Difference between revisions of "Windows"

From ForensicsWiki
Jump to: navigation, search
(Windows Error Reporting (WER))
Line 209: Line 209:
* [http://blogs.technet.com/b/networking/archive/2008/10/24/rpc-to-go-v-1.aspx RPC to Go v.1], by Michael Platts, October 24, 2008
* [http://blogs.technet.com/b/networking/archive/2008/10/24/rpc-to-go-v-1.aspx RPC to Go v.1], by Michael Platts, October 24, 2008
* [http://blogs.technet.com/b/networking/archive/2008/12/04/rpc-to-go-v-2.aspx RPC to Go v.2], by Michael Platts, December 4, 2008
* [http://blogs.technet.com/b/networking/archive/2008/12/04/rpc-to-go-v-2.aspx RPC to Go v.2], by Michael Platts, December 4, 2008
==== User Account Control ====
* [http://blog.strategiccyber.com/2014/03/20/user-account-control-what-penetration-testers-should-know/ User Account Control – What Penetration Testers Should Know], by Raphael Mudge, March 20, 2014
==== Windows Scripting Host ====
==== Windows Scripting Host ====

Revision as of 09:20, 21 March 2014

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


  • 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


  • Windows Firewall

Introduced in Windows Server 2003

  • Volume Shadow Copies

Introduced in Windows Vista

Introduced in Windows Server 2008

Introduced in Windows 7

Introduced in Windows 8

Introduced in Windows Server 2012


Partition layout

Default partition layout, first partition starts:

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


Recycle Bin


Used by Windows 2000, XP. Uses INFO2 file.

See: [2]


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

See: [3]


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.


See Windows Desktop Search

Setup log files (setupapi.log)

Windows Vista introduced several setup log files [4].


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


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.

Windows Error Reporting (WER)

As of Vista, for User Access Control (UAC) elevated applications WER reports can be found in:


As of Vista, for non-UAC elevated applications (LUA) WER reports can be found in:


Corresponding registry key:

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\Windows Error Reporting

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.


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


Program execution

Tracking removable media

Under the hood


Side-by-side (WinSxS)

Application Experience and Compatibility

System Restore (Restore Points)

Crash dumps


User Account Control

Windows Scripting Host



Windows Error Reporting (WER)

Windows Firewall

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

Windows XP