problem with ie7 history

Discussion in 'Internet Explorer' started by zirath, Feb 20, 2009.

  1. zirath

    zirath Guest

    A problem has been happening with the "history" in ie7. It's not listing
    practically any web sites that were visited, but is listing files that were
    viewed with word 97 under the heading "my computer". (It also is listing
    websites visited automatically by anti-virus, etc., programs for updates.)

    We are using windows xp sp3.

    Help appreciated.
    zirath, Feb 20, 2009
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  2. zirath

    Don Varnau Guest

    It's normal for local documents/files to be listed in the IE history. There
    is not, AFAIK, a way to turn this off.

    As far as websites not being listed, try clearing the History and setting
    "Days to keep history" to no more than 20-30 days. See if that helps.

    Also, there have been issues caused by the ActiveX blocking feature of some
    (e.g. McAfee) antivirus or other security programs. See if such a feature is
    running on a third-party security program.

    Hope this helps,
    [MS MVP- IE]
    Don Varnau, Feb 20, 2009
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  3. That suggests that History is pointed at the wrong
    directory. E.g. normally it should be pointed at
    %USERPROFILE%\Local Settings\History

    Run... (e.g. press Win-R and enter:)


    and check the path in the resulting Explorer window's
    Address bar.

    Also, make sure that that gives you the History special view,
    e.g. View by Date.

    If you see a different path or if you don't see the special view,
    it would indicate that your History was corrupt, so then the
    whole directory should be deleted so IE can reinitialize it cleanly.

    Good luck

    Robert Aldwinckle
    Robert Aldwinckle, Feb 20, 2009
  4. zirath

    momo Guest


    How do you mean "the whole directory should be deleted?? Do I have to delet
    Documents and settings directory( thus everyting under it will be deleted??

    Please explain what you mean with the whole directory
    momo, Feb 23, 2009
  5. zirath

    momo Guest


    I have another point to mention: in XP i couldn't find a way to delete the
    history directory as this is not shown, even after disabling "hiding files

    in vista : I have right clicked on "history", then clicked "delete", what
    happens? I receive a message that it is not possible to remove it because
    the directory is still in use. I closed all the IE windows, also the windows
    explorer, but it stil give the message to first close the programs which are
    using it.

    Please help

    momo, Feb 23, 2009
  6. Please begin a new thread about your problems (assuming you're not
    PA Bear [MS MVP], Feb 23, 2009

  7. You have to do it using a different account
    or from a different partition. Actually the way that I did it
    was to use a safe mode command boot. That way
    you use the real Administrator and explorer.exe doesn't get
    started; however, then you have to be familiar with at least
    the cd (aka chdir) command to navigate to the correct
    parent directory and then do a rd /s command (for example),

    Good luck

    Robert Aldwinckle, Feb 23, 2009
  8. zirath

    zirath Guest

    I tried clearing and settings the days to 30 -- still have the problem.
    Not sure what to look for. We have "Online Armor" (firewall), "Avira
    Antivir" (antivirus), and "SuperAntiSpyware".
    zirath, Feb 24, 2009
  9. zirath

    zirath Guest

    It was the right path and special view.
    zirath, Feb 24, 2009
  10. zirath

    Don Varnau Guest

    [Windows XP]
    Try deleting the (possibly corrupted) History folder. A new History folder
    will be created on restart.
    Easy method:
    Free History Eraser from can usually delete
    the History folder (and the index.dat file) and a new one will be created
    when you restart.

    Or the History folder can be deleted manually.
    The procedure [Windows XP]
    Login as another user with administrator privileges, or from the machine's
    default administrator account (startup in safe mode.) Make sure that you can
    see hidden and system files (Folder Options> View) then delete the affected
    History folder from Windows Explorer. It will be at [C:\Documents and
    Settings\yourusername\Local Settings\History] Restart the computer.

    [MS MVP- IE]
    Don Varnau, Feb 24, 2009
  11. Assuming you've not purchased STUPIDAntiSpyware, uninstall it and reboot.
    PA Bear [MS MVP], Feb 24, 2009
  12. zirath

    zirath Guest

    I deleted the history folder and uninstalled SuperAntiSpyware but the
    problem continues. (No visited websites shown).
    zirath, Mar 6, 2009

  13. Then I would try using ProcMon to trace both cases
    and compare them.

    Trace the normal case so you understand what should
    happen in both the file system (e.g. History folder)
    and registry and then trace your case so you can get
    some more details to report for your problem symptoms.

    BTW we still don't know whether your symptoms represent
    a problem with the view of the data or the collection of the
    data. E.g. another way to get a view of the data, if it is there,
    would be to open your shell:History window to get the path,
    copy that, then switch to a Command Prompt (aka cmd
    window) and issue these two commands:

    cd /d
    (press space and right-click paste here before adding \History.IE5)

    find /i "Visited:" index.dat

    Good luck

    Robert Aldwinckle, Mar 6, 2009
  14. zirath

    zirath Guest

    Not sure how to do this.

    The "shell:History" window moves when I try to highlight the title bar
    address to copy it. The "command" window doesn't list "local settings"
    under c:\docume~1\%user% so I can't cd to it. If I try typing it out (cd
    c:\documents and settings\%user%" etc.) it gives an error "too many
    zirath, Mar 6, 2009

  15. Capture it in the Address bar. If you don't have the
    Address bar, enable it. (Alt-V,T,A) Oh. Is this Vista?
    IIRC all you need to do is use Alt-d to convert
    the "crumb line" to its equivalent filepath.
    Then you should be able to just press Ctrl-c
    (or right-click Copy) to capture it.

    I suspect you aren't using the /D switch that I mentioned.
    Otherwise I can't tell from your description what you are

    BTW the right-click, Paste suggestion was just a way
    to avoid some typing. You could also enter just:

    cd /d %USERPROFILE%\Local Settings\History\History.IE5

    regardless of where the current directory or the current drive
    is that is showing in the Command Prompt window when you
    open it. The possibility of the window having the wrong drive
    initially is the only reason for using the /D switch. If you don't
    use it and the current drive is the wrong one you could just
    switch drives before or after using the change directory command.

    Good luck

    Robert Aldwinckle, Mar 7, 2009
  16. zirath

    zirath Guest


    I've now got the address bar, and enabled the mouse to be able to use
    "paste". But I'm getting "invalid switch -/d".
    zirath, Mar 7, 2009
  17. zirath

    zirath Guest


    For some reason, when I go to the dos prompt using "run/command" it gives an
    error about the cd /d switch, but when I use the dos prompt from the
    "accessories" list it functions.

    The "find" command gave "file not found - index.dat"
    zirath, Mar 7, 2009
  18. (Sorry. I see now in retrospect that I might have noticed
    that you weren't using the cmd.exe shell.)

    Sorry. I was trying to be helpful by referring to it as your
    "Command Prompt". E.g. that is the label of the
    shortcut in the Accessories menu. Usually I just refer
    a poster to their cmd window. So, if you wanted to open it
    using your Run... dialog instead it would be with cmd.exe

    Instead of getting confused by what the ambiguous term
    "switch" means, e.g. sometimes it means a letter prefixed
    by a hyphen and sometimes it means a letter prefixed by
    a slash, try just copying and pasting into your cmd window
    what I gave you. Again, copy the following line to your ClipBoard
    in the usual way:

    cd /d %USERPROFILE%\Local Settings\History\History.IE5

    Then, in the cmd.exe window right-click with your mouse
    and choose Paste. Hit Enter to execute the pasted
    command in the command line.

    You could actually have done something equivalent
    in a window too but as you have discovered
    the syntax in that command shell is much more limited. ; )

    Probably because you aren't in the right directory yet.
    However, if there is really no index.dat in the History.IE5
    subdirectory that would certainly explain your symptom.

    To be clear, once you get into the right directory
    you could enter this dir command to show what is there:


    Good luck

    Robert Aldwinckle, Mar 7, 2009
  19. zirath

    zirath Guest

    OK - thanks.

    The problem seems to be with viewing. The find command showed that the web
    sites are being collected.
    zirath, Mar 7, 2009

  20. Good. Then let's next look at the desktop.ini file.

    In your cmd window at the History.IE5 level enter:

    type desktop.ini

    What do you get from that? Notice that you can use
    right-click Mark to activate your mouse pointer for dragging
    (or for using your cursor keys while holding down a Shift-
    key) to select the text you want to capture.

    Good luck

    Robert Aldwinckle, Mar 8, 2009
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