dats sometimes get to be huge in size even after you "empty" the cache in IE. It makes little sense to me - when they are "cleaned", they should be reduced to their minimum possible size. My guess is that because Windows Explorer also keeps the index files open that MS may have had experienced troubles in reducing the filesize of index.dat without closing the Windows shell altogether. In other words, IE may not be able to communicate well enough with Windows Explorer (the shell) that it wants to reduce the filesize of an index.dat file. Pure speculation on my part, but its either something like that or sheer stupidity on MSs part.
Long ago, I gave up on trusting MS to handle this sort of thing properly.
quote:Garrett, I expanded my test to doing a rename() of the files, and that doesnt present a problem to IE, so Erasing them should be fine.
Im surprised this works for you. I just went into Windows Explorer and tried to rename an index.dat file. As expected, it told me the file is in use and cannot be renamed. Are you sure you are really renaming a current index.dat, and not one from a directory that is no longer used?