Difference between pages "Windows" and "SuperFetch"

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'''Windows''' is a widely-spread [[operating system]] from [[Microsoft]].
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SuperFetch is a performance enhancement introduced in [[Microsoft]] [[Windows|Windows Vista]] to reduce the time necessary to launch applications. An expanded version of the [[Prefetch]] files found in Windows XP, they record usage scenarios and load resources into memory before they are needed. Those resources can be loaded into physical memory and extra memory provided by [[ReadyBoost]].
  
There are 2 main branches of Windows:
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== Configuration ==
* the DOS-branch: i.e. Windows 95, 98, ME
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* the NT-branch: i.e. Windows NT 4, XP, Vista
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== Features ==
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Because SuperFetch appears to leave a system with no available memory, some users turn it off to create the appearance of having more free memory. The feature can be configured by changing the <tt>HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\Session Manager\Memory Management\PrefetchParameters\EnableSuperfetch</tt> [[Registry]] key [http://www.codinghorror.com/blog/archives/000688.html]. A value of zero disables SuperFetch, one enables it for booting only, two for applications, and three for both applications and boot. This setting can also be changed using the Services console, <tt>services.msc</tt> [http://tiredblogger.wordpress.com/2007/03/27/superfetch-not-so-super-for-gaming/].
* Basic and Dynamic Disks, see: [http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/windows/desktop/aa363785(v=vs.85).aspx]
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=== Introduced in Windows NT ===
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== File Formats ==
* [[NTFS]]
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=== Introduced in Windows 2000 ===
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Data for SuperFetch is gathered by the <tt>%SystemRoot%\System32\Sysmain.dll</tt>, part of the Service Host process, <tt>%SystemRoot%\System32\Svchost.exe</tt>, and stored in a series of files in the <tt>%SystemRoot%\Prefetch</tt> directory [http://www.microsoft.com/technet/technetmag/issues/2007/03/VistaKernel/]. These files appear to start with the prefix <tt>Ag</tt> and have a <tt>.db</tt> extension. The format of these files is not fully known, there is available unofficial partial specification [http://blog.rewolf.pl/blog/?p=214] and open source (GPL) dumper for .db files [http://code.google.com/p/rewolf-superfetch-dumper/]. Some information can be gleaned from these files by searching for [[Unicode]] [[strings]] in them.
  
=== Introduced in Windows XP ===
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The SuperFetch feature is seeded with some basic usage patterns when the operating system is installed [http://channel9.msdn.com/showpost.aspx?postid=242429].
* [[Prefetch]]
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* System Restore (Restore Points); also present in Windows ME
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==== SP2 ====
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* Windows Firewall
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=== Introduced in Windows 2003 (Server) ===
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* Volume Shadow Copies
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=== Introduced in Windows Vista ===
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* [[BitLocker Disk Encryption | BitLocker]]
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* [[Windows Desktop Search | Search]] integrated in operating system
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* [[ReadyBoost]]
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* [[SuperFetch]]
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* [[NTFS|Transactional NTFS (TxF)]]
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* [[Windows NT Registry File (REGF)|Transactional Registry (TxR)]]
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* [[Windows Shadow Volumes|Shadow Volumes]]; the volume-based storage of the Volume Shadow Copy data
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* $Recycle.Bin
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* [[Windows XML Event Log (EVTX)]]
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* [[User Account Control (UAC)]]
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=== Introduced in Windows 2008 (Server) ===
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=== Introduced in Windows 7 ===
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* [[BitLocker Disk Encryption | BitLocker To Go]]
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* [[Jump Lists]]
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* [[Sticky Notes]]
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=== Introduced in Windows 8 ===
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* [[Windows Shadow Volumes | File History]]
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* [[Windows Storage Spaces | Storage Spaces]]
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* [[Resilient File System (ReFS)]]; server edition will likely be available in Windows Server 2012
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== Forensics ==
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=== Partition layout ===
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Default partition layout, first partition starts:
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* at sector 63 in Windows 2000, XP, 2003
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* at sector 2048 in Windows Vista, 2008, 7
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=== Filesystems ===
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* [[FAT]], [[FAT|exFAT]]
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* [[NTFS]]
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* [[Resilient File System (ReFS) | ReFS]]
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=== Recycle Bin ===
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==== RECYCLER ====
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Used by Windows 2000, XP.
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Uses INFO2 file.
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See: [http://www.cybersecurityinstitute.biz/downloads/INFO2.pdf]
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==== $RECYCLE.BIN ====
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Used by Windows Vista.
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Uses $I and $R files.
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See: [http://www.forensicfocus.com/downloads/forensic-analysis-vista-recycle-bin.pdf]
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=== Registry ===
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The [[Windows Registry]] is a database of keys and values that provides a wealth of information to forensic [[investigator]]s.
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=== Thumbs.db Files ===
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[[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]].
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See also: [[Vista thumbcache]].
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=== Browser Cache ===
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=== Browser History ===
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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]].
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=== Search ===
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See [[Windows Desktop Search]]
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=== Setup log files (setupapi.log) ===
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Windows Vista introduced several setup log files [http://support.microsoft.com/kb/927521].
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=== Sleep/Hibernation ===
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After (at least) Windows 7 recovers from sleep/hibernation there often is a system time change event (event id 1) in the event logs.
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=== Users ===
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Windows stores a users Security identifiers (SIDs) under the following registry key:
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<pre>
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HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\ProfileList
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</pre>
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The %SID%\ProfileImagePath value should also contain the username.
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=== Windows Error Reporting (WER) ===
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As of Vista, for User Access Control (UAC) elevated applications WER reports can be found in:
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<pre>
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C:\ProgramData\Microsoft\Windows\WER\
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</pre>
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As of Vista, for non-UAC elevated applications (LUA) WER reports can be found in:
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<pre>
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C:\Users\%UserName%\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Windows\WER\
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</pre>
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Corresponding registry key:
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<pre>
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HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\Windows Error Reporting
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</pre>
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== Advanced Format (4KB Sector) Hard Drives ==
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Windows XP does not natively handle drives that use the new standard of 4KB sectors. For information on this, see [[Advanced Format]].
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== %SystemRoot% ==
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The actual value of %SystemRoot% is store in the following registry value:
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<pre>
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Key: HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\
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Value: SystemRoot
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</pre>
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== See Also ==
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* [[Windows Event Log (EVT)]]
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* [[Windows XML Event Log (EVTX)]]
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== External Links ==
 
== External Links ==
 
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* [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Windows_Vista_I/O_technologies#SuperFetch Wikipedia: Windows Vista I/O technologies - SuperFetch]
* [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Microsoft_Windows Wikipedia: Microsoft Windows]
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* [http://channel9.msdn.com/showpost.aspx?postid=242429 Channel 9 Interview with Michael Fortin of Microsoft on SuperFetch]
* [http://support.microsoft.com/kb/927521 Windows 7, Windows Server 2008 R2, and Windows Vista setup log file locations]
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* [http://www.informationweek.com/news/showArticle.jhtml?articleID=196902178 Microsoft Predicts The Future With Vista's SuperFetch] from Information Week
* [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
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* [http://jessekornblum.com/presentations/dodcc08-2.pdf DC3 Presentation: My You Look SuperFetching]
* [http://www.ericjhuber.com/2013/02/microsoft-file-system-tunneling.html?m=1 Microsoft Windows File System Tunneling], by [[Eric Huber]], February 24, 2013
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* [http://code.google.com/p/rewolf-superfetch-dumper/ Open source Ag*.db files dumper]
* [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
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* [http://blog.rewolf.pl/blog/?p=214 SuperFetch file format - partial specification]
 
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=== Under the hood ===
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* [http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/windows/desktop/aa366533(v=vs.85).aspx MSDN: Comparing Memory Allocation Methods], by [[Microsoft]]
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* [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)]
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* [http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/aa375142.aspx DLL/COM Redirection]
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* [http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/windows/desktop/ms682586(v=vs.85).aspx Dynamic-Link Library Search Order]
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* [http://blogs.msdn.com/b/junfeng/archive/2004/04/28/121871.aspx Image File Execution Options]
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=== MSI ===
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* [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
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* [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
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=== Side-by-side (WinSxS) ===
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* [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Side-by-side_assembly Wikipedia: Side-by-side assembly]
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* [http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/aa374224.aspx Assembly Searching Sequence]
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* [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]
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* [http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/windows/desktop/dd408052(v=vs.85).aspx Isolated Applications and Side-by-side Assemblies]
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* [http://blogs.msdn.com/b/junfeng/archive/2006/01/24/517221.aspx#531208 DotLocal (.local) Dll Redirection], by [[Junfeng Zhang]], January 24, 2006
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* [http://blogs.msdn.com/b/junfeng/archive/2006/04/14/576314.aspx Diagnosing SideBySide failures], by [[Junfeng Zhang]], April 14, 2006
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* [http://omnicognate.wordpress.com/2009/10/05/winsxs/ EVERYTHING YOU NEVER WANTED TO KNOW ABOUT WINSXS]
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=== Application Compatibility Database ===
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* [http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/dd837644(v=ws.10).aspx Technet: Understanding Shims], by [[Microsoft]]
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* [http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/bb432182(v=vs.85).aspx MSDN: Application Compatibility Database], by [[Microsoft]]
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* [http://www.alex-ionescu.com/?p=39 Secrets of the Application Compatilibity Database (SDB) – Part 1], by [[Alex Ionescu]], May 20, 2007
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* [http://www.alex-ionescu.com/?p=40 Secrets of the Application Compatilibity Database (SDB) – Part 2], by [[Alex Ionescu]], May 21, 2007
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* [http://fred.mandiant.com/Whitepaper_ShimCacheParser.pdf Leveraging the Application Compatibility Cache in Forensic Investigations], by [[Andrew Davis]], May 4, 2012
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=== System Restore (Restore Points) ===
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* [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/System_Restore Wikipedia: System Restore]
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* [http://www.stevebunting.org/udpd4n6/forensics/restorepoints.htm Restore Point Forensics], by [[Steve Bunting]]
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* [http://windowsir.blogspot.ch/2007/06/restore-point-analysis.html Restore Point Analysis], by [[Harlan Carvey]],  June 16, 2007
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* [http://windowsir.blogspot.ch/2006/10/restore-point-forensics.html Restore Point Forensics], by [[Harlan Carvey]], October 20, 2006
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* [http://www.ediscovery.co.nz/wip/srp.html System Restore Point Log Decoding]
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=== Tracking removable media ===
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* [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
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=== 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
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* [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]]
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=== 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
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* [http://hackingexposedcomputerforensicsblog.blogspot.ch/2013/08/daily-blog-65-understanding-artifacts.html Understanding the artifacts EMDMgmt], by [[David Cowen]], August 27, 2013
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=== Windows Firewall ===
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* [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Windows_Firewall Wikipedia: Windows Firewall]
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* [http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/cc737845(v=ws.10).aspx#BKMK_log Windows Firewall Tools and Settings]
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=== Windows 32-bit on Windows 64-bit (WoW64) ===
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* [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/WoW64 Wikipedia: WoW64]
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=== Windows XP ===
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* [http://support.microsoft.com/kb/q308549 Description of Windows XP System Information (Msinfo32.exe) Tool]
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=== Windows 8 ===
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* [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Features_new_to_Windows_8 Features new to Windows 8], Wikipedia
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* [http://computerforensics.champlain.edu/blog/windows-8-forensics Windows 8 Forensics - part 1]
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* [http://computerforensics.champlain.edu/blog/windows-8-forensics-part-2 Windows 8 Forensics - part 2]
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* [http://computerforensics.champlain.edu/blog/windows-8-forensics-part-3 Windows 8 Forensics - part 3]
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* [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
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* [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
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* [http://dfstream.blogspot.ch/2013/03/windows-8-tracking-opened-photos.html Windows 8: Tracking Opened Photos], by [[Jason Hale]], March 8, 2013
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[[Category:Operating systems]]
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Revision as of 00:41, 3 September 2013

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

SuperFetch is a performance enhancement introduced in Microsoft Windows Vista to reduce the time necessary to launch applications. An expanded version of the Prefetch files found in Windows XP, they record usage scenarios and load resources into memory before they are needed. Those resources can be loaded into physical memory and extra memory provided by ReadyBoost.

Configuration

Because SuperFetch appears to leave a system with no available memory, some users turn it off to create the appearance of having more free memory. The feature can be configured by changing the HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\Session Manager\Memory Management\PrefetchParameters\EnableSuperfetch Registry key [1]. A value of zero disables SuperFetch, one enables it for booting only, two for applications, and three for both applications and boot. This setting can also be changed using the Services console, services.msc [2].

File Formats

Data for SuperFetch is gathered by the %SystemRoot%\System32\Sysmain.dll, part of the Service Host process, %SystemRoot%\System32\Svchost.exe, and stored in a series of files in the %SystemRoot%\Prefetch directory [3]. These files appear to start with the prefix Ag and have a .db extension. The format of these files is not fully known, there is available unofficial partial specification [4] and open source (GPL) dumper for .db files [5]. Some information can be gleaned from these files by searching for Unicode strings in them.

The SuperFetch feature is seeded with some basic usage patterns when the operating system is installed [6].

External Links