Windows Artifacts Foundations

24 Hours / 3-Day

Be introduced to the many forensically relevant items stored on a Windows-based system through user interaction and host operating system functionality.


Operating Systems Overview

  • Learn to identify the core features of each NT Operating System
  • List the key artifacts contained on modern systems
  • Identify and review common folders on a NT Operating System.

Windows® System Artifacts

  • Describe the purpose of User Account Control
  • Discuss the forensic importance of Windows Prefetch and Superfetch
  • Learn how to examine ShadowCopies
  • Examine the function and forensic importance of the Recycle Bin.

Introduction to the Windows® Registry

  • Define the Windows Registry
  • Discuss Forensic benefits of examining the Registry
  • Recovering evidentially relevant data from the following registry files:
    • SAM
    • SYSTEM

Windows® Shortcuts

  • Introduction to Windows Shortcuts
  • Examine Link File Anatomy
  • Introduction to Jump Lists and analysis.

Thumbnail Caching

  • Learn of the functions Windows uses to cache thumbnail images
  • Discuss user interaction characteristics
  • Examine the internal structure of each cached database.

Windows® Start Screen Examination

  • Describe the purpose of Windows Immersive Applications
  • Examine how the Live Tiles database functions
  • Explore the storage areas for Immersive Applications.

Browser Examination

  • Gain an overview of Internet Explorer
    • Discuss Legacy Features
  • Examination of data storage locations and artifacts of forensic interest
  • Introduction to Microsoft Edge
    • Examine storage locations
    • Learn of travel logs and their examination
    • Discuss the implications of InPrivate browsing
  • Introduction to ESE Database analysis
  • Overview of Cortana digital assistant
    • Examine cached data from user interaction.


To get the most out of this class, you should:

  • Have 6 months experience of forensic examinations
  • Be familiar with Windows Operating systems.

Download the Syllabus

Download a printable copy of the course description and key learning points.

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