A bit about WinInet's Index.dat

Found this while searching around for info on index.dat.  Found the
link in the external links section of the Wikipedia article on index.dat


Friday, August 04, 2006 3:55 PM by wndpteam
A bit about WinInet's Index.dat

Since a recent digg article and its underlying Wikipedia entry seems a
little confused about index.dat, I�d like to give some more detail
about what it is and what we have changed with it in IE7/Vista�s
version of WinInet. As Jeffdav explained a while back, the index.dat
file is a store for web related things; the URL content cache, cookies,
RSS feeds, and visited links. Each of these collections, called a
container, has their own index.dat file that lives in the user profile.

First, let�s talk a bit about these containers a bit more:

On most machines the biggest and most important container is the URL
content cache index.dat. It lives (on vista) at
\Users\<user>\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Windows\Temporary Internet
Files\Content.IE5\index.dat. Content such as pages and images that we
fetch from the web and that are cacheable get placed into this cache
until they expire. The rules for if it is cacheable and when the
entries expire from the cache are complex enough to warrant its own
blog posting, but the common reasons that content doesn�t go in the
cache is due to the server telling us not to via response headers, or
the user telling us to not save any SSL resources to disk via the �Do
not save encrypted pages to disk� option in Internet
Options->Security->Advanced. Each cache entry has the URL and a file
name to allow us to quickly find previously retrieved URLs and serve
that content out of the content container. If a user just deletes all
the files in the directory, the index.dat file will still contain all
the URLs and paths until we realize that the cache entry is missing the
file, and should be deleted from the index.dat.

.... (continued)

Mentions what's new in IE7 at the end of the article.  IE7 will zero
entries (overwite) when deleting.

I wonder how many of these changes made it to IE7 on XP?
10/26/2006 5:09:28 PM
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