Difference between revisions of "Windows"

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'''Windows''' is a widely-spread [[operating system]] from [[Microsoft]].
 
'''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
  
 
== Features ==
 
== Features ==
* [[Windows Shadow Volumes]]
+
* Basic and Dynamic Disks, see: [http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/windows/desktop/aa363785(v=vs.85).aspx]
  
 
=== Introduced in Windows NT ===  
 
=== Introduced in Windows NT ===  
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=== Introduced in Windows 2000 ===  
 
=== Introduced in Windows 2000 ===  
  
=== Introduced in Windows XP ===  
+
=== Introduced in Windows XP ===
 +
* [[Prefetch]]
 +
* System Restore (Restore Points); also present in Windows ME
 +
 
 +
==== SP2 ====
 +
* Windows Firewall
  
=== Introduced in Windows 2003 (Server) ===  
+
=== Introduced in Windows 2003 (Server) ===
 +
* Volume Shadow Copies
  
 
=== Introduced in Windows Vista ===  
 
=== Introduced in Windows Vista ===  
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* [[NTFS|Transactional NTFS (TxF)]]
 
* [[NTFS|Transactional NTFS (TxF)]]
 
* [[Windows NT Registry File (REGF)|Transactional Registry (TxR)]]
 
* [[Windows NT Registry File (REGF)|Transactional Registry (TxR)]]
* User Account Control (UAC), see: [http://www.codeproject.com/Articles/19165/Vista-UAC-The-Definitive-Guide]  
+
* [[Windows Shadow Volumes|Shadow Volumes]]; the volume-based storage of the Volume Shadow Copy data
 +
* $Recycle.Bin
 +
* [[Windows XML Event Log (EVTX)]]
 +
* [[User Account Control (UAC)]]
  
 
=== Introduced in Windows 2008 (Server) ===  
 
=== Introduced in Windows 2008 (Server) ===  
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=== Introduced in Windows 8 ===
 
=== Introduced in Windows 8 ===
* [[Windows File History | File History]]
+
* [[Windows Shadow Volumes | File History]]
 
* [[Windows Storage Spaces | Storage Spaces]]
 
* [[Windows Storage Spaces | Storage Spaces]]
* [[Resilient File System (ReFS)]]
+
* [[Resilient File System (ReFS)]]; server edition will likely be available in Windows Server 2012
  
 
== Forensics ==
 
== 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 ===
 
=== Filesystems ===
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=== Recycle Bin ===
 
=== Recycle Bin ===
See [http://www.forensicfocus.com/downloads/forensic-analysis-vista-recycle-bin.pdf]
+
 
 +
==== RECYCLER ====
 +
Used by Windows 2000, XP.
 +
Uses INFO2 file.
 +
 
 +
See: [http://www.cybersecurityinstitute.biz/downloads/INFO2.pdf]
 +
 
 +
==== $RECYCLE.BIN ====
 +
Used by Windows Vista.
 +
Uses $I and $R files.
 +
 
 +
See: [http://www.forensicfocus.com/downloads/forensic-analysis-vista-recycle-bin.pdf]
  
 
=== Registry ===
 
=== Registry ===
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Value: SystemRoot
 
Value: SystemRoot
 
</pre>
 
</pre>
 +
 +
== See Also ==
 +
* [[Windows Event Log (EVT)]]
 +
* [[Windows XML Event Log (EVTX)]]
  
 
== External Links ==
 
== External Links ==
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* [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Microsoft_Windows Wikipedia: Microsoft Windows]
 
* [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://support.microsoft.com/kb/927521 Windows 7, Windows Server 2008 R2, and Windows Vista setup log file locations]
* Mitchell Machor, [http://www.forensicfocus.com/downloads/forensic-analysis-vista-recycle-bin.pdf The Forensic Analysis of the Microsoft Windows Vista Recycle Bin], 2008
+
* [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
 +
 
 +
=== Under the hood ===
 +
* [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]
 +
 
 +
=== Application Compatibility Database ===
 +
* [http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/dd837644(v=ws.10).aspx Technet: Understanding Shims], by [[Microsoft]]
 +
* [http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/bb432182(v=vs.85).aspx MSDN: Application Compatibility Database], by [[Microsoft]]
 +
* [http://www.alex-ionescu.com/?p=39 Secrets of the Application Compatilibity Database (SDB) – Part 1], by [[Alex Ionescu]], May 20, 2007
 +
* [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
 +
 
 +
=== 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 XP ===
 +
* [http://support.microsoft.com/kb/q308549 Description of Windows XP System Information (Msinfo32.exe) Tool]
  
 
=== Windows 8 ===
 
=== Windows 8 ===
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* [http://computerforensics.champlain.edu/blog/windows-8-forensics-part-3 Windows 8 Forensics - part 3]
 
* [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://propellerheadforensics.files.wordpress.com/2012/05/thomson_windows-8-forensic-guide2.pdf Windows 8 Forensic Guide], by [[Amanda Thomson|Amanda C. F. Thomson]], 2012
* Forensic Focus: [http://forensicfocus.com/Forums/viewtopic/t=9604/ 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://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]]
 
[[Category:Operating systems]]

Revision as of 03:11, 30 March 2013

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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 XP

Windows 8