Microsoft Secret Files

There are folders on your computer that MicroSoft has tried hard to keep secret. Within these folders you will find two (major) things: MicrosoftInternetExplorer has been logging all of the sites you have ever visited - even after you've cleared your cache, and MicrosoftOutlook and MicrosoftOutlookExpress have been logging ALL of your e-mail correspondence - even after you've erased them from your trashbin. (This also includes all incoming and outgoing e-mail attachments.) And believe me, that's not even the half of it.
Whatever the author of that article has been at, it's made him paranoid ;-)

I thought it was clear from the word go that Find Fast indexes the content of all the files on your disk. That's what it's for! And I can believe that the .DAT files he talks about are btrees of some sort, in which vestiges of old records often remain unless the db engine overwrites them explicitly. So it's a security bug, not unlike the analogous one in Word files (and I bet the *.mbx problem is the same thing), but it's IMO a leap of faith to call it a conspiracy. See HanlonsRazor. Incidentally, cygwin and bash are good tools for investigating and editing desktop.ini files; Windows 2000 won't let you rewrite desktop.ini's in place, but you can mv them away and mv new ones in. -- PeterHartley

This guy is definitely more than a little paranoid, and also quite uninformed, but by the same token, some of this stuff should never have been written in the first place, and it's arguably a serious issue that "clear history" plus "clear cache (or whatever they're calling it nowadays)" does not take care of all traces of your browsing neatly. -- MattBehrens, wearing the reasonable yet rabid privacy nut hat

I think the guy does introduce a reasonable question:

I agree with him that the answer is clearly No. However, I would be interested in having someone explain to me what the benefits are to me of the 50 MB content.ie5 I deleted last night.

All your data (and business plans) are belong to Microsoft

Read this: and then verify Microsoft's terms and conditions at their passport site at

either this has been misrepresented at theregister or microsoft has changed the TermsOfUse

Yes - got it wrong that time, or the license changed after they published. The current license says This section also is inapplicable to any documents, information, or other data that you upload, transmit or otherwise submit to or through any Passport participating sites and services.

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