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How to View Users History from server

We use Windows 2003 Small Business Server and our users have XP Pro.  We have a user who might be going to inappropriate web sites here at work and I need to check into this.  How can view her internet history from the server?

Thanks,
Tom
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martit01
Asked:
martit01
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1 Solution
 
luv2smileCommented:
History information is stored in the user's profile so unless you have roaming profiles then the information will be on the user's local computer, not the server.

It'll be located in their local profile under:

c:\documents and settings\user\local settings\history

You would need to view hidden system files so if you don't see the folder, go to:

windows explorer- tools- folder options- view

check "show hidden files and folders"

uncheck "hide protected operating system files"
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Joseph HornseyPresident and JanitorCommented:

Tom,

One problem with the technique that luv2smile suggests is that if the user has configured Internet Explorer to not maintain a history, this information won't be there.  Unfortunately, if he's done that you're kind of out of luck anyway.  In general, however, it's a good way of doing things.  To get to the drive C: remotely (from the server), click on Start and then Run and type the UNC path to the users computer as such:  \\ComputerName\C$ and then browse to the local profile.

One other thing to consider:  Since you've got SBS 2003, you may be using ISA Server (if you purchased the Premium version of SBS).  If this is the case, and you have the users configured to go through ISA to get to the internet, ISA can log all access regardless of how the client is configured.  Are you using ISA?

<-=+=->
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luv2smileCommented:
" Unfortunately, if he's done that you're kind of out of luck anyway"

Not really, unless they know enough about computers to get rid of the evidence left behind even after they clear the history (as long as they are using IE).

IE leaves behind something called an index.dat file

You have to have a special kind of viewer to read the file, but it'll show the user's history:

Here is just one of many viewers available:

http://www.topshareware.com/Index.dat-Viewer-download-1761.htm
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Fatal_ExceptionCommented:
Nice one luv..  I am going to add that to my tool chest...  :)
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Joseph HornseyPresident and JanitorCommented:

Dude... no kidding.  I'm totally going to download that.  And then I'm going to delete my index.dat file.  :-)

Awesome tip, luv!

<-=+=->
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martit01Author Commented:
luv,

Do these index.dat files only exist in XP Pro?  My computer at work, which is XP Pro, has the index.dat files in the history. But, my system at home, which is XP Home, doesn't seem to have the index.dat files in the local history???
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Fatal_ExceptionCommented:
They are still there.  Since Luv "showed us the way" I looked into this more carefully.  These are System Files, and as such are hidden to the casual search.  Make sure you have setup your system to be able to view these, in your Tools > Folder Options window > View Tab

Here are the locations of the various Index.dat files.  Each one holds information that you might need:

In Windows 2000 and Windows XP there are several "index.dat" files in these locations:
\Documents and Settings\<Username>\Cookies\index.dat
\Documents and Settings\<Username>\Local Settings\History\History.IE5\index.dat
\Documents and Settings\<Username>\Local Settings\History\History.IE5\************\index.dat
\Documents and Settings\<Username>\Local
\Settings\History\History.IE5\************\index.dat
\Documents and Settings\<Username>\Local
\Internet Files\Content.IE5\index.dat
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martit01Author Commented:
Fatal,

Thanks!!
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Fatal_ExceptionCommented:
NP!  :)
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Joseph HornseyPresident and JanitorCommented:
You're the bomb, FE.  (You too, luv... after all, you "showed us the way").

<-=+=->
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Fatal_ExceptionCommented:
*grin*  Just got here first, that is all!
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