This 'How To' presents means of
History that has been previously deleted
from a PC, such as:
Internet History (including cookies).
Recently opened documents.
::The easy and quick way to
restore file and
activity History is the
System Restore feature. Since much history
is saved into the Windows Registry,
restoring it to a previous state will
restore file and program History.
::Choose a date you would like the computer
reverted to (see warnings.)
::But the story doesn't stop here! Perhaps
System Restore was disabled by a user, or it
is inappropriate to use it (see warnings).
Well, let's try another tactic. There are
lesser known log files that Windows keeps,
which are independent of both the Registry
and individual Program logs. They are called
"index.dat" files. Use the Windows Search
Tool to find all occurrences of "index.dat"
on your C: drive.
::On XP, click Start, and Search, then For
Files & Folders, and All Files & Folders,
now enter "index.dat" in the Filename field.
Limit the search to C: drive using the Look
Check the following options using the More
Advanced Options line:
Search System Files
Search Hidden Files & Folders
Be amazed at how many "index.dat" files
Minimize the Search Results window.
You need a tool to read the index.dat files.
They are NOT text files.
WinSpy is one such reader. Or
search Google for "index.dat reader". (Right-click on the Google
link and select Open in New Window).
Download the software, check it for
viruses (as you do for all
downloads) and install it. Start the program. You can enjoy
different Histories, using the button provided.
::Use undelete software if your log files have been
::Check the computer for Usage Track
eraser programs. One such
program may have been used on your computer. All the following
programs can erase tracks:
-Tracks Eraser Pro - Registry entries plus index.dat files.
-Microsoft AntiSpyware - Registry entries.
Adaware - Registry entries.
Spybot S&D - Registry entries.
::If a user has used
advanced tools to erase
usage tracks, program logs, registry history
and the index.dat files, restore is more
difficult. Try using a disk editor to
directly access hard disk sectors.
::It won't come as a surprise that the people
who makes products that cover your Usage
Tracks, also make software for viewing those
One tool that can often get around the
track-erasing software is NetAnalysis, by
Craig Wilson of Digital Detective in the UK.
One function of this computer forensic
software is to search the hard disk for
references that are no longer part of the
index.dat file, and reconstruct additional
history that cannot be found in the
index.dat file. It is common to find tens of
thousands of entires, and not uncommon to
find hundreds of thousands. The resource for
this statement is my own experience in using
::Satisfy yourself that you
have a right to alter computer settings.
Changing computer content without legal
right is a crime in many countries.
::Check with your
Anti-Virus log files that
your sytem was clean at the time before
selecting a date with the System Restore
tool. You wouldn't want to resurrect a
::When you use System Restore to revert the
registry to a previous date, programs
installed after that date may not work
correctly. If you have any doubt, use the
"index.dat" viewing method.
Sources and Citations
About the Author:
All text shared under a
Creative Commons License.
how to recover deleted history in windows,recover
deleted history in windows,recover
restore was disabled