Makes sense if someone was just
trying to make sure the file names couldn't be plainly and easily read by anyone with administrative access on the computer (forgeddiboutit if you're computer gets seized and subjected to an in-depth forensic examination, though).
There're any number of free, easy-to-use programs that'll completely bypass lots of the "clean-up" programs out there and produce "deleted" or supposedly "erased" file names in a rather stunning fashion - and recover them, if need be (although that's usually only if you pay for the program). The one that made me sit up and pay attention was RecoverMyFiles: http://www.recovermyfiles.com/
("Finds" stuff for free - if you want recovery, you have to purchase it).
I might as well mention SpaceMonger, too (freeware) : http://www.werkema.com/software/spacemonger.html
. If you're really into collecting movies, videos, software or songs via P2P and are congratulating yourself on how well you've got all that stuff "hidden" on your computer - just think about what anyone with admin rights on your computer would see after installing and running this
one. (Try it out and you'll see what I mean - caveat being that bleeding-edge multi-processor or hyper-threading computers are probably going to choke on it - turn off the hyper-threading, if you can, or leave this one alone.
It's attention-getting enough that a program like Index.dat Suite _ when installed by anyone with an Admin account - can search for and actually let you read and print out
the contents of every single index.dat found on any given computer, on any and all accounts (fortunately, it also has the capability of deleting
those index.dat's - which Eraser can then securely over-write). I have
had IdS find up to 13
different index.dats on this computer - depends on how many accounts have been active, how many browsers have been used, etc. Normally, there's only seven, I think.
I concur with the others, though - a complete
free-space wipe with Eraser is always the best course, regardless of how
long it takes. Pete