Once again I’m going to take the time out to answer a selection of readers’ questions that I have received recently:

I do a regular disc clean up as I have no got a very large hard disc, and come across a file called INDEX in my temporary internet file\content.IE5\. I see it contains 1.5 MB so would like to clear it but am unable to access it. It has only appeared since I upgraded to Windows ME but I suspect is has been lurking elsewhere under another guise and so I would appreciate any advice. Thank you and congratulations on an interesting column.
John Cadman, via E-mail

The index.dat file keeps a list of all websites visited on the computer, cookies that you have received and files downloaded but unfortunately it is not automatically cleared out when you delete the browser history, cookies and cache from Internet Explorer. As far as removing the file in concerned for the sakes of saving yourself 1.5mg of disk space seems somewhat over the top as in my opinion as the space you’ll save could at the end of the day only be used to store a couple of pictures.
Many users may want to get rid of this file for a different reason however and that is because you may not always want people to be able to track the sites that you’ve been to and files that you’ve downloaded. This becomes somewhat complicated when you consider that Windows won’t normally allow you to just delete the file which is normally stored in one of the following locations in the Windows directory:

Temporary Internet Files\Content.IE5\index.dat

Unfortunately I do not know of a free utility that will clear these away for you along with any other clutter that Internet Explorer leaves behind although try the free trial editions of Evidence Eliminator (www.evidence-eliminator.com) and History Kill (www.historykill.info) and see what you think. If any readers know of such a utility that is free of charge then please let me know, but unless you’ve been doing anything dodgy on your computer or are REALLY short of hard disk space then it probably isn’t worth the hassle.

I read your column in the Herald Express but don't always remember to keep the website addresses that you sometimes recommend; could you make a list of those featured to date in one of your future columns?

Do you think signing up with MSN Hotmail is good, bad or indifferent? I have a friend who spends time in Spain and uses an internet cafe and hotmail to keep in touch; so far I have not used a chat line and am wary of giving my details to 'unknowns'.
Thanks for a readable and informative column and also for prompt delivery of ink cartridge ordered recently, which, owing to it being my first attempt at replacing nearly got jammed in upside down, but got there successfully in the end!
Teresa Bastow, via E-mail

For one of my future articles in the Herald Express I will spend listing past website addresses that I’ve given that I feel may still be of relevance to readers and will e-mail this list to you at such a point.
In regards to Hotmail, I wouldn’t exactly consider them an ‘unknown’ as it is run by Microsoft who are arguably one of the biggest multinational companies and so to consider them in such a respect would be something of an understatement. If you are particularly bothered about giving your details to another company then just do as I would do in such a situation and fabricate some user details such as my particular favourite, ‘Mr Donald Duck’

I hope this has helped out the two readers above and so as always, please keep your comments about the article and any questions coming in via chris@refreshsystems.co.uk or by writing to Chris Holgate, c/o Herald Express, Torquay, TQ2 8JN.

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