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Internet Explorer Temporary Files

by mab_bond / September 30, 2004 7:48 AM PDT

Hi, I have Windows XP Pro installed on my computer, and IE 6.0, my problem is when there's a blackout, and the OS can't shut down the computer as it usually does,and a few minutes later I turn on the computer all my Internet temporary files are deleted, I really depend on the IE cache, so it's easier and faster for me to look info through IE, my question is: How can I avoid Windows to delete my IE temporary files after a power failure?

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by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / September 30, 2004 7:54 AM PDT

Getting an UPS. Even a small one can give you the time to shutdown proper.


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Are we talking ''TIF'' or ''History''?
by Cursorcowboy / October 1, 2004 12:12 AM PDT

1. The article [Q322916] states that the Internet Explorer Index.dat file in the History folder increases IE's performance, may become very large over time, and is never resized or deleted. Clearing the history by clicking the Clear History button on the General tab in the Internet Options dialog box does not change its size, nor does setting the Days to keep pages in history value to 0 (zero) on the General tab.

Note: The article [Q323687] states however that after you click Clear History on the General tab of Internet Options, Web pages that you visited today may not be removed from your history and may occur if another process has the history locked. To preclude this anomaly from occuring, quit all running programs first.

2. Please note the History options and setting which may be of interest, "Configure Security, Content, and Advanced Settings in Internet Explorer (Q813444)."

3. Security settings can be enforced in one of four registry areas within two branches of the registry ? Local Machine (HKLM) and Current User (HKCU), [TechNet article, "Security Settings and Related System Policies"]. The content in this topic covers most of the concerns an administrator will have when viewing the Specify Office Security Settings page of either the Custom Installation Wizard or the Custom Maintenance Wizard. Most of these settings can also be set using a policy when the appropriate ADM template is added to the System Policy Editor or Group Policy snap-in with Microsoft Windows:

a. Local Machine (associated with the Default Computer policy profile in the System Policy Editor)



b. Current User (associated with the Default User policy profile in the System Policy Editor)



c. Hide Common Dialog Places Bar - the places bar allows users to navigate via the common file open/file close dialog directly to the following locations:

History folder
My Documents
My Computer
My Network Places

4. Supplemental reading:

a. "How to Clear the History Entries in Internet Explorer (Q157729)" - the cached History (or Address box) entries.

Note:: "EditURLs" is a good simple utility for this situation.

b. "Policy Settings for the Start Menu in Windows XP (Q292504)."

c. "HOW TO: Use the Group Policy Editor to Manage Local Computer Policy in Windows XP (Q307882)."

d. "PowerToys TweakUI."


1. The Temporary Internet Files (TIF) AKA "browser caches" and what it contains are files which a user should not theoretically concern themselves with. Certain files are stored by default in the hard drive TIF folder from sites visited whether you want them or not. Each time a site is accessed and there is a need to display certain information, IE uses set options of whether to look in the TIF first to see if it's already there and if so, it is then displayed making things a little faster. Otherwise, the information necessary to display a page properly is download again for viewing as well as storing it in the TIF for possible later use.

? Every visit to the page: When you return to a page viewed previously, IE should check to see whether the page changed since it was last viewed. If the page has changed, IE displays the new page and stores it in the TIF. Note that selecting this option can slow down browsing between pages you have already viewed.

? Every time you start Internet Explorer: When you view a Web site visited before in the same session, IE uses the cached temporary Internet files instead of downloading the page. If you press F5 or click Refresh, IE downloads the page.

? Automatically: This is the same as the previous setting, but with a logic algorithm to understand the habits of Web page behavior. This setting specifies that when you return to a page viewed previously, IE should not check to see whether the page has changed since last viewed.

Note: If you select this setting, IE checks for new content only when you return to a page that you viewed in an earlier session or on an earlier date. Over time, if IE determines that images on the page are changing infrequently, it checks for newer images even less frequently.

? Never: IE does not check the Web server for newer content.

a. Files stored in the TIF theoretically have a rollover based on the set percentage of hard drive to use, but does not apply to Cookie files. An algorithms is supposed to takes place called "FIFO" (first in/first out) and supposed to remove oldest file as newer files are downloaded thus retaining the set usage percentage -- but doesn't always happen. I suspect that in most instances the cause is that the hidden Index.dat file has become corrupted either through software faults or users having deleted files or folders directly instead of using the appropriate browser options.

b. Since in my opinion, the Temporary Internet Files (TIF) being in a constant flux with newer files being added and oldest files being purged as the set percentage is reached (FIFO), trying to personally control this is like sitting on the beach with a gallon bucket and trying to empty the ocean. Set the cache percentage of hard drive space use to something reasonable (Tools, Internet Options and on the "General tab" (Click to see an example screenshot), click Settings and in the Temporary Internet files section, use the odometer to select a reasonable setting in megabytes of hard drive space). The article [Q301057] explains that you may experience either one or both of the following symptoms:

? Your Temporary Internet Files folder may use more disk space than specified in Amount of disk space to use (to locate Amount of disk space to use, click Settings on the General tab of the Internet Options dialog box).

? Files downloaded from Web sites may remain in the Temporary Internet Files folder (but not visible in Windows Explorer) after you click Delete Files on the General tab of the Internet Options dialog box, and then click to select the Delete all offline content check box.

c. By design, Windows Explorer uses the Desktop.ini and Index.dat files to provide the functionality of the Temporary Internet Files shell extension. Index.dat is the Internet Explorer cache index file. It facilitates the browser cache mechanism that speeds access to frequently accessed web pages across different browser processes in the same user context. Cookies are also displayed when you view the Temporary Internet Files folder in Windows Explorer, but these files are physically stored in your Cookies folder; this is also by design.

d. "How to Delete the Contents of the Temporary Internet Files Folder (Q260897)."

2. The article [Q276393] provides information to help diagnose and resolve issues when an unrecoverable error -- also known as user-mode (fault or exception) message occurs. Note: it is highly suggested the steps outlined in this article be used and followed for each segment of troubleshooting.

a. Processes that run in user-mode do so in their virtual address spaces and do not have direct access to hardware or memory that was not allocated to them. Because user-mode processes are effectively isolated from the system and other user-mode processes, they do not interfere with these resources and therefore do not compromise the integrity of a system. For example, if a process tries to read or write to a memory location that has not been allocated to it, the result is an unrecoverable error (in this case, an exception). When these unrecoverable errors occur, the affected program or process must be closed to maintain the computer's integrity.

b. You must understand that most programs interact with other user-mode processes and may use add-on features that share another's memory space. In the case of IE, ActiveX Controls, Browser Helper Objects, tool bands, and other components can add custom functionality, such as additional toolbars, wallpaper or banner ads. These components run in the same memory space as the browser, and may generate faults or exceptions on IE or one of its components. Like most programs, IE also interacts with other parts of the computer. For example, the display driver, display hardware, and installed fonts to display Web pages; the printer driver and hardware to print Web pages; and other programs may also interact which these interactions with other software or services can also cause unrecoverable errors.

c. In addition, the article [Q812989] discusses a problem which may occur if a Web site uses the post-check directive in an HTTP header to perform a lazy update of content on a viewed Web page, and offers a solution. For example, this problem may occur if the Web site uses the following custom HTTP header which then may cause the following systoms:

? Cache-Control: post-check=3600,pre-check=7200

? Content (such as images) is not updated, as specified by the Web site.

? Internet Explorer quits unexpectedly or you receive the following error message:

Internet Explorer has encountered a problem and needs to close.
We are sorry for the inconvenience.

d. If you want to see the data contained in the error report, click the button labeled "click here" at the bottom of the message box. You receive error signature information that may be similar to the following:

AppName AppVer ModName ModVer Offset
Iexplore.exe 6.0.2800.1106 Wininet.dll 6.0.2800.1106

3. If you are not familiar with the "Disk Cleanup Tool in Windows XP" that is explained in this article, please let me take a moment and give you another opinion.

a. This article states this tool can be used to help free up space on the hard drive which are files you can safely delete, and includes files contained in the Temporary Internet Files (TIF) cache. After reading the paragraphs preceding -- furnished for your information, do you factually believe this? No doubt the procedures stated for this tool will make certain hard drive space available at the moment the tool is used, but for how long based on your Web travels? About the only time I suspect this option needs using is when it is assumed there could be corrupted files in the TIF. In my opinion, Microsoft is simply flaunting this tool and unnecessary misleading users who do not know any better, because any gain of hard drive space by deleting this cache will be very minimal regardless.

b. In addition, this tool includes one confusing option that can leave an inordinate amount of wasted space on you hard drive. When run, one of the available options offers to delete Temporary files. Unfortunately, this option may display a value of zero even if your Temporary folder contains hundreds of useless files since this value lists only file in that folder with a date more than one week old. Therefore, if files still exists after using the tool, you may at your convenience delete any and all files unnecessary.

4. Please note that the article [Q322916] states the Index.dat file is never resized or deleted. Clearing the Internet Explorer history by clicking the Clear History button on the General tab in the Internet Options dialog box does not change the size of the Index.dat file. Also, setting the Days to keep pages in history value to 0 (zero) on the General tab does not change the size of the Index.dat file. The pre-allocated space in the Index.dat file increases Internet Explorer performance. To determine the correct path for the Temporary Internet Files (TIF) cache folder, click Tools, Internet Options, and in the Temporary Internet files section on the General tab, click Settings.... Note the information displayed for Current location:.

a. Open a Command Prompt window and leave it open. Close any open programs. Click Start, Run, and type taskmgr.exe, and then press Enter. Go to the Processes tab and End Process on Explorer.exe. Do not close Task Manager.

b. Click the icon in the Task bar for the Command Prompt. Type the following long line of information from one of these examples depending on the path noted above, and then press Enter to delete a file, for instance the Index.dat file:

del "%systemdrive%\Documents and Settings\%username%\LocalSettings\Temporary Internet Files\Content.IE5\index.dat"

del "%userprofile%\local settings\temporary internet files\content.ie5\index.dat"

c. Access Task Manager and click File, New Task, and enter EXPLORER.EXE to restart the GUI shell. Close Task Manager.

Note: To delete a file, you must be logged on locally to the Windows-based computer. Check the attributes for a file by using the Dir command which lists all files, including hidden and system files. Files can have the following attributes:

D Directory R Read-only file
H Hidden file A Files ready for archiving
S System file C Compressed
E Encrypted P Reparse Point

? Reparse points are used as building blocks by Microsoft and third-parties to enhance NTFS file system behavior. They are used in Hierarchical Storage Management (HSM) and Volume Mount Points. For HSM, they are used to implement remote storage and other future storage add-ons. For Volume Mount Points, they eliminate drive letter restrictions by using mount points.

d. If a file was created on a file allocation table (FAT) partition, perhaps it can be deleted under MS-DOS using standard commands such as DEL along with certain wildcard (* or ?) characters.

5. Supplemental reading: "Internet Explorer Does Not Save Graphics Files in the Proper Format (Q260650)."

6. Although the following supplemental reading does not address XP directly, they are suggested for reading also:

a. "Shutting Down or Logging Off Windows Takes a Long Time (Q179723)."

b. "How Not to Save Cached Internet Files with Roaming User Profiles (Q185255)."

c. "Internet Explorer Does not Delete Temporary Internet Files on Close (Q814782)."
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