General SpyCop Questions
Downloading and Updating
Scanning with SpyCop
What Spyware is and what SpyCop does
SpyCop Trial Version
Ordering, Licenses and Registration
Evidence Terminator (ET) Specific Questions
Q. What are the system requirements for SpyCop?
A. SpyCop will run on any relatively recent Windows machine:
SpyCop requires any x86 system running Win2000, WinXP(all versions including xp64*), Win2003 or Vista. We recommend a 1GHz or faster AMD or Intel processor for optimal performance, however an older processor will still run the software at a lower speed. *Super Steath Mode does not function on XP-64, NT 4 or Vista.
SpyCop will run on Win95/Win98/WinME (Win9x) but will be unable to conduct a low-level scan. Most kernal mode/rootkit/lowlevel spy programs are for NT based OSes only, so this is not a major issue. If SpyCop reports that it needs a newer version of OLEAUT32.DLL on Win9x, download and install this patch (for both Win95 and Win98). Win9x based OSes, being over 8 years old, are not *officially* supported. Future versions of SpyCop may not function on these OSes, however old versions will not be disabled and will continue to operate.
All versions of Windows must have Internet Explorer 4.0 or higher installed; it does NOT have to be your default browser. Macintosh, Linux, FreeBSD, WINE Emulators etc are not supported. Please do not inquire about the availability of products for these platforms.
UPGRADING: SpyCop must be properly uninstalled before upgrading. Be sure to take note of your license data available under Help, About so that you can activate the new version with ease. Simply download the new version from this site to upgrade for free.
Q. How many spy programs can SpyCop detect?
A.SpyCop can detect hundreds* of different COMMERCIAL COMPUTER MONITORING spy programs! That's many more than ANY competing product can even come close to! SpyCop is not inflated with adware, viruses, trojans or other programs already taken care of by antivirus packages. Unlike many competitors, SpyCop does not attempt to be a jack of all trades (and master of none). We focus on the detection of commercial computer monitoring spy programs and do it better than anyone else!
*NOTE: You can view the actual database date and number of detectable programs within your copy by going to Help, About.
Q. Can I remove the SpyCop icon from my desktop/start menu?
A. Yes. Simply drag them to the recycle bin and the software will remain installed. You can then directly access the program file through explorer for increased security. The program file can be determined by navigating to where you installed the software and looking for the .exe file with binoculars as an icon. During installation, you are presented the option not to install icons.
Q. How do I find "undetectable" hardware keyloggers on my system?
A. Fortunately, hardware keyloggers are not nearly as widespread as software keyloggers. Finding hardware keyloggers is really easy when you know what you are looking for. Click here to see our page with pictures and instructions for finding and removing these keyloggers.
Q. Are there any known conflicts with other software?
A. We are not currently aware of any incompatibilities. The SpyCop software does not modify your system's core files in any way nor does it remain resident in memory. If problems appear to be caused after SpyCop is installed, the reason is an error on your system which caused the addition of new files to be corrupted or cause corruption. As with any software, run SCANDISK or CHKDSK to check for disk errors and close down background tasks before installing and have a recent system backup.
Q. Can the person spying on me see that I used SpyCop?
A. This answer will usually be no. SpyCop is configured in such a way that it appears to be a standard Windows utility to the majority of spy programs and therefore is not listed in their reports. However, spy programs which actually record snapshots of the screen may still capture SpyCop in operation.
Q. Can SpyCop find Hidden and Stealth spy programs?
A. Yes. SpyCop uses a search method which goes far and beyond other spy scanners in that it does not simply scan your registry or go by filename. SpyCop can find spy programs that are not shown in the task list and are not present in the registry. SpyCop can even find those spy programs where the installer renamed the files to make them appear to be part of the system! If we are aware of a spy program (and we are aware of just about all of them), it can not escape detection.
Q. Why does SpyCop default to install in
Q. Why is the filename not simply spycop.exe?
A. Some unethical spy software companies are developing code to crash privacy protection software such as SpyCop. We will periodically change the installation directory and program filename to prevent being crashed by Spy programs that locate spy detectors based on this information.
Q. What is the difference between the personal and corporate versions?
A. The difference between the Corporate and Personal versions is that we provide assistance on getting the Corporate version running on a network with automated deployment. This level of support is not available with a Personal license. A Corporate license also has site licensing options and can be used on more than one machine. A Personal license is limited to use on one machine at any one time. Additionally, if the product is to be used commercially or in a commercial environment, then a Corporate license must be purchased. There are no feature differences between the two licenses.
Q. I've been spammed for SpyCop or have experienced an invasive advertisement.
A. We have become aware of certain affiliates who have used unauthorized advertising methods which may be considered an invasion of privacy. The ads and/or spam that you have received have NOT been authorized by SpyCop. You can rest assured that we will never advertise in this manner. If you see an ad for a SpyCop product which has apparently taken information from your system, click HERE and tell us the URL of the reseller's web site. In the case of spam, a copy of the email should be sent as well. We will investigate your report and take appropriate action.
Q. I've been spammed with an offer for a computer monitoring spy program.
A.Have you been spammed with an offer for a computer monitoring spy program? Get "revenge" on the spammer and forward the spam to us! We can then make sure that SpyCop can detect the spy that you've just been spammed with. To report a spy program, click File, Check database. Do a quick search in the dialog to determine whether the spy is already detectable. If not, click "Report a Spy" and paste the contents of the spam into the email window and send it on its way.
Q. I am having trouble installing SpyCop or am receiving an error while trying to run it
A. This is almost always caused by a conflict with another program that you may have running on your system. Other times, you just have way too many things running in the background and so not enough resources are left for SpyCop to run properly. The procedures below will resolve most problems that you encounter:
Close down background tasks
Start by exiting any antivirus, firewall or other resource intensive programs that are running. Try closing the programs sitting in your taskbar system tray. You may want to try SpyCop after you close each program to figure out the root of the problem.
Run in safe mode
To run in safe mode, restart your computer and as soon as your computer beeps repeatedly press F8 over and over again until a menu comes up. Select the safe mode option and your computer will start in safe mode.
Utilize SpyCop's Super STEALTH Mode (NT4/XP-64
Super STEALTH Mode will temporarily revert your system to the way it was after a fresh Windows installation. Any non-standard programs will be closed automatically, including Spy programs. NO FILES ARE MODIFIED ON YOUR DISK...this feature only manipulates programs loaded in memory. For more details on the use of Super STEALTH Mode, refer to the product documentation. As soon as you reboot, your system will be back to normal.
When I start the program it flashes on screen
and then disappears
This can happen when another program is conflicting or is purposefully trying to prevent you from running a scan. You can either try running the product in Windows Safe Mode, which is recommended, or run the program in hidden stealth scan mode. To do so, right click your SpyCop icon, select properties, and at the end of the line add a space and then "/SCANHIDDEN" (without the quotes). Use your system as usual and periodically check the installation folder for a Scan Results TXT file. This file will not appear until the scan completes. When the file appears, open it to see what was found, if anything.
The installer will not install the product
If you get the message "Unable to execute file in the temporary directory. Setup aborted. Error 2: The system cannot find the file specified", or other installation errors, this generally means that your drive is too full. To free some space, try clearing your Temporary Internet Files by clicking IE's Tools menu, selecting "Internet Options" and then click the "Delete Files" button. You may also wish to locate your temp folder in Explorer (normally C:\WINDOWS\TEMP on XP and 98) and delete the old files in it. If installation continues to fail, please contact our support department detailing the problem and what you've tried. We can send a no-installation-required zip file if necessary.
KERNEL32 errors during installation and
software startup or random closes
Don't install SpyCop into a folder called "SpyCop".We recommend that you install the software to its default location. Certain spy programs use this to stop the software from operating properly and display fake crash screens. You may wish to go a step further and install SpyCop into a custom, randomly named folder.
Errors on Windows XP systems
If you get an error message when you try to install or run SpyCop on WindowsXP, try right-clicking on the executable file, choose "Run As", and then uncheck the box that says "Protect my computer and data from unauthorized program activity".
C:\xxxxxxxx\welcome.exe is not a valid Win32
This means that your copy has become corrupted, most likely due to an incomplete update. You can fix this error by uninstalling and then reinstalling using the same directions you received after you placed your order.
Q. My virus scanner says that SpyCop is infected!
A. These are false positives issued because they are unable to decipher the encryption used on the SpyCop files, so they mark them as potential viruses, usually issuing a generic name. We are unable to fix false positives given by 3rd party products, so you must contact the support/virus research department for your virus scanner so that they can correct it. Send them the EXE files in your SpyCop folder if they request them (this does not include your license information so it's legal to do so). Alternatively, we recommend Grisoft's AVG, an excellent virus scanner that has never issued false positives on our products.
Q. SpyCop appears to hang up while pre-scanning or is listed as non-responsive
A. During the pre-scan stage, SpyCop may appear to hang up and even be marked as an unresponsive application by Windows XP/2K. This can occur if you have a slow system or lots of files on your drive. The pre-scan process indexes the files on your drives and figures out which ones to scan. Because of the large amount of calculations that occur, the application may temporarily be unresponsive, especially on slower systems. You can ignore this and eventually the scan will proceed as normal.
Q. How do I uninstall SpyCop?
A. To uninstall the software, go to Start, Programs, SpyCop, Uninstall. SpyCop is not listed in Add/remove programs for obvious security reasons. You can delete the uninstall icon from the start menu for increased security.You can also navigate to your SpyCop folder via Windows explorer and double click the unins000.exe file.
Q. SpyCop is scanning slowly!
A. SpyCop is the most thorough spy scanner
available as it searches every byte of every program file on your system.
This makes it impossible for spy software to go undetected once we know
about it. It is also recommended to close down background applications
as they tend to waste system resources and slow down your entire system.
Don't forget that SpyCop can be minimized while scanning, so you
can do other things on your computer while the scan proceeds. When
minimized, SpyCop switches to low priority so that it does not affect
your other tasks. There is no need to sit there and watch
scan your system! Please see the manual
for more techniques on optimizing the software.
Q. My virus scanner says SpyCop is a virus/trojan
A. These are false positives issued by virus scanners because they are unable to decipher the encryption used on the SpyCop files, so they mark them as potential viruses, usually issuing a generic name. We are unable to fix false postiives given by 3rd party products, so you must contact the support/virus research department for your virus scanner so that they can correct it. Send them the EXE files in your SpyCop folder if they request them (this does not include your license information so it's legal to do so).
Q. How do I download
Q. How do I get my free compatibility trial?
A. Here are step-by-step instructions for downloading and installation:
1. Read the product documentation
2. Click the download link here.
3. Select "Save As" and navigate to or create an empty folder.
4. Wait until the download completes and close your browser.
5. Navigate to the folder that you saved the downloaded file in via My Computer.
6. Run the downloaded file and follow the onscreen instructions to install the software.
7. If you registered, follow the instructions for activation in the email sent afterwards.
Q. How do I update the Software or Signature Database?
A. New spy software is continuously being released and SpyCop is continually being updated to detect these latest releases. To update the signature database and program at the same time, use the File, Update Database feature. This is new to version 7.
Q. How does the database update subscription renewal work?
A. Your initial purchase includes one year of database updates. The renewal process will require you to enter a renewal code each year after the first year. Renewal is for database updates only and is only $12.95 per year. The three part code you have already is a serial number, not a renewal code. Your existing license will remain active and the program will continue to function even if your subscription expires. You will never have to buy the program again as promised on our web site. You can purchase a renewal when a database update becomes available and will be prompted with how to do so at that time.
The days left in your subscription are calculated from the date of your first update. The days left will decrease in chunks of days rather than day by day as this is calculated using database dates and not your system clock.
If you have an email stating that database updates are free for life (This was only offered 2002 and earlier), you can forward it to us for a free renewal code each year. You will never have to pay for the renewal codes. Simply forward the message each year when your sub is about to expire and we will promptly send a code to add another year. We do not break our promises!!
Q. The automatic database update is not connecting to the Internet
A. Our update server is the same as our main site, spycop.com. Problems with the automatic update are often caused by a firewall misconfiguration. Please check your firewall settings to ensure that SpyCop is granted permission to access the Internet.
The database update feature also requires that your IE Internet settings are configured properly. If your IE browser works, then the SpyCop update function will work provided that your firewall isn't blocking it. You do not have to use IE as your primary Internet browser and you don't need to have IE set as your default browser. You can change your IE settings via Control Panel, Internet Settings. Ensure that Internet Explorer is not configured to "Work Offline". In order for the update to operate, your IE browser must be configured for online use.
Q. The automatic database update says it's up to date even though it's not
A. First, try uninstalling, clearing your IE cache, and then reinstalling. If the problem persists, then it is being caused by a caching ISP, cache on your system, or even a security program such as a filtering firewall or virus scanner. To determine which is the culprit, please follow this procedure:
1. Start SpyCop, and go to File, Update Database. When the updater appears, do not click anything in the dialog just yet, but leave it open.
2. Next, via Windows explorer, navigate to the folder in which you installed SpyCop. Rename the WELCOME file so that an underscore "_" is prepended to the filename, so it should look like this "_WELCOME".
3. Now click "Start Update" in the updater and close the updater.
One of three things will happen:
1. The old SpyCop re-appears. This means that your ISP or other software is caching incoming files and it sent the old SpyCop update files to the updater. You'll have to find the cache and have it cleared. Resolving this is sometimes as simple as clearing your IE cache.
2. You'll get a runtime error and SpyCop will not re-appear. This means that a firewall or virus scanner has filtered the incoming download files out. If this happens, you can fix SpyCop by renaming the WELCOME file so that the _ is removed. You'll have to close each security program and try the update one at a time until the filtering program is located.
3. Lastly, the update may be successful and an updated SpyCop will reappear. In this case, you can delete the old "_WELCOME" file as it is no longer needed.
Q. I download and install a new version, but the old version still remains.
A. This is the main reason for our recommendation to uninstall and completely remove any old versions before upgrading. Here are step by step instructions for upgrading:
1. Take note of your Name/Serial combination in
2. Close the program.
3. Completely uninstall the old version.
4. Use Windows Explorer to manually delete any remaining SpyCop files, if any.
5. Download the new version of the software.
6. Install the new version.
7. Run the new version and enter your existing registration data.
Q. Can I download the software to a CD or Thumb Drive?
A. Yes, however be careful not to violate the license agreement displayed during installation. To place SpyCop onto a CD, download the SPYCOP.EXE file to a temporary location on your system and then start your CD burning Software (Adaptec, Nero, WinonCD, etc). Make a data disc, and place the SPYCOP.EXE on the disc. Use "Disk At Once" to create a CD compatible with all systems. To place the software on a USB Thumb Drive, simply select the appropriate drive letter when prompted to save the file during download.
Q. I get a message stating that the download file is corrupt
A. This may be caused by Internet congestion or problems with your ISP. Please re-try your download at a different time. We've also noticed that AOL users are the ones with most of the download corruption problems. If you are unable to download the software successfully, email us using the information in the Technical Support section of this FAQ and we will send the software as an attachment.
Q. SpyCop detects a spy program but I believe it to be a false alarm
A. This is a rare condition with the most recent versions of SpyCop. If you would like the detection confirmed, email us with a complete copy of the search results as saved via File, Save Results. Before sending us email, be sure that you are using the latest version of the scanning software, the latest database, and that all settings except for drives to scan are set to their default values. Certain types of anti-virus or anti-trojan programs may set off a false alarm due to the way the program stores its own signature database. Unfortunately, it is impossible for us to test scan every program out there.
Q. What is your false alarm policy?
A. If a file is falsely reported to be a spy program and we are alerted to it, we will issue a database update as soon as possible to correct the error. If you are a software developer and your program is being reported as a spy program but it is not a spy program, let us know and we will correct the problem as soon as possible. Due to the huge number of programs and files out there, it is impossible for us to test scan every one of them. We must rely on false alarm reports to correct these problems.
Q. SpyCop found a spy program, what do I do?
IMPORTANT: If a spy program is detected, Click File, Save Results and save them
into a text file on your desktop. Next, use the "ZIP Files" option under the
scan menu to archive the files together. Start a new email message to our
support department and paste the contents of the results TXT file into the
message with subject "Please Confirm" and attach the ZIP file. We will then be
able to confirm the detection and assist with removal or let you know that it's
a false positive.
If the detection is confirmed, follow these steps:
The first and best way to remove a spy program is to use its uninstaller which is often available via control panel add/remove programs. Check the add/remove programs list in Control Panel and look for suspicious entries. Fortunately, there are many spy programs that fail to hide themselves from this list.
Contact the person who installed it and have them remove it. Use the information provided in SpyCop's 'Spy Info' to see when the files were installed in order to deduct who may have had access to your system at that time.
Contact the company who developed the spy program for proper removal instructions. Most spy developers will help you remove their software from your personal machine. The SpyCop 'Spy Info' button provides an option to learn more about the spy program via a specific Google search.
You can try SpyCop's powerful rename feature to disable the spy program. SpyCop renames the file instead of deleting it to allow you to restore it if for some reason you need to. The Rename button is located in the 'Spy Info' dialog. You can then delete the renamed file after restarting your system. Please refer to the product documentation for specific details.
If all the above fail or are unavailable, you can email our technical support department again with a copy of your scan results via File, Save Results. We will provide a specific set instructions and/or removal applications to eradicate the spy program from your system.
Q. I've renamed some spy files to .SPY, how do I rename them back later?
A. Under the "Scan" menu, select "Access Renamed Spy Vault". Locate the file you wish to retrieve and double click it. You may have to reboot to finish the operation.
Q. How can I check to see if a spy program that I heard about is detectable?
A. You can check the SpyCop database for a spy program in the compatibility trial and registered versions by going to File, Query the Signature Database. If a spy program is not detectable, use the link provided in the software to let us know about it and we will make it detectable.
Q. Will SpyCop find government spy programs?
A. Our mission is to protect innocent users from the use of computer monitoring spy software installed on their machines. We detect every spy program that we can get our hands on, no matter where it came from.
Q. A spy program that I myself installed is not being detected!
A. New spy programs come out all the time, and we do everything possible to keep up and make them all detectable. In some instances, you may find a spy program which is not yet detectable. Don't panic! Send us a link to where we can obtain the spy program in question and we will investigate it for inclusion in a future database. Don't forget to check your settings to make sure that SpyCop is properly configured and that your database is up to date. NOTE: SpyCop's maintenance scan is only intended for quick checks and should not be relied upon as a complete system scan. Ensure that your options are configured to do a complete system scan.
Q. Can I use SpyCop on my work computer?
A. SpyCop is licensed for use on computers that you own or that you have authorization to scan. We do not support the use of any of our products illegally, to impede an ongoing police investigation or in any other unauthorized manner. You assume all responsibility for your use of the product.
Q. What is SpyCop?
A. SpyCop is to computer monitoring spy programs as a virus scanner is to viruses. Once downloaded and installed on your system, SpyCop can be used to scan your entire system for the presence of the over computer monitoring surveillance spy programs available. SpyCop is not an anti-spam, anti-virus, anti-trojan, anti-webbug or anti-advertiser scanner. SpyCop is not an anonymizing service or email filter. SpyCop is the leading non-memory resident monitoring detector which gives you the power to scan your system for surveillance programs whenever you feel it prudent to do so.
Q. What is spyware?
A. Please click here a description of adware, surveillance software, and other privacy threats.
Q. How does SpyCop compare?
A. Please click here for an analysis of our competitors.
Q. The SpyCop Trial did not find any spy software!
A. The trial version will only scan 75% of the files on your system. The trial is only meant to test for system compatibility. It does not provide a definitive answer as to whether your system contains spy software or not. SpyCop was designed to find computer monitoring spy programs, and is the most powerful solution available anywhere for doing so. Unfortunately the cost of maintenance and the very nature of the product prevents us from releasing a more functional trial version.
Q. What limitations does the trial version have?
A. Due to the nature of our product, we
must make the trial quite limited. The trial is thus intended only
to test for system compatibility and has the following limitations:
-No database update/autoupdate options
-Will only scan 75% of the files on your system
-No screensaver capability
-Can not set a password
-No low level scanning
Q. Does the trial leave garbage behind after it is uninstalled?
A. When SpyCop is uninstalled properly by using it's uninstall program, no registry entries or files are left behind. The uninstaller is available in the Start Menu under SpyCop. In some cases, the SpyCop folder may still be present after uninstallation and can be deleted. Refer to uninstalling for a proper removal procedure.
Q. Where do I get the trial version?
A. Trial versions for both the SpyCop Scanner and Evidence Terminator can be downloaded from our standard download page here.
Q. How do I contact SpyCop?
A. Click here for contact information.
Q. How is the software shipped to me?
A. SpyCop is distributed via the Internet as an electronic download (< 10 minutes @ 56k). Because our products receive frequent updates, any CDs would be outdated before they came off the press! After purchasing the software, you will be given a download link and your registration information to unlock the software. With this method of distribution, there is no shipping to wait or pay for. Within minutes after ordering you can have the full version up and running! NOTE: The graphical boxes shown on our site are only for graphical representation of the product and are not available.
Q. I ordered the software online but never got my serial number.
A. Some people are using services which require email senders to reply to a second message with a code as an anti-spam tool. You must configure this feature to accept email from "regnow.com" without this requirement. If you lost/didn't receive your serial number, you can contact us for assistance.
Q. How do I enter my registration information?
A. The registration procedure is as follows:
1. Start the trial version of the software
2. Select "I have already paid for this software"
3. Enter the name exactly as it appears in the email sent after ordering.
4. Enter the serial number (not the order number) exactly as it was sent.
5. Click Submit to accept the information. The software will exit.
6. Start the software again and it will be fully functional.
Q. My serial number is not working!
A. Please keep in mind that your name is case sensitive, and spacing of the letters must be exact. The serial number is a three part code clearly labeled as such in the email sent after you ordered. The order number is NOT the same as the serial number. We highly recommend that you copy and paste the registration information directly from the e-mail sent to you to ensure accuracy. Lastly, Evidence Terminator codes and SpyCop codes are not interchangeable. If you are sure that you are entering the correct information and the code is failing, please send an e-mail and we will send an automatic registration utility.
Q. Prices are listed differently at other sites
A. From time to time, our prices may change, especially when a product goes on sale. Other web sites which list our software may not have the updated pricing information posted immediately and so the prices are incorrect at these other sites. Additionally, we have no control over these other sites' decisions to post the retail price or the sale price. The prices listed on this site, spycop.com, are always the most up to date and are what will be in effect. We reserve the right to change the prices at any time.
Q. I accidentally ordered twice
A. Please contact us via e-mail and we will refund your duplicate order. To prevent this from happening, do not click the submit order button more than once. Depending on Internet conditions, the final order processing stage may take a few minutes to complete after clicking Submit.
Q. Can I order with a check or money order?
A. Yes. Click HERE for our alternate ordering page.
Q. How can I order via telephone?
A. Click HERE for our alternate ordering page.
Q. I ordered the software via "snail-mail" but never got my serial number.
A. Please click HERE to contact Register Now for assistance.
Q. What is your money back guarantee?
A. If your current anti-spyware software detects any commercial surveillance spy program that SpyCop doesn't, we will give your money back. To take advantage of this offer, email our support department and include proof in the form of a screenshot from the other application and a ZIP of the files detected, along with your SpyCop receipt. If it's a real surveillance program we will happily issue a credit.
If you purchase any of our products and have difficulty getting them installed or running, and technical support is unable to resolve the issue, we will credit your account the full amount of your purchase. This guarantee is void after 15 days elapses since the order was placed, or the product is successfully activated and a scan is run. To take advantage of this offer, email our support department and include previous technical support messages along with your receipt.
Q. What's new in Evidence Terminator (ET) v4?
A. ET v4 contains various compatibility fixes for Windows Vista, improved look, built in program updater and other bug fixes.
Q. What is Evidence Terminator and why do I need it?
A. The Evidence Terminator software will help you enjoy a richer and more protected computing experience as it deletes those annoying junk files and covers up your internet footsteps automatically! The software is sold independently from our SpyCop scanning software on this web site. Evidence Terminator's main advantage over other junk file cleaners is its advanced scripting system and deep cleaning capabilities. In addition, you do not have to remember to run ET, as it runs automatically on startup. You can specify as many locations as you wish to be erased on startup, and you can "deep clean" your system and get those files hiding throughout your hard drive. Evidence Terminator is the most advanced hard disk cleanup utility in the world and should not be mistaken for just another cache cleaner.
Q. How do I get started with Evidence Terminator?
1. Click Start, select Programs, SpyCop, Evidence
2. Select "Run Script Wizard" from the Scripts pulldown menu. Follow the wizard to configure ET.
3. Restart EvTerm. Click "Generate Scripts" in the lower left corner. This may take a while depending on hard drive/CPU speed.
4. Click "Clean Now" to delete the files. This first cleanup may take an extended period of time. Future cleanups will occur quickly and automatically every time you start your system.
Instructions are also under Help, Getting started.
Q. How is ET different or better than other cleanup utilities?
A. ET is entirely dynamic and script based. It is not based on predefined areas to be cleaned, and automatically customizes itself for your system. Additionally, there is a user defined script where you can put whatever you want to be cleaned. ET also overwrites files two times before deleting them to help prevent data recovery.
Q. What are scripts?
A. The scripts are the lists of locations on your system to be cleaned. There is a basic script, which contains the regular cache and cookie locations to be erased, and the advanced script, which searches for specific file types to be removed from your system. Lastly, there is a user defined script where you can enter custom locations to be cleaned. The scripts are created based on the options that you have placed check marks in and must be re-generated each time you change which check boxes are selected.
Q. Does Evidence Terminator delete index.dat?
A. YES! Evidence Terminator wipes index.dat files out on Win9x, Win2k and WinXP!
Q. Can files erased by ET be undeleted?
A. Evidence Terminator overwrites every file to be erased with a pattern of 1s and then hex 0xFFs before deleting it. This makes recovery very difficult without sophisticated data recovery analysis. Standard undelete tools and even surface scanners will generally fail to recover your "evidence" once it is "terminated" by ET. It is solely your responsibility to review your scripts before cleaning for the first time to be sure that any files that you want to keep are not listed to be deleted for this reason. Do not use this software in environments where guaranteed data destruction is required. A hard drive is an imperfect mechanical device, thus Hard drives can never be completely wiped unless physically destroyed.
Q. What are all the advanced options?
A. A brief description of each advanced option will pop up when you hover your mouse over them. They are also explained here in more detail:
*.BAK : Backup files, usually created when applications periodically autosave your documents.
*.GID : Old Windows Help system index files.
*.CNT : New Windows help system index files.
*.LOG : Logs created when programs, including Windows, load.
*.CHW : Windows help files used for doing keyword searches. Are recreated when needed.
*.CHK : Created by scandisk and chkdsk to store data found in "lost clusters".
*.TMP : Various temporary files created by applications and deposited throughout your system.
*.DIZ : File ID files which are usually included in ZIP files off of directories such as simtel.net
*.OLD : Usually create when you choose to overwrite an existing file in certain applications.
*.BK! : Another extension commonly used for backup files.
*.HFX : Created by some CD writer software during the burn process.
*.CDX : Created by some CD writer software during the burn process.
*.HFA : Created by some CD writer software during the burn process.
*._MP : Installer temporary files used during the setup process for some applications.
*.___ : Sometimes used in place of TMP for temporary files.
Mscreate.dir : Created by Microsoft installers for uninstallation purposes.
Index.dat : URL logs stored by Internet Explorer while online.
Detlog.* : Hardware detection logs useful for troubleshooting problems. Created during boot.
Q. My Win9x system updates files every time it starts
A. For those who have disabled the Windows splash screen, you may see a notice that Windows is updating configuration files. That notice appears because ET has configured Windows to delete the index.dat files when it boots. You can ignore the notice as it is perfectly normal and does not take any noticeable time during startup.
Q. Evidence Terminator appears to hang up on script generation
A. During the script generation process, Evidence Terminator may appear to hang up and even be marked as an unresponsive application by some versions of Windows. This can occur if you have a slow system or lots of files on your drive. The script generation process indexes the files on your drives and figures out which ones to add to the script. Because of the large amount of calculations that occur, the application may temporarily be unresponsive. You can ignore this and within a few minutes the script should be completed.
Q. My cookies, cache files, etc are not being erased!
A. If you have relocated any of your Internet caching folders and called them something different than their default name, Evidence Terminator may not find them while generating your scripts. The solution is to enter them into your user defined script. Click More Options, add the line into the script for where you placed the directory, and then enable the user defined script in the same dialog.
Q. Evidence Terminator is not erasing my temp files!
A. First, try uninstalling the software, manually make sure the installation folder is gone via Windows explorer, and then reinstall it. This has corrected many problems in the past. If you have moved your history or cache folders, you must regenerate your scripts or enter them into a user defined script.
Q. My Index.dat files are not being deleted and ET is configured properly
The Index.dat files will only be deleted
if you have them selected in the advanced script. Secondly, the Index.dat
files are actually one reboot behind each time ET runs, even when you force
a cleanup using the Clean Now button. This is because the index.dat
files are actually erased during bootup before ET runs, so it always takes
the reboot after a run of ET to get rid of the Index.dat files. Lastly,
there will always be some index.dat files, though they will be about 16-32k
in size when empty. This is nothing to be worried about as Windows
has simply recreated the files to start collecting data from your current
NOTE: We highly recommend that you periodically generate an advanced script with index.dat selected, click Clean Now, and then regenerate the script without index.dat selected. Lastly, reboot your system to remove the index.dat files. Index.dat files are always in use by Windows and Explorer tends to be finicky when they are marked for deletion without rebooting immediately.
Q. Are there any known incompatibilities?
A. There is a known incompatibility on
a system fitted with a SoundBlaster Extigy sound card. If the user
does not manually erase the line:
"C:\Documents and Settings\All Users\Application Data\Creative Definitions"
that is scripted during automatic script generation, the Sound Blaster Play and Record Centre becomes dead with errors. To avoid this issue on these systems, simply double click the line to remove it from your scripts.
Q. How do I know what is safe to erase?
A. ET comes configured to remove only safe locations. You can simply install the software and click generate scripts to have these areas cleaned. More advanced users can choose to change the options and add lines to the custom script to clean additional areas of the system. ET v3.1 and higher come with a handy Script Configuration Wizard to guide you step by step through each option.
Q. Can certain cookies or files be ignored?
A. This is currently on a list of features to add and is not possible at this point. In the meantime, you can disable cookies from being erased and add specific cookies to be erased to the user defined script.
Q. How do I stop ET from running on startup?
A. You are provided with an option during installation to not have ET run on startup. You can also temporarily stop anything from being erased by going into More Options and disabling all of your scripts. To permanently stop ET from running on startup after installation, you'll have to uninstall and then reinstall the software and deselect the run on startup option in the installation wizard.
Q. Is this the same as Evidence Eliminator, Evidence Eraser or Evidence xxxxxx?
A. No. Evidence Eliminator (and others) and Evidence Terminator are completely different products. They are produced and sold by completely independent companies. The SpyCop product is Evidence Terminator. Please make sure you are emailing the correct company when inquiring about a product.
Q. I thought destroying "Evidence" is illegal?
A. This software is licensed to you for use on your own personal computer in the privacy of your own home. The software is designed to clean Internet tracks and other garbage files from your drive for your own personal peace of mind. We do not condone the use of this software to hinder an ongoing police investigation. You assume the entire risk for your use of ANY of the software available from this web site or those of our partners.
Q. ET continues to erase my cookies (or other location) even when I unchecked it
A.After unchecking an option, you must either re-generate your script or go through your script and remove the lines that you don't want processed. To remove a line, simply double click it. To get the line back later, you can re-generate your scripts. Also make sure that you didn't enter anything into your advanced script and then forgot that it is still there.
Q. ET is not erasing xxxxxxxx drop down
list (or other registry location)
Q. The location bar in IE is not being erased
A. Evidence Terminator is a disk cleaner, and is designed to do that very well. The software is not designed to clean registry entries, which is where most drop down lists are stored. Certain main lists are removed only as a convenience and not as a primary feature. You can prevent some of these lists from being created at all by disabling IE's AutoComplete feature. Inside IE, select the 'Tools' pulldown menu. Next, select 'Internet Options'. Select the 'Content' tab. Click the button called 'AutoComplete' and deselect all the checkboxes. Lastly, click the two buttons to clear the stored information.
Q. The run, find or file search list still has the old contents listed after running ET
A. Some lists are cached in memory and won't disappear until you reboot your system. These lists are only deleted when you have recent documents selected to be removed. Please keep in mind that ET is a disk cleaner, not a registry cleaner. This drop down list is only removed as a convenience and is not a primary product feature.
Q. After installing ET, I receive Explorer.exe Application Errors
A. This can occur when index.dat script entries are left in the advanced script all the time. We highly recommend that you periodically generate an advanced script with index.dat selected, click Clean Now, and then regenerate the script without index.dat selected. Lastly, reboot your system to remove the index.dat files. Index.dat files are always in use by Windows and Explorer tends to be finicky when they are marked for deletion without rebooting immediately.
Q. In addition to ET, what else can I do to prevent data recovery of sensitive data?
A. There are a few simple yet important steps that you can take to further reduce the risk of unwanted data being recovered from your system. For help with the completion of any of these procedures, refer to your Windows documentation via Start, Help:
1. Automatically clear the page file in Win2K/WinXP
Windows itself provides you with this option. To enable it, Open Control panel -> Administrative tools -> local security policy. In the tree on the left side, select +-local policies and then +-security options. Look for the option labeled "Shutdown: Clear Virtual Memory Page file" in the right pane and double click it and then enable it. After you restart your system, the swap file will automatically be cleaned on shutdown.
2. Disable the Windows Write Cache
Besides being dangerous and a leading cause of data loss in a power failure or crash, write caches can also be a security risk. A write cache stores recently modified data in memory and then writes it to disk at a later time. This can post a security risk because data which you thought you deleted or relocated is in fact still unchanged on disk...the changes were simply made in memory. By disabling the write cache, modifications to files are written as soon as they are performed. Use the steps below for your OS version to disable the write cache:
Windows 2000/XP: Go to Control Panel, System, Hardware and click 'Device Manager'. Scroll down to 'Disk Drives' and expand it. Next, double click each drive, select the 'Disk Properties' tab, and remove the check from the 'Write Cache Enabled" box. Win2000 may not remember this change due to a bug and requires either HotFix Q290757 or Service Pack 3.
Windows 9x/ME: Go to Control Panel, System, 'Performance tab', 'File System' button, 'Troubleshooting' tab, and place a check in the "Disable write behind caching for all drives" box.
3. Frequently defragment
By frequently defragmenting your drive, space left behind by once present files that are now deleted will be filled, resulting in the previous data being overwritten yet again after ET completes its cleanup procedure. Before defragmenting, however, be sure to run scandisk/chkdsk to check for file allocation errors and keep a current backup on hand. A power failure or system crash in the middle of a defrag session could result in loss of data.
NOTE: Due to the mechanical nature of hard drives, destroying data completely via software is nearly impossible. To completely destroy data so that it can not be retrieved, you must physically destroy the hard disk drive itself. We do not support the use of our products or displayed information to impede an ongoing police investigation. You assume full responsibility for your use of the software.