Difference between pages "RAR" and "Windows"

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RAR Archives ('''R'''oshal '''AR'''chive file format) is a proprietary format for storing information created by Eugene Roshal. The format is currently handled by Alexander Roshal, Eugene's brother.
+
{{Expand}}
  
==Format==
+
'''Windows''' is a widely-spread [[operating system]] from [[Microsoft]].
The file has the magic number of:
+
<pre>0x 52 61 72 21 1A 07 00</pre>
+
which is a break down of the following to describe an Archive Header:
+
:* 0x6152 - HEAD_CRC
+
:* 0x72 - HEAD_TYPE
+
:* 0x1a21 - HEAD_FLAGS
+
:* 0x0007 - HEAD_SIZE
+
  
----
+
There are 2 main branches of Windows:
===RAR File Format===
+
* the DOS-branch: i.e. Windows 95, 98, ME
 +
* the NT-branch: i.e. Windows NT 4, XP, Vista
  
Each Block has the following fields
+
== Features ==
{| class="wikitable"
+
* Basic and Dynamic Disks, see: [http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/windows/desktop/aa363785(v=vs.85).aspx]
|+ Block Fields
+
! Name
+
! Size (bytes)  
+
! Description
+
|-
+
| HEAD_CRC
+
| 2
+
| CRC of total block or block part
+
|-
+
| HEAD_TYPE
+
| 1
+
| Block type
+
|-
+
| HEAD_FLAGS
+
| 2
+
| Block flags
+
|-
+
| HEAD_SIZE
+
| 2
+
| Block size
+
|-
+
| ADD_SIZE
+
| 4
+
| Optional field - added block size
+
|}
+
  
----
+
=== Introduced in Windows NT ===
There are certain block types
+
* [[NTFS]]
  
{| class="wikitable"
+
=== Introduced in Windows 2000 ===  
|+ Block Types
+
! Head Type Signifier
+
! Description
+
|-
+
| HEAD_TYPE=0x72
+
| marker block
+
|-
+
| HEAD_TYPE=0x73
+
| archive header
+
|-
+
| HEAD_TYPE=0x74
+
| file header
+
|-
+
| HEAD_TYPE=0x75
+
| old style comment header
+
|-
+
| HEAD_TYPE=0x76
+
| old style authenticity information
+
|-
+
| HEAD_TYPE=0x77
+
| old style subblock
+
|-
+
| HEAD_TYPE=0x78
+
| old style recovery record
+
|-
+
| HEAD_TYPE=0x79
+
| old style authenticity information
+
|-
+
| HEAD_TYPE=0x7a
+
| subblock
+
|}
+
  
----
+
=== Introduced in Windows XP ===
===Block Formats===
+
* [[Prefetch]]
There are several block formats that are contained within a RAR file. They are Marker Block, Archive Header, and File Header.
+
* System Restore (Restore Points); also present in Windows ME
  
 +
==== SP2 ====
 +
* Windows Firewall
  
----
+
=== Introduced in Windows 2003 (Server) ===
====Marker Block (MARK_HEAD)====
+
* Volume Shadow Copies
  
{| class="wikitable"
+
=== Introduced in Windows Vista ===
|+ MARK_HEAD
+
* [[BitLocker Disk Encryption | BitLocker]]
! Field Name
+
* [[Windows Desktop Search | Search]] integrated in operating system
! Size (bytes)
+
* [[SuperFetch]]
! Possibilities
+
* [[NTFS|Transactional NTFS (TxF)]]
|-
+
* [[Windows NT Registry File (REGF)|Transactional Registry (TxR)]]
| HEAD_CRC
+
* [[Windows Shadow Volumes|Shadow Volumes]]; the volume-based storage of the Volume Shadow Copy data
| 2
+
* $Recycle.Bin
| Always 0x6152
+
* [[Windows XML Event Log (EVTX)]]
|-
+
* [[User Account Control (UAC)]]
| HEAD_TYPE
+
| 1
+
| Header type: 0x72
+
|-
+
| HEAD_FLAGS
+
| 2
+
| Always 0x1a21
+
|-
+
| HEAD_SIZE
+
| 2
+
| Block size = 0x0007
+
|}
+
  
* Note: the marker block is considered a fixed byte sequence (AKA, magic number) of: 0x52 0x61 0x72 0x21 0x1a 0x07 0x00 (which is seen as 'Rar!  ')
+
=== Introduced in Windows 2008 (Server) ===
  
----
+
=== Introduced in Windows 7 ===
====Archive Header (MAIN_HEAD)====
+
* [[BitLocker Disk Encryption | BitLocker To Go]]
 +
* [[Jump Lists]]
 +
* [[Sticky Notes]]
  
{| class="wikitable"
+
=== Introduced in Windows 8 ===
|+ MAIN_HEAD
+
* [[Windows Shadow Volumes | File History]]
! Field Name
+
* [[Windows Storage Spaces | Storage Spaces]]
! Size (bytes)
+
* [[Resilient File System (ReFS)]]; server edition will likely be available in Windows Server 2012
! Description
+
|-
+
| HEAD_CRC
+
| 2
+
| CRC of fields HEAD_TYPE to RESERVED2
+
|-
+
| HEAD_TYPE
+
| 1
+
| Header Type: 0x73
+
|-
+
| HEAD_FLAGS
+
| 2
+
| Bit Flags (Please see 'Bit Flags for MAIN_HEAD' table for all possibilities).
+
|-
+
| HEAD_SIZE
+
| 2
+
| Archive header total size including archive comments
+
|-
+
| RESERVED1
+
| 2
+
| RESERVED
+
|-
+
| RESERVED2
+
| 4
+
| RESERVED
+
|}
+
  
 +
== Forensics ==
  
{| class="wikitable"
+
=== Partition layout ===
|+ Bit Flags for MAIN_HEAD
+
Default partition layout, first partition starts:
! Flag (0x)
+
* at sector 63 in Windows 2000, XP, 2003
! Description
+
* at sector 2048 in Windows Vista, 2008, 7
|-
+
| 0001
+
| Volume attribute (archive volume)
+
|-
+
| 0002
+
| Archive comment present RAR 3.x uses the separate comment block and does not set this flag.
+
|-
+
| 0004
+
| Archive lock attribute
+
|-
+
| 0008
+
| Solid attribute (solid archive)
+
|-
+
| 0010
+
| New volume naming scheme ('volname.partN.rar')
+
|-
+
| 0020
+
| Authenticity information present RAR 3.x does not set this flag.
+
|-
+
| 0040
+
| Recovery record present
+
|-
+
| 0080
+
| Block headers are encrypted
+
|-
+
| 0100
+
| First volume (set only by RAR 3.0 and later)
+
|}
+
* Other bits in HEAD_FLAGS are reserved for internal use.
+
----
+
  
====File Header (File in Archive)====
+
=== Filesystems ===
{| class="wikitable"
+
* [[FAT]], [[FAT|exFAT]]
|+ File Header
+
* [[NTFS]]
! Field Name
+
* [[Resilient File System (ReFS) | ReFS]]
! Size (bytes)
+
! Description
+
|-
+
| HEAD_CRC
+
| 2
+
| CRC of fields from HEAD_TYPE to FILEATTR and file name
+
|-
+
| HEAD_TYPE
+
| 1
+
| Header Type: 0x74
+
|-
+
| HEAD_FLAGS
+
| 2
+
| Bit Flags (Please see 'Bit Flags for File in Archive' table for all possibilities)
+
|-
+
| HEAD_SIZE
+
| 2
+
| File header full size including file name and comments
+
|-
+
| PACK_SIZE
+
| 4
+
| Compressed file size
+
|-
+
| UNP_SIZE
+
| 4
+
| Uncompressed file size
+
|-
+
| HOST_OS
+
| 1
+
| Operating system used for archiving (See the 'Operating System Indicators' table for the flags used)
+
|-
+
| FILE_CRC
+
| 4
+
| File CRC
+
|-
+
| FTIME
+
| 4
+
| Date and time in standard MS DOS format
+
|-
+
| UNP_VER
+
| 1
+
| RAR version needed to extract file (Version number is encoded as 10 * Major version + minor version.)
+
|-
+
| METHOD
+
| 1
+
| Packing method (Please see 'Packing Method' table for all possibilities
+
|-
+
| NAME_SIZE
+
| 2
+
| File name size
+
|-
+
| ATTR
+
| 4
+
| File attributes
+
|-
+
| HIGH_PACK_SIZE
+
| 4
+
| High 4 bytes of 64-bit value of compressed file size. Optional value, presents only if bit 0x100 in HEAD_FLAGS is set.
+
|-
+
| HIGH_UNP_SIZE
+
| 4
+
| High 4 bytes of 64-bit value of uncompressed file size. Optional value, presents only if bit 0x100 in HEAD_FLAGS is set.
+
|-
+
| FILE)NAME
+
| NAME_SIZE bytes
+
| File name - string of NAME_SIZE bytes size
+
|-
+
| SALT
+
| 8
+
| present if (HEAD_FLAGS & 0x400) != 0
+
|-
+
| EXT_TIME
+
| variable size
+
| present if (HEAD_FLAGS & 0x1000) != 0
+
|}
+
  
*other new fields may appear here.
+
=== Recycle Bin ===
  
 +
==== RECYCLER ====
 +
Used by Windows 2000, XP.
 +
Uses INFO2 file.
  
{| class="wikitable"
+
See: [http://www.cybersecurityinstitute.biz/downloads/INFO2.pdf]
|+ Bit Flags for Files in Archive
+
! Flag (0x)
+
! Description
+
|-
+
| 01
+
| File continued from previous volume
+
|-
+
| 02
+
| File continued in next volume
+
|-
+
| 04
+
| File encrypted with password
+
|-
+
| 08
+
| File comment present. RAR 3.x uses the separate comment block and does not set this flag.
+
|-
+
| 10
+
| Information from previous files is used (solid flag) (for RAR 2.0 and later)
+
|-
+
| Dictionary bits 7 6 5 (for RAR 2.0 and later)
+
| Please see the 'Dictionary Bits' table for this descriptions
+
|-
+
| 100
+
| HIGH_PACK_SIZE and HIGH_UNP_SIZE fields are present. These fields are used to archive only very large files (larger than 2Gb), for smaller files these fields are absent.
+
|-
+
| 200
+
| FILE_NAME contains both usual and encoded Unicode name separated by zero. In this case NAME_SIZE field is equal to the length of usual name plus encoded Unicode name plus 1. If this flag is present, but FILE_NAME does not contain zero bytes, it means that file name is encoded using UTF-8.
+
|-
+
| 400
+
| The header contains additional 8 bytes after the file name, which are required to increase encryption security (so called 'salt').
+
|-
+
| 800
+
| Version flag. It is an old file version, a version number is appended to file name as ';n'.
+
|-
+
| 1000
+
| Extended time field present.
+
|-
+
| 8000
+
| This bit always is set, so the complete block size is HEAD_SIZE + PACK_SIZE (and plus HIGH_PACK_SIZE, if bit 0x100 is set)
+
|}
+
  
{| class="wikitable"
+
==== $RECYCLE.BIN ====
|+Dictionary Bits
+
Used by Windows Vista.
! Bits (7 6 5)
+
Uses $I and $R files.
! Description
+
! Size (KB)
+
|-
+
| 0 0 0
+
| Dictionary Size
+
| 64
+
|-
+
| 0 0 1
+
| Dictionary Size
+
| 128
+
|-
+
| 0 1 0
+
| Dictionary Size
+
| 256
+
|-
+
| 0 1 1
+
| Dictionary Size
+
| 512
+
|-
+
| 1 0 0
+
| Dictionary Size
+
| 1024
+
|-
+
| 1 0 1
+
| Dictionary Size
+
| 2048
+
|-
+
| 1 1 0
+
| Dictionary Size
+
| 4096
+
|-
+
| 1 1 1
+
| file is a directory
+
| N/A
+
|}
+
  
{| class="wikitable"
+
See: [http://www.forensicfocus.com/downloads/forensic-analysis-vista-recycle-bin.pdf]
|+ Operating System Indicators
+
! Byte Indicator
+
! Operating System
+
|-
+
| 0
+
| MS DOS
+
|-
+
| 1
+
| OS/2
+
|-
+
| 2
+
| Windows
+
|-
+
| 3
+
| Unix
+
|-
+
| 4
+
| Mac OS
+
|-
+
| 5
+
| BeOS
+
|}
+
----
+
  
 +
=== Registry ===
  
==Metadata==
+
The [[Windows Registry]] is a database of keys and values that provides a wealth of information to forensic [[investigator]]s.
  
 +
=== Thumbs.db Files ===
  
 +
[[Thumbs.db]] files can be found on many Windows systems. They contain thumbnails of images or documents and can be of great value for the [[investigator]].
  
==Sub-formats==
+
See also: [[Vista thumbcache]].
  
The RAR format is comprised of many sub-formats that have changed over the years. The different formats and their descriptions are as follows:
+
=== Browser Cache ===
:* 1.3 (Does not have the RAR! signature)
+
:** There is difficulty finding information regarding this sub-format. Please update if you know something.
+
:* 1.5
+
:** Utilizes a proprietary compression method that is not available to the public.
+
:** Considered the root model of subsequent formats.
+
:** A detailed list of information can be found [http://www.win-rar.com/index.php?id=24&kb_article_id=162 here].
+
:* 2.0
+
:** Utilizes a proprietary compression method that is not available to the public.
+
:** Based off of version 1.5 of the RAR file format.
+
:* 3.0
+
:** Utilizes the [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Prediction_by_Partial_Matching PPMII] and [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/LZ77_and_LZ78 Lempel-Ziv (LZSS)]] algorithms.
+
:** Encryption now uses cipher block chaining (CBC) instead of Advanced Encryption Standard (AES).
+
:** Based off of version 1.5 of the RAR file format.
+
  
 +
=== Browser History ===
  
 +
The [[Web Browser History]] files can contain significant information. The default [[Web browser|web browser]] that comes with Windows is [[Internet Explorer|Microsoft Internet Explorer]] but other common browsers on Windows are [[Apple Safari]], [[Google Chrome]], [[Mozilla Firefox]] and [[Opera]].
  
==Software==
+
=== Search ===
 +
See [[Windows Desktop Search]]
  
This only way to create a RAR file is using the [http://www.rarlab.com/ Winrar software]. There are several implementations of the process to open a RAR file (commonly known as the "unrar" process). Some of them are:
+
=== Setup log files (setupapi.log) ===
 +
Windows Vista introduced several setup log files [http://support.microsoft.com/kb/927521].
  
;unrarLib
+
=== Sleep/Hibernation ===
  
:* RAR file unarchiver written in C
+
After (at least) Windows 7 recovers from sleep/hibernation there often is a system time change event (event id 1) in the event logs.
:* Easy implementation with a header file and the source code file
+
:* [http://www.unrarlib.org/ Information Link]
+
  
;WinRAR
+
=== Users ===
 +
Windows stores a users Security identifiers (SIDs) under the following registry key:
 +
<pre>
 +
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\ProfileList
 +
</pre>
  
:* Only software that can create and open a RAR file
+
The %SID%\ProfileImagePath value should also contain the username.
:* Distributed by a proprietary license
+
:* [http://www.rarlab.com/download.htm WinRAR executable for Windows]
+
  
;UnRAR
+
== Advanced Format (4KB Sector) Hard Drives ==
 +
Windows XP does not natively handle drives that use the new standard of 4KB sectors. For information on this, see [[Advanced Format]].
  
:* Created by Eugene Roshal for opening up RAR files only
+
== %SystemRoot% ==
:* May not be used to reverse engineer the RAR file format and create RAR files
+
The actual value of %SystemRoot% is store in the following registry value:
:* Source code provided for people to implement/integrate methods of opening RAR files
+
<pre>
:* Additionally, implementations of UnRAR are available for a plethora of operating systems
+
Key: HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\
:* [http://www.rarlab.com/rar_add.htm Download Link]
+
Value: SystemRoot
 +
</pre>
  
;The Unarchiver
+
== See Also ==
 +
* [[Windows Event Log (EVT)]]
 +
* [[Windows XML Event Log (EVTX)]]
  
:* Utility made for Mac OSX to open a multitude of files, including RAR files
+
== External Links ==
:* Very handy for dealing with multiple file types
+
:* [http://code.google.com/p/theunarchiver/downloads/list Source Code Download]
+
:* [http://unarchiver.c3.cx/ Information Website]
+
  
;7-Zip
+
* [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Microsoft_Windows Wikipedia: Microsoft Windows]
 +
* [http://support.microsoft.com/kb/927521 Windows 7, Windows Server 2008 R2, and Windows Vista setup log file locations]
 +
* [http://www.forensicfocus.com/downloads/forensic-analysis-vista-recycle-bin.pdf The Forensic Analysis of the Microsoft Windows Vista Recycle Bin], by [[Mitchell Machor]], 2008
 +
* [http://www.ericjhuber.com/2013/02/microsoft-file-system-tunneling.html?m=1 Microsoft Windows File System Tunneling], by [[Eric Huber]], February 24, 2013
  
:* Utility made for Windows applications to open a multitude of files, including RAR files
+
=== Under the hood ===
:* [http://www.7-zip.org/download.html Download Link]
+
* [http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/windows/desktop/aa366533(v=vs.85).aspx MSDN: Comparing Memory Allocation Methods], by [[Microsoft]]
 +
* [http://blogs.msdn.com/b/ntdebugging/archive/2007/06/28/how-windows-starts-up-part-the-second.aspx How Windows Starts Up (Part the second)]
 +
* [http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/aa375142.aspx DLL/COM Redirection]
 +
* [http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/windows/desktop/ms682586(v=vs.85).aspx Dynamic-Link Library Search Order]
 +
* [http://blogs.msdn.com/b/junfeng/archive/2004/04/28/121871.aspx Image File Execution Options]
  
 +
=== Side-by-side (WinSxS) ===
 +
* [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Side-by-side_assembly Wikipedia: Side-by-side assembly]
 +
* [http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/aa374224.aspx Assembly Searching Sequence]
 +
* [http://blogs.msdn.com/b/junfeng/archive/2007/06/26/rt-manifest-resource-and-isolation-aware-enabled.aspx RT_MANIFEST resource, and ISOLATION_AWARE_ENABLED]
 +
* [http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/windows/desktop/dd408052(v=vs.85).aspx Isolated Applications and Side-by-side Assemblies]
 +
* [http://blogs.msdn.com/b/junfeng/archive/2006/01/24/517221.aspx#531208 DotLocal (.local) Dll Redirection], by [[Junfeng Zhang]], January 24, 2006
 +
* [http://blogs.msdn.com/b/junfeng/archive/2006/04/14/576314.aspx Diagnosing SideBySide failures], by [[Junfeng Zhang]], April 14, 2006
 +
* [http://omnicognate.wordpress.com/2009/10/05/winsxs/ EVERYTHING YOU NEVER WANTED TO KNOW ABOUT WINSXS]
  
There is a lot more software to open RAR files, but have been omitted due to redundancy.
+
=== Application Compatibility Database ===
==See Also==
+
* [http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/dd837644(v=ws.10).aspx Technet: Understanding Shims], by [[Microsoft]]
* [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/RAR Wikipedia: RAR]
+
* [http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/bb432182(v=vs.85).aspx MSDN: Application Compatibility Database], by [[Microsoft]]
* [http://acritum.com/winrar/rar-format RAR File Format Information]
+
* [http://www.alex-ionescu.com/?p=39 Secrets of the Application Compatilibity Database (SDB) – Part 1], by [[Alex Ionescu]], May 20, 2007
* RAR File Format Technical Information for Version 4.11 [[File:RARFileStructure.txt]]
+
* [http://www.alex-ionescu.com/?p=40 Secrets of the Application Compatilibity Database (SDB) – Part 2], by [[Alex Ionescu]], May 21, 2007
 +
* [http://fred.mandiant.com/Whitepaper_ShimCacheParser.pdf Leveraging the Application Compatibility Cache in Forensic Investigations], by [[Andrew Davis]], May 4, 2012
  
[[Category:File Formats]]
+
=== System Restore (Restore Points) ===
 +
* [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/System_Restore Wikipedia: System Restore]
 +
* [http://www.stevebunting.org/udpd4n6/forensics/restorepoints.htm Restore Point Forensics], by [[Steve Bunting]]
 +
* [http://windowsir.blogspot.ch/2007/06/restore-point-analysis.html Restore Point Analysis], by [[Harlan Carvey]],  June 16, 2007
 +
* [http://windowsir.blogspot.ch/2006/10/restore-point-forensics.html Restore Point Forensics], by [[Harlan Carvey]], October 20, 2006
 +
* [http://www.ediscovery.co.nz/wip/srp.html System Restore Point Log Decoding]
 +
 
 +
=== Windows Firewall ===
 +
* [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Windows_Firewall Wikipedia: Windows Firewall]
 +
* [http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/cc737845(v=ws.10).aspx#BKMK_log Windows Firewall Tools and Settings]
 +
 
 +
=== Windows 32-bit on Windows 64-bit (WoW64) ===
 +
* [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/WoW64 Wikipedia: WoW64]
 +
* [http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/aa384253(v=vs.85).aspx Registry Keys Affected by WOW64], by [[Microsoft]]
 +
* [http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/aa384232(VS.85).aspx Registry Redirector], by [[Microsoft]]
 +
 
 +
=== Windows XP ===
 +
* [http://support.microsoft.com/kb/q308549 Description of Windows XP System Information (Msinfo32.exe) Tool]
 +
 
 +
=== Windows 8 ===
 +
* [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Features_new_to_Windows_8 Features new to Windows 8], Wikipedia
 +
* [http://computerforensics.champlain.edu/blog/windows-8-forensics Windows 8 Forensics - part 1]
 +
* [http://computerforensics.champlain.edu/blog/windows-8-forensics-part-2 Windows 8 Forensics - part 2]
 +
* [http://computerforensics.champlain.edu/blog/windows-8-forensics-part-3 Windows 8 Forensics - part 3]
 +
* [http://propellerheadforensics.files.wordpress.com/2012/05/thomson_windows-8-forensic-guide2.pdf Windows 8 Forensic Guide], by [[Amanda Thomson|Amanda C. F. Thomson]], 2012
 +
* [http://forensicfocus.com/Forums/viewtopic/t=9604/ Forensic Focus: Windows 8 Forensics - A First Look], [http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uhCooEz9FQs&feature=youtu.be Presentation], [http://www.forensicfocus.com/downloads/windows-8-forensics-josh-brunty.pdf Slides], by [[Josh Brunty]], August 2012
 +
* [http://dfstream.blogspot.ch/2013/03/windows-8-tracking-opened-photos.html Windows 8: Tracking Opened Photos], by [[Jason Hale]], March 8, 2013
 +
 
 +
[[Category:Operating systems]]

Revision as of 01:03, 29 April 2013

Information icon.png

Please help to improve this article by expanding it.
Further information might be found on the discussion page.

Windows is a widely-spread operating system from Microsoft.

There are 2 main branches of Windows:

  • the DOS-branch: i.e. Windows 95, 98, ME
  • the NT-branch: i.e. Windows NT 4, XP, Vista

Contents

Features

  • Basic and Dynamic Disks, see: [1]

Introduced in Windows NT

Introduced in Windows 2000

Introduced in Windows XP

  • Prefetch
  • System Restore (Restore Points); also present in Windows ME

SP2

  • Windows Firewall

Introduced in Windows 2003 (Server)

  • Volume Shadow Copies

Introduced in Windows Vista

Introduced in Windows 2008 (Server)

Introduced in Windows 7

Introduced in Windows 8

Forensics

Partition layout

Default partition layout, first partition starts:

  • at sector 63 in Windows 2000, XP, 2003
  • at sector 2048 in Windows Vista, 2008, 7

Filesystems

Recycle Bin

RECYCLER

Used by Windows 2000, XP. Uses INFO2 file.

See: [2]

$RECYCLE.BIN

Used by Windows Vista. Uses $I and $R files.

See: [3]

Registry

The Windows Registry is a database of keys and values that provides a wealth of information to forensic investigators.

Thumbs.db Files

Thumbs.db files can be found on many Windows systems. They contain thumbnails of images or documents and can be of great value for the investigator.

See also: Vista thumbcache.

Browser Cache

Browser History

The Web Browser History files can contain significant information. The default web browser that comes with Windows is Microsoft Internet Explorer but other common browsers on Windows are Apple Safari, Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox and Opera.

Search

See Windows Desktop Search

Setup log files (setupapi.log)

Windows Vista introduced several setup log files [4].

Sleep/Hibernation

After (at least) Windows 7 recovers from sleep/hibernation there often is a system time change event (event id 1) in the event logs.

Users

Windows stores a users Security identifiers (SIDs) under the following registry key:

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\ProfileList

The %SID%\ProfileImagePath value should also contain the username.

Advanced Format (4KB Sector) Hard Drives

Windows XP does not natively handle drives that use the new standard of 4KB sectors. For information on this, see Advanced Format.

 %SystemRoot%

The actual value of %SystemRoot% is store in the following registry value:

Key: HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\
Value: SystemRoot

See Also

External Links

Under the hood

Side-by-side (WinSxS)

Application Compatibility Database

System Restore (Restore Points)

Windows Firewall

Windows 32-bit on Windows 64-bit (WoW64)

Windows XP

Windows 8