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 ==
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=== Introduced in Windows XP ===
 
=== Introduced in Windows XP ===
 
* [[Prefetch]]
 
* [[Prefetch]]
 +
* System Restore (Restore Points); also present in Windows ME
  
 
==== SP2 ====
 
==== SP2 ====
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* [[BitLocker Disk Encryption | BitLocker]]
 
* [[BitLocker Disk Encryption | BitLocker]]
 
* [[Windows Desktop Search | Search]] integrated in operating system
 
* [[Windows Desktop Search | Search]] integrated in operating system
 +
* [[ReadyBoost]]
 
* [[SuperFetch]]
 
* [[SuperFetch]]
 
* [[NTFS|Transactional NTFS (TxF)]]
 
* [[NTFS|Transactional NTFS (TxF)]]
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The %SID%\ProfileImagePath value should also contain the username.
 
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:
 +
<pre>
 +
C:\ProgramData\Microsoft\Windows\WER\
 +
</pre>
 +
 +
As of Vista, for non-UAC elevated applications (LUA) WER reports can be found in:
 +
<pre>
 +
C:\Users\%UserName%\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Windows\WER\
 +
</pre>
 +
 +
Corresponding registry key:
 +
<pre>
 +
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\Windows Error Reporting
 +
</pre>
  
 
== Advanced Format (4KB Sector) Hard Drives ==
 
== Advanced Format (4KB Sector) Hard Drives ==
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* [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.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
 
* [http://www.ericjhuber.com/2013/02/microsoft-file-system-tunneling.html?m=1 Microsoft Windows File System Tunneling], by [[Eric Huber]], February 24, 2013
 +
* [http://www.nsa.gov/ia/_files/app/Spotting_the_Adversary_with_Windows_Event_Log_Monitoring.pdf Spotting the Adversary with Windows Event Log Monitoring], by National Security Agency/Central Security Service, February 28, 2013
 +
 +
=== Malware/Rootkits ===
 +
* [http://forensicmethods.com/inside-windows-rootkits Inside Windows Rootkits], by [[Chad Tilbury]], September 4, 2013
 +
 +
=== Tracking removable media ===
 +
* [http://www.swiftforensics.com/2012/08/tracking-usb-first-insertion-in-event.html Tracking USB First insertion in Event logs], by Yogesh Khatri, August 18, 2012
  
 
=== Under the hood ===
 
=== Under the hood ===
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* [http://blogs.msdn.com/b/junfeng/archive/2004/04/28/121871.aspx Image File Execution Options]
 
* [http://blogs.msdn.com/b/junfeng/archive/2004/04/28/121871.aspx Image File Execution Options]
  
=== Side-by-side (WinSxS) ===
+
==== MSI ====
 +
* [http://blogs.msdn.com/b/heaths/archive/2009/02/02/changes-to-package-caching-in-windows-installer-5-0.aspx?Redirected=true Changes to Package Caching in Windows Installer 5.0], by Heath Stewart, February 2, 2009
 +
* [http://blog.didierstevens.com/2013/07/26/msi-the-case-of-the-invalid-signature/ MSI: The Case Of The Invalid Signature], by Didier Stevens, July 26, 2013
 +
 
 +
==== Side-by-side (WinSxS) ====
 
* [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Side-by-side_assembly Wikipedia: Side-by-side assembly]
 
* [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://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/aa374224.aspx Assembly Searching Sequence]
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* [http://omnicognate.wordpress.com/2009/10/05/winsxs/ EVERYTHING YOU NEVER WANTED TO KNOW ABOUT WINSXS]
 
* [http://omnicognate.wordpress.com/2009/10/05/winsxs/ EVERYTHING YOU NEVER WANTED TO KNOW ABOUT WINSXS]
  
=== Application Compatibility Database ===
+
==== Application Compatibility Database ====
 
* [http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/dd837644(v=ws.10).aspx Technet: Understanding Shims], by [[Microsoft]]
 
* [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://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/bb432182(v=vs.85).aspx MSDN: Application Compatibility Database], by [[Microsoft]]
Line 147: Line 181:
 
* [http://fred.mandiant.com/Whitepaper_ShimCacheParser.pdf Leveraging the Application Compatibility Cache in Forensic Investigations], by [[Andrew Davis]], May 4, 2012
 
* [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) ===
+
==== System Restore (Restore Points) ====
 
* [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/System_Restore Wikipedia: System Restore]
 
* [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://www.stevebunting.org/udpd4n6/forensics/restorepoints.htm Restore Point Forensics], by [[Steve Bunting]]
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* [http://www.ediscovery.co.nz/wip/srp.html System Restore Point Log Decoding]
 
* [http://www.ediscovery.co.nz/wip/srp.html System Restore Point Log Decoding]
  
=== Windows Firewall ===
+
==== Crash dumps ====
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* [http://blogs.technet.com/b/yongrhee/archive/2010/12/29/drwtsn32-on-windows-vista-windows-server-2008-windows-7-windows-server-2008-r2.aspx Technet: Drwtsn32 on Windows Vista/Windows Server 2008/Windows 7/Windows Server 2008 R2], by Yong Rhee, December 29, 2010
 +
* [http://support.microsoft.com/kb/315263 MSDN: How to read the small memory dump file that is created by Windows if a crash occurs], by [[Microsoft]]
 +
 
 +
==== ReadyBoost ====
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* [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ReadyBoost Wikipedia: ReadyBoost]
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* [http://windowsir.blogspot.ch/2013/04/plugin-emdmgmt.html Plugin: EMDMgmt], by [[Harlan Carvey]], April 05, 2013
 +
* [http://hackingexposedcomputerforensicsblog.blogspot.ch/2013/08/daily-blog-65-understanding-artifacts.html Understanding the artifacts EMDMgmt], by [[David Cowen]], August 27, 2013
 +
 
 +
==== Windows Firewall ====
 
* [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Windows_Firewall Wikipedia: 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]
 
* [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]
  
 
=== Windows XP ===
 
=== Windows XP ===

Revision as of 14:20, 5 September 2013

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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.

Windows Error Reporting (WER)

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

C:\ProgramData\Microsoft\Windows\WER\

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

C:\Users\%UserName%\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Windows\WER\

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.

 %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

Malware/Rootkits

Tracking removable media

Under the hood

MSI

Side-by-side (WinSxS)

Application Compatibility Database

System Restore (Restore Points)

Crash dumps

ReadyBoost

Windows Firewall

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

Windows XP

Windows 8