Question for computer nerds, tech heads, geeks, or other eggheads : LUSENET : Unk's Troll-free Private Saloon : One Thread

I delete the files out of my internet cache regularly and usually it clears all files. Sometimes though, there are stubborn files which refuse to delete even after disconnecting from the net. They can be deleted only after doing a complete reboot of the computer.

Why do these files refuse to delete? Could they be malicious programs planted by an intruder? Thanks for the help, geekheads.

-- (your@expertise.appreciated), April 07, 2002


Do you get an error message when you try to delete them? If so, what does it say?

While it could be malware, it's more likely that some of the files are still in use elsewhere, or that your browser hasn't completely disappeared from memory and still has a "lock" on them.

Most of the malware that I'm familiar with finds different places to hide. The Sircam virus, for example, which hit one of our stations last week (sigh), hides in the Recycle Bin under Windows.

-- Stephen (, April 08, 2002.

Yes Stephen, I'll have to copy the message next time. I think it says it can't be deleted because it's in use (even after disconnecting from net).

-- (your@expertise.appreciated), April 08, 2002.

In the case of the history files INDEX.DAT in Win98 (or MM256.DAT + MM2048.DAT in Win95), the only way to delete them is on reboot - as you observed - by bypassing Windows' locking function, which is set up that way so you'll keep them intact forever. (g)

If you want to automate this, then you might want to automate the whole process. This will automagically delete the whole kit and kaboodle (index files, history files, and cookies) at boot time. Put these lines in your AUTOEXEC.BAT :


This list doesn't include the Windows TEMP directory since sometimes an install program needs the TEMP files on rebooting.

-- Debbie (, April 08, 2002.

Gotta love formatting. Make that: DELTREE /Y C:\WINDOWS\Cookies

-- Debbie (, April 08, 2002.


Yet another reason for me to get some sleep occasionally :-) :-)

-- Debbie (, April 08, 2002.

Moderation questions? read the FAQ