Difference between revisions of "Windows Registry"

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* [http://projects.sentinelchicken.org/reglookup/ reglookup] — "small command line utility for reading and querying Windows NT-based registries."
 
* [http://projects.sentinelchicken.org/reglookup/ reglookup] — "small command line utility for reading and querying Windows NT-based registries."
 
* [http://sourceforge.net/projects/regviewer/ regviewer] — a tool for looking at the registry.
 
* [http://sourceforge.net/projects/regviewer/ regviewer] — a tool for looking at the registry.
* [http://windowsir.blogspot.com/ RegRipper] — "the fastest, easiest, and best tool for registry analysis in forensics examinations."
+
* [[RegRipper]] — "the fastest, easiest, and best tool for registry analysis in forensics examinations."
 
* [http://search.cpan.org/~jmacfarla/Parse-Win32Registry-0.51/lib/Parse/Win32Registry.pm Parse::Win32Registry] Perl module.
 
* [http://search.cpan.org/~jmacfarla/Parse-Win32Registry-0.51/lib/Parse/Win32Registry.pm Parse::Win32Registry] Perl module.
 
* [http://www.williballenthin.com/registry/index.html python-registry] Python module.
 
* [http://www.williballenthin.com/registry/index.html python-registry] Python module.

Revision as of 23:48, 17 July 2012

File Locations

The Windows Registry is stored in multiple files.

Windows NT 4

In Windows NT 4 (and later) the Registry is stored in the Windows NT Registry File (REGF) format.

Basically the following Registry hives are stored in the corresponding files:

  • HKEY_USERS: \Documents and Setting\User Profile\NTUSER.DAT
  • HKEY_USERS\DEFAULT: C:\Windows\system32\config\default
  • HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SAM: C:\Windows\system32\config\SAM
  • HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SECURITY: C:\Windows\system32\config\SECURITY
  • HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE: C:\Windows\system32\config\software
  • HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM: C:\Windows\system32\config\system

Windows 98/ME

  • \Windows\user.dat
  • \Windows\system.dat
  • \Windows\profiles\user profile\user.dat

Keys

Run/RunOnce

System-wide:

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Run
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\RunOnce

Per user:

HKEY_CURRENT_USER\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Run
HKEY_CURRENT_USER\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\RunOnce

Special cases

The Windows Registry has several special case scenarios, mainly concerning key and value name, that most tools fail to account for:

  • special characters key and value names
  • duplicate key and value names
  • the names when stored in extended ASCII (ANSI string) use a codepage that is dependent on the system settings

special characters key and value names

Both key and values names are case insensitive. The \ character is used as the key separator. Note that the \ character can be used in value names. The / character is used in both key and value names. Some examples of which are:

Key: HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\ControlSet002\Services\NetBT\Parameters\
Value: Size/Small/Medium/Large
Key: HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\ControlSet001\Control\Terminal Server\VIDEO\disc\
Value: \Device\Video0
Key:
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\ControlSet002\services\xmlprov\Parameters\SchemaGroups\User\http://www.microsoft.com/provisioning/eaptlsuserpropertiesv1\
Value: SchemaFile

Tools

Open Source

  • Forensic Registry EDitor (fred) - "Forensic Registry EDitor (fred) is a cross-platform M$ registry hive editor" by Gillen Dan
  • libregfi - The regfi library is a read-only NT registry library which serves as the main engine behind the reglookup tool
  • reglookup — "small command line utility for reading and querying Windows NT-based registries."
  • regviewer — a tool for looking at the registry.
  • RegRipper — "the fastest, easiest, and best tool for registry analysis in forensics examinations."
  • Parse::Win32Registry Perl module.
  • python-registry Python module.
  • Registry Decoder offline analysis component, by Andrew Case
  • RegDecoderLive live hive acquisition component, by Andrew Case
  • libregf - Library and tools to access the Windows NT Registry File (REGF) format

Freeware

  • cafae - Computer Account Forensic Artifact Extractor. Free tool that can be run on Windows, Linux or Mac OS-X to parse ntuser.dat hives.

Commercial

Bibliography

See Also