Aside from the ‘goddamn’, this article title may sound like a good movie name.  Anyway, it turns out that IE has a hidden cache of temporary internet files (TIFs).  Big deal, right?  Everyone and their grandmother knows that Windows/IE/MS-products-in-general and even software-in-general have these caches of files for whatever reason – sometimes good, sometimes not so good.  A little Google searching and you find out how to unhide your hidden and system files and hot dog – you can see everything.

Wrong. Despite doing everything the Windows UI allows you to do to see ‘hidden’ files, there is a folder called Content.IE5 which you will not find. It can be reached by a few different methods, but the most direct is: Start > Run > “%homepath%\Local Settings\Temporary Internet Files\Content.IE5”.  There you may find some 8-character long folders, an index.dat file, and maybe a desktop.ini file.  Browsing these folders and/or deleting the contents may be nigh impossible, especially if you’ve ever had a cache overflow problem, and especially if you’ve ever had a browser hijacker which sat there reloading incomplete web pages over and over.  Such was my case.  A colleague has entrusted me to clean up some problems on her computer, and this goddamn cache is preventing me from moving forward*.  There are probably 10s if not 100s of millions of little files in these folders.  I’m currently running CClean on it.  It seems to be the only thing that can knock them out at a decent pace.  Even a command line del command just hung.  Shift+Delete? Forget about it.

This issue is confounding, it’s bullshit, and from what I’ve read, it’s still a problem in the latest incarnations of the ghost of Windows past.  Thank god for browser choices such as Safari, Firefox, and Chrome.  To me, junk like this defeats every other MS zealot’s argument in favor of using the ‘standard’ browser, Internet Explorer, or as I prefer: Internet Destroyer.

*a thorough virus scan on a computer takes a long time.  Uselessly scanning millions of tiny files which are garbage data can take all night + all day + ??? I couldn’t let it continue. 24 hours later and it was still scanning in the same folder which I didn’t even care about!!!

3 Responses

  1. Follow up: CClean is worth its bits in gold. It took all night, but finally destroyed all those millions of cached .htm files, thus allowing me to scan the computer for virii and clean it. Incidentally, there were about 2G of temporary files.

    1. Hey, Ken! Your message got incorrectly marked as spam – sorry for the delayed response. I’ve never tried that but will give it a shot! Thanks for the recommendations.

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