Why is np++ accessing counters.dat?

  • Looking through open files for an issue the other day (unrelated) I noticed np++ has
    \Users\Administrator\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Windows\Temporary Internet Files\counters.dat
    open for write access.

    As usual, I have multiple instances of np++ open, and each one has a write handle open to this file. I can’t find a reference for exactly what this is, but given the path, I’m assuming it has something to do with… internet?

    So why is np++ opening some IE(?) related file and is there a setting to disable this?

  • @remeshed

    did you verify this without using any plugin?

  • No; that’s a good idea…

    I’m using an older version of np++; I have ‘plugin manager’, not the newer plugin admin I saw mentioned in another post. I can’t actually (apparently) disable plugins - or even see them. Going to ‘plugin manager’ gives an error retrieving list (during download), and nothing at all then shows up.

    I definitely have plugins installed - code alignment, jstool, tidy2, xml tools and dspellcheck, for example. I hadn’t considered one of them might be the culprit.

    Thanks for the pointer. I’ll update np++ and then go through the plugins; I’m assuming from your reply that this isn’t something np++ itself is doing, though, which is comforting. Thanks! ;)

  • @remeshed said in Why is np++ accessing counters.dat?:

    I can’t actually (apparently) disable plugins

    Actually, you can. notepad++.exe -noPlugin predates the new Plugins Admin interface and worked even when people used Plugin Manager. That command line option is listed in ? > Command Line Arguments…

    Even without that option, you could exit Notepad++, rename all the plugins*.dll so they don’t end in .dll, then re-run Notepad++.

    When you ask for help, it is usually useful to mention the Notepad++ version, and preferrably include the full ? > Debug Info.

    I’m assuming from your reply that this isn’t something np++ itself is doing

    That is our working assumption, since we don’t see this behavior. The debug steps we’ve given were intended to help narrow this down.

  • @remeshed said in Why is np++ accessing counters.dat?:

    opening some IE(?)

    Another thought: that isn’t necessarily an IE-specific file. I have seen plenty of systems – especially from the Win7 era – where the %TEMP% and/or %TMP% variables were set to the Temporary Internet Files directory (sometimes just for system environment variables, sometimes for both system and user variables), because that was a “known always there temporary-style folder”. If you look at your Windows System Properties > Advanced > Environment Variables
    (it might be easiest to use the Win-key, start typing system environment variables, and select Edit the system environment variables (control panel) when it comes up), you might be surprised to find that your system and/or user TMP/TEMP variables are set there. If so, then it becomes reasonable that any application or DLL would be using that folder as its temporary space, because that’s what it’s been told to do.

  • @PeterJones Thanks for the suggestions: I didn’t realize the bit about -noPlugin. I ended up installing the newest version of np++ first, and then realizing the reason I hadn’t been using the x64 is because there are still plugins that don’t work with it, so installed latest x86 and went through each plugin.

    Not sure what to make about the file paths information, since I’m only interested in why notepad++ was opening this specific file, in IE’s temporary directory…

    Anyway, for anyone else who is (unreasonably?) paranoid, the culprit is “JSTool”. And, rather marvelously, it’s actually got an option that seems to control this, “Disable new version checking” (which, of course, makes sense why it’s accessing some temp internet dir file).

    I really appreciate the help (and pointers; plugins completed skipped my mind here). This is a trivial thing, but I’m actually pretty skittish about files being open I didn’t explicitly expect. (And as an aside, tend not to let things write to my SSD; on windows, everything’s reparse pointed elsewhere).

    tl;dr np++ is well behaved and lovely, JSTools hits counters.dat for its updates and has facility to disable the behavior. ;) TGIF!

    Edit: Is it possible to change this thread topic to “SOLVED” or the like? Feeling like such a newb…

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