Difference between revisions of "Recovering Files from Browser Cache"

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(Updated download link with version 2 and added subsection for older versions.)
m (Flashpoint Cache Dumper)
 
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This section lists some missing games where searching for their files in browser cache seems like the most promising way to find them. '''If you still have access to an old computer where you played any of these, be sure to contact a staff member in the #hunter-lounge channel of [http://discord.gg/S9uJ794 our Discord server!] You could very well help us make them playable again.'''
 
This section lists some missing games where searching for their files in browser cache seems like the most promising way to find them. '''If you still have access to an old computer where you played any of these, be sure to contact a staff member in the #hunter-lounge channel of [http://discord.gg/S9uJ794 our Discord server!] You could very well help us make them playable again.'''
  
* Big Fat Awesome House Party (2006-2009): a Shockwave game released on May 15th 2006, which was playable on <code>awesomehouseparty.com</code>. It was developed by Powerful Robot Games and published by Cartoon Network. The game was discontinued on July 13th 2009, not long after the show it was based on ended. The game had a Flash movie which was used to handle registrations/logins (this shouldn't be confused for the real game). These Flash files were hosted on <code>i.awesomehouseparty.com</code>. The files for the actual Shockwave game are all missing and may have been hosted here as well. The names of these files are also unknown.
+
* Big Fat Awesome House Party (2006-2009): a Shockwave game released on May 15th, 2006, which was playable on <code>awesomehouseparty.com</code>. It was developed by Powerful Robot Games and published by Cartoon Network. The game was discontinued on July 13th, 2009, not long after the show it was based on ended. The game had a Flash movie which was used to handle registrations/logins (this shouldn't be confused for the real game). These Flash files were hosted on <code>i.awesomehouseparty.com</code>. The files for the actual Shockwave game are all missing and may have been hosted here as well. The names of these files are also unknown.
 +
* Wave Rider (2007-2016): Added to Candystand.com on October 11, 2007 and removed on Jan 1, 2016. The branded assets and 4th level have been recovered, but the 1st-3rd levels and unbranded assets have not been recovered yet.
 +
* Dirt Track (2008-2016): Added to Candystand.com on July 2, 2008 and removed on Jan 1, 2016. The branded assets and 1st level have been recovered, but the 2nd-4th levels and unbranded assets have not been recovered yet.
 +
* Stack-it (2008-2016): Added to Candystand.com on May 7, 2008 and removed on Jan 1, 2016. The 1st-5th action levels and branded versions have been recovered, but the 6th-34th action and 3rd-34th puzzle levels have not been recovered yet.
 +
* 4 Wheel Blitz (2006-2016): Added to Candystand.com on July 21, 2006 and removed on Jan 1, 2016. An incomplete version was recovered, but the full version with a few more logos has not been recovered yet.
 +
 
  
 
=== Gallery ===
 
=== Gallery ===
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Image:Cache_Dumper_-_Big_Fat_Awesome_House_Party.jpg | Big Fat Awesome House Party being played on Mozilla Firefox in Windows XP. Taken from [https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aOd4z3TMHZE this YouTube video] uploaded on March 29, 2009.
 
Image:Cache_Dumper_-_Big_Fat_Awesome_House_Party.jpg | Big Fat Awesome House Party being played on Mozilla Firefox in Windows XP. Taken from [https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aOd4z3TMHZE this YouTube video] uploaded on March 29, 2009.
 +
Image:WaveRider.PNG | Screenshot of Wave Rider's first level taken from the [https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CwJRCacWHuI tralier] on Candystand's official Youtube channel. The video was uploaded on Oct 16, 2007.
 +
Image:DirtTrack.PNG | Screenshot of Dirt Track's second level being played on a Windows 7 computer. Taken from [https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UGaUNsgHX8w this video] uploaded on Dec 31, 2010.
 +
Image:4WheelBlitz.png | Screenshot of 4 Wheel Blitz, showing off a logo not present in the incomplete version currently found.
 +
Image:StackIt.png | Screenshot of Stack-it, taken from the incomplete version currently on Flashpoint.
  
 
</gallery>
 
</gallery>
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This section lists some previously lost games which were recovered from a web browser's cache.
 
This section lists some previously lost games which were recovered from a web browser's cache.
  
* Slipstream: a Shockwave game from Candystand.com.
+
* Slipstream (2008-2016): a Shockwave game from Candystand.com. The game was added to the site on March 4th, 2008, and removed on January 1st, 2016.
 +
* Match Maker (2004-2009): Added to Candystand.com in 2004 and replaced by Flash version in 2009 due to a change in ownership.
 +
* Delivery Boy Branded Assets (2008-2009): Added to Candystand.com on May 30, 2008 and rebranded in 2009 due to a change in ownership.
 +
* 3 Point Shootout Branded Version (2007-2009): Added to Candystand.com on September 14, 2007 and rebranded in 2009 due to a change in ownership.
  
 
== Flashpoint Cache Dumper ==
 
== Flashpoint Cache Dumper ==
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This script works with Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome, and Opera (below version 15). It can also list files from Safari's cache, though it cannot copy them. It should run on Windows 2000, XP, Vista, 7, 8, 8.1 or 10 without needing an Administrator account or elevated privileges.
 
This script works with Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome, and Opera (below version 15). It can also list files from Safari's cache, though it cannot copy them. It should run on Windows 2000, XP, Vista, 7, 8, 8.1 or 10 without needing an Administrator account or elevated privileges.
  
[https://bluepload.unstable.life/flashpointcachedumperv2selfextracting.exe Download the latest version here.]
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'''[http://bluepload.unstable.life/flashpointcachedumperv3selfextracting.exe Download the latest version here.]'''
  
 
You can use a USB flash drive to get this tool into your old computer, and the resulting files out of it. You should also move this file to the Desktop before running it.
 
You can use a USB flash drive to get this tool into your old computer, and the resulting files out of it. You should also move this file to the Desktop before running it.
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<br>
 
<br>
  
<li> The DumpedCacheInfo.7z file contains the list of all your cached files while DumpedCache.7z contains some (but not all) of these files. If you don't know what to do with these files, you can send DumpedCacheInfo.7z first to a staff member in the #hunter-lounge channel of [http://discord.gg/S9uJ794 our Discord server]. Then, you may be asked to send the DumpedCache.7z file over. Since this file is larger than the previous one, you can [https://bluepload.unstable.life/ upload it here] and post the link in the same channel. '''Be aware that whoever you send the resulting files to will be able to see what websites were visited and the username of the computer where the script ran.'''
+
<li> The DumpedCacheInfo.7z file contains the list of all your cached files while DumpedCache.7z contains some (but not all) of these files. If you don't know what to do with these files, you can send DumpedCacheInfo.7z first to a staff member in the #hunter-lounge channel of [http://discord.gg/S9uJ794 our Discord server]. Then, you may be asked to send the DumpedCache.7z file over. Since this file is larger than the previous one, you can [http://bluepload.unstable.life/ upload it here] and post the link in the same channel.
 +
<br>
 +
'''Be aware that whoever you send the resulting files to will be able to see what websites were visited and the username of the computer where the script ran.'''
 
<br>
 
<br>
 
[[File:Cache_dumper_tutorial_7.png]]
 
[[File:Cache_dumper_tutorial_7.png]]
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The script we ran above only copies cached files if they're in a format that was used by web plugins (like Flash or Shockwave) or if their URLs begin in a certain way (like www.cartoonnetwork.com or www.nabiscoworld.com). Since a web game can use files in any arbitrary format, some game assets may not be copied over. If you want to be thorough, run '''CompleteFlashpointCacheDumper.bat''' located in the '''App''' folder. This will copy '''all''' cached files and place them in a single archive (DumpedCache.7z) which will be much larger than the two we saw above.
 
The script we ran above only copies cached files if they're in a format that was used by web plugins (like Flash or Shockwave) or if their URLs begin in a certain way (like www.cartoonnetwork.com or www.nabiscoworld.com). Since a web game can use files in any arbitrary format, some game assets may not be copied over. If you want to be thorough, run '''CompleteFlashpointCacheDumper.bat''' located in the '''App''' folder. This will copy '''all''' cached files and place them in a single archive (DumpedCache.7z) which will be much larger than the two we saw above.
  
Note that both of these scripts always generate a list of all cached files, so you can use these to check if any important game assets weren't copied.
+
Note that both of these scripts always generate a list of all cached files, so you can use these to check if any important game assets weren't copied by FlashpointCacheDumper.bat.
  
 
Here are the key features of the two batch files included in this tool:
 
Here are the key features of the two batch files included in this tool:
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* Generates a CSV file which lists the Flash cookies (local shared objects) that are stored in this computer.
 
* Generates a CSV file which lists the Flash cookies (local shared objects) that are stored in this computer.
 
* Generates a text file with some system information (OS name, version, system type, original install date, Internet Explorer's version and cache location).
 
* Generates a text file with some system information (OS name, version, system type, original install date, Internet Explorer's version and cache location).
* Generates two archives: DumpedCacheInfo.7z (with the CSVs and system information) and DumpedCache.7z (with the copied cached files).
+
* Lists Internet Explorer's cache directly if it detects version 6 or older. This is because of a [https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Internet_Explorer#Cache bug] in these versions where some cached files that should have been deleted by the browser are left behind.
 +
* Generates two archives: DumpedCacheInfo.7z (with the CSVs and the other text files) and DumpedCache.7z (with the copied cached files).
  
 
'''- App\CompleteFlashpointCacheDumper.bat:'''
 
'''- App\CompleteFlashpointCacheDumper.bat:'''
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* Generates a CSV file which lists the Flash cookies (local shared objects) that are stored in this computer.
 
* Generates a CSV file which lists the Flash cookies (local shared objects) that are stored in this computer.
 
* Generates a text file with some system information (OS name, version, system type, original install date, Internet Explorer's version and cache location).
 
* Generates a text file with some system information (OS name, version, system type, original install date, Internet Explorer's version and cache location).
 +
* Lists and copies Internet Explorer's cache directly if it detects version 6 or older. This is because of a [https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Internet_Explorer#Cache bug] in these versions where some cached files that should have been deleted by the browser are left behind.
 
* Copies the Java Plugin cache from three possible default locations.
 
* Copies the Java Plugin cache from three possible default locations.
* Copies Internet Explorer's cache directly if it detects version 6 or older. This is because of a bug in these versions where some cached files that should have been deleted by the browser are left behind.
+
* Generates one archive: DumpedCache.7z (with the copied cached files, CSVs and the other text files).
* Generates one archive: DumpedCache.7z (with the copied cached files, CSVs and system information).
 
  
 
=== Analyzing the results ===
 
=== Analyzing the results ===
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For example, you can import each CSV file to a spreadsheet program and see all the items that were cached by a specific browser. You'll probably want to sort them by Filename, Content-Type or URL, depending on what you're looking for. You can use the <code>App\ContentTypesToSave.txt</code> file for reference since it lists some of the MIME types and file extensions that are relevant to Flashpoint.
 
For example, you can import each CSV file to a spreadsheet program and see all the items that were cached by a specific browser. You'll probably want to sort them by Filename, Content-Type or URL, depending on what you're looking for. You can use the <code>App\ContentTypesToSave.txt</code> file for reference since it lists some of the MIME types and file extensions that are relevant to Flashpoint.
  
[[File:Cache_dumper_spreadsheet.png|center|frame|Part of the <code>InternetExplorerCache.csv</code> file after it was imported into Google Sheets. The four columns shown represent the Filename, Content-Type, URL and Last Accessed Date. Here we can see some Flash and 3DVIA games, and even a VRML world.]]
+
[[File:Cache_dumper_spreadsheet.png|center|frame|Part of the <code>InternetExplorerCache.csv</code> file after it was imported into Google Sheets. The four columns shown represent the Filename, Content-Type, URL and Last Access Date. Here we can see some Flash and 3DVIA games, and even a VRML world.]]
  
=== Older versions ===
+
=== Version History ===
  
* [https://bluepload.unstable.life/flashpointcachedumperv10selfextracting.exe Version 1.0]
+
* [http://bluepload.unstable.life/flashpointcachedumperv3selfextracting.exe Version 3]:
 +
** Both batch files save a list with every file in IE's cache directory to <code>RawInternetExplorerCache.txt</code> if it detects version 6 or older.
 +
** Both batch files delete any pre-existing cache dump folders and archives before running.
 +
** Added ShiVa3D's MIME type to <code>App\ContentTypesToSave.txt</code> and three Postopia domains to <code>App\URLsToSave.txt</code>.
 +
** There's now a script called <code>TestBatch.bat</code> in the App folder which can be used to check if batch files work on your computer.
 +
* [http://bluepload.unstable.life/flashpointcachedumperv2selfextracting.exe Version 2]:
 +
** <code>CompleteFlashpointCacheDumper.bat</code> now copies IE's cache directory manually for version 6 or older (and not just for version 6).
 +
* [http://bluepload.unstable.life/flashpointcachedumperv10selfextracting.exe Version 1.0]:
 +
** Initial release.
  
 
== Other useful tools and resources ==
 
== Other useful tools and resources ==

Latest revision as of 04:32, 14 January 2020

Web browsers often save files from websites you visit in a location called the "cache". This speeds up page loads on subsequent visits because cached files do not need to be redownloaded. We can use this to our advantage when looking for web games whose files are now unavailable.

This method for finding assets belonging to lost games is imprecise for a few reasons:

  • It requires access to an old computer where you played the game.
  • Files in your browser cache might have been deleted automatically or manually.
  • A game could have a lot of files, some of which are only requested at certain times. For example, the files for each level might only be downloaded when you beat the previous level. This would require you to have completed the whole game.

Because of this, you're more likely to find a game by using one of the following methods:

  • Checking if the files are still in the original site. They might still exist even if the game is unlisted.
  • Checking if the game exists on another site.
  • Checking the Wayback Machine.
  • Looking for a fan or fanmade project who saved the game while it was still available.
  • Asking a developer who worked on the game if they still have any files they'd be willing to send.

This guide will list some lost games where these methods have all been tried and which are only likely to be found by searching the web cache. It will also show you how to recover these cached files by using a small script which can be easily run on a computer running Windows 2000, XP, Vista, 7, 8, 8.1 or 10.

List of currently lost games

This section lists some missing games where searching for their files in browser cache seems like the most promising way to find them. If you still have access to an old computer where you played any of these, be sure to contact a staff member in the #hunter-lounge channel of our Discord server! You could very well help us make them playable again.

  • Big Fat Awesome House Party (2006-2009): a Shockwave game released on May 15th, 2006, which was playable on awesomehouseparty.com. It was developed by Powerful Robot Games and published by Cartoon Network. The game was discontinued on July 13th, 2009, not long after the show it was based on ended. The game had a Flash movie which was used to handle registrations/logins (this shouldn't be confused for the real game). These Flash files were hosted on i.awesomehouseparty.com. The files for the actual Shockwave game are all missing and may have been hosted here as well. The names of these files are also unknown.
  • Wave Rider (2007-2016): Added to Candystand.com on October 11, 2007 and removed on Jan 1, 2016. The branded assets and 4th level have been recovered, but the 1st-3rd levels and unbranded assets have not been recovered yet.
  • Dirt Track (2008-2016): Added to Candystand.com on July 2, 2008 and removed on Jan 1, 2016. The branded assets and 1st level have been recovered, but the 2nd-4th levels and unbranded assets have not been recovered yet.
  • Stack-it (2008-2016): Added to Candystand.com on May 7, 2008 and removed on Jan 1, 2016. The 1st-5th action levels and branded versions have been recovered, but the 6th-34th action and 3rd-34th puzzle levels have not been recovered yet.
  • 4 Wheel Blitz (2006-2016): Added to Candystand.com on July 21, 2006 and removed on Jan 1, 2016. An incomplete version was recovered, but the full version with a few more logos has not been recovered yet.


Gallery

List of games found by searching the web cache

This section lists some previously lost games which were recovered from a web browser's cache.

  • Slipstream (2008-2016): a Shockwave game from Candystand.com. The game was added to the site on March 4th, 2008, and removed on January 1st, 2016.
  • Match Maker (2004-2009): Added to Candystand.com in 2004 and replaced by Flash version in 2009 due to a change in ownership.
  • Delivery Boy Branded Assets (2008-2009): Added to Candystand.com on May 30, 2008 and rebranded in 2009 due to a change in ownership.
  • 3 Point Shootout Branded Version (2007-2009): Added to Candystand.com on September 14, 2007 and rebranded in 2009 due to a change in ownership.

Flashpoint Cache Dumper

This section will show you how to use a small tool called "Flashpoint Cache Dumper" to list and copy cached files from many web browsers.

This script works with Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome, and Opera (below version 15). It can also list files from Safari's cache, though it cannot copy them. It should run on Windows 2000, XP, Vista, 7, 8, 8.1 or 10 without needing an Administrator account or elevated privileges.

Download the latest version here.

You can use a USB flash drive to get this tool into your old computer, and the resulting files out of it. You should also move this file to the Desktop before running it.

Read the readme.txt file if you have any other questions.

How to run it

  1. Run the file you downloaded above. You'll be asked to choose a location where you want the tool to be extracted. Choose one and then press "Extract".
    Cache dumper tutorial 1.png Cache dumper tutorial 2.png

  2. Navigate to the new folder where the tool was extracted to and run the batch file FlashpointCacheDumper.bat. A new window will pop up. Be sure to read what it says before pressing Enter to start running the script.
    Cache dumper tutorial 3.png Cache dumper tutorial 4.png

  3. Let the script run through its 11 steps. After it finishes, press Enter again to close the window. You'll now have two new folders (DumpedCacheInfo and DumpedCache) and two new files (DumpedCacheInfo.7z and DumpedCache.7z).
    Cache dumper tutorial 5.png Cache dumper tutorial 6.png

  4. The DumpedCacheInfo.7z file contains the list of all your cached files while DumpedCache.7z contains some (but not all) of these files. If you don't know what to do with these files, you can send DumpedCacheInfo.7z first to a staff member in the #hunter-lounge channel of our Discord server. Then, you may be asked to send the DumpedCache.7z file over. Since this file is larger than the previous one, you can upload it here and post the link in the same channel.
    Be aware that whoever you send the resulting files to will be able to see what websites were visited and the username of the computer where the script ran.
    Cache dumper tutorial 7.png

Using the complete variant

This section will talk about a variant of the script above which will copy all cached files along with some extra content. If this is your first running this tool, you can skip this section for now.

The script we ran above only copies cached files if they're in a format that was used by web plugins (like Flash or Shockwave) or if their URLs begin in a certain way (like www.cartoonnetwork.com or www.nabiscoworld.com). Since a web game can use files in any arbitrary format, some game assets may not be copied over. If you want to be thorough, run CompleteFlashpointCacheDumper.bat located in the App folder. This will copy all cached files and place them in a single archive (DumpedCache.7z) which will be much larger than the two we saw above.

Note that both of these scripts always generate a list of all cached files, so you can use these to check if any important game assets weren't copied by FlashpointCacheDumper.bat.

Here are the key features of the two batch files included in this tool:

- FlashpointCacheDumper.bat:

  • Copies some cached files from Internet Explorer, Firefox, Chrome and Opera (below version 15). It only copies files if their Content-Type is listed in App\ContentTypesToSave.txt or if their URL begins with one listed in App\URLsToSave.txt. It will naturally exclude many files, some of which might be game assets.
  • Generates CSV files which list all cached files along with other information (Content-Type, URL, Last Access Date, etc). This applies to Internet Explorer, Firefox, Chrome, Opera (below version 15) and Safari.
  • Generates a CSV file which lists the Flash cookies (local shared objects) that are stored in this computer.
  • Generates a text file with some system information (OS name, version, system type, original install date, Internet Explorer's version and cache location).
  • Lists Internet Explorer's cache directly if it detects version 6 or older. This is because of a bug in these versions where some cached files that should have been deleted by the browser are left behind.
  • Generates two archives: DumpedCacheInfo.7z (with the CSVs and the other text files) and DumpedCache.7z (with the copied cached files).

- App\CompleteFlashpointCacheDumper.bat:

  • Copies all cached files from Internet Explorer, Firefox, Chrome and Opera (below version 15).
  • Generates CSV files which list all cached files along with other information (Content-Type, URL, Last Access Date, etc). This applies to Internet Explorer, Firefox, Chrome, Opera (below version 15) and Safari.
  • Generates a CSV file which lists the Flash cookies (local shared objects) that are stored in this computer.
  • Generates a text file with some system information (OS name, version, system type, original install date, Internet Explorer's version and cache location).
  • Lists and copies Internet Explorer's cache directly if it detects version 6 or older. This is because of a bug in these versions where some cached files that should have been deleted by the browser are left behind.
  • Copies the Java Plugin cache from three possible default locations.
  • Generates one archive: DumpedCache.7z (with the copied cached files, CSVs and the other text files).

Analyzing the results

After running either of the batch files, you'll have CSV files which list every cached file and a copy of some or all of these. You can now search for missing game assets any way you want.

For example, you can import each CSV file to a spreadsheet program and see all the items that were cached by a specific browser. You'll probably want to sort them by Filename, Content-Type or URL, depending on what you're looking for. You can use the App\ContentTypesToSave.txt file for reference since it lists some of the MIME types and file extensions that are relevant to Flashpoint.

Part of the InternetExplorerCache.csv file after it was imported into Google Sheets. The four columns shown represent the Filename, Content-Type, URL and Last Access Date. Here we can see some Flash and 3DVIA games, and even a VRML world.

Version History

  • Version 3:
    • Both batch files save a list with every file in IE's cache directory to RawInternetExplorerCache.txt if it detects version 6 or older.
    • Both batch files delete any pre-existing cache dump folders and archives before running.
    • Added ShiVa3D's MIME type to App\ContentTypesToSave.txt and three Postopia domains to App\URLsToSave.txt.
    • There's now a script called TestBatch.bat in the App folder which can be used to check if batch files work on your computer.
  • Version 2:
    • CompleteFlashpointCacheDumper.bat now copies IE's cache directory manually for version 6 or older (and not just for version 6).
  • Version 1.0:
    • Initial release.

Other useful tools and resources

This section will link to other tools and resources that may be useful when looking for lost game files in browser cache.