FAQ

Requirements

Registry Recon requires Microsoft Windows 7 or later, .NET 4, and the Visual C++ 2010 Redistributable Package (x86/x64).

Features

  • Intuitive and efficient workflow
  • Resurrection of Windows Registries long since forgotten
  • Access to enormous amounts of deleted Registry data
  • Unique keys and values shown by default in historical fashion
  • Seamless access to all instances of keys and values
  • Windows restore point and volume shadow copy support
  • Ability to view keys (and their values) at particular points in time

What is the Microsoft Windows Registry?

The Registry is a complex ecosystem, in database form, containing information related to hardware, software, and users on computer systems running Microsoft Windows. At a very basic level, the Registry is composed of “keys” and “values” which are similar in some ways to folders and files. Analysis of this information reveals the names of recently accessed files, when applications were last run, who attached removable storage devices, and much more. The Registry is continually referenced during Windows operation so large volumes of Registry data can always be found both on disk and in live memory.

What are Recon Registries and Recon View?

Recon Registries are all the Registries rebuilt by Registry Recon. Recon View is our method of showing you all the values within them in a unique and historical fashion, with seamless access to all instances of those values if you so desire.

How do Recon Registries get their names?

If a full set of hives (particularly System and Software) are available for any particular Registry, its Recon Registries name will include the system name, Windows version, and install date. If a System hive is available, but a Software hive is not, the name will include the system name and Machine Security ID (“MSID”). If a Software hive is available, but a System hive is not, the name will include the Windows version and install date. If both System and Software hives are missing, the name will simply include an MSID.

Can Registry Recon resurrect Registries if they have been overwritten?

It’s important to keep in mind that in the context of computer forensics, “deleted” and “overwritten” are two very different things. Registry Recon is often very successful rebuilding Registries which have been deleted and only exist in unallocated (deleted) space. Registry Recon cannot however rebuild Registries if they have been overwritten – for example, if a data scrubbing tool has been used to overwrite unallocated space.

Where can I get the latest version of Registry Recon?

You can get the latest version of Registry Recon from our Downloads page.

Do I need an Internet connection for Registry Recon licensing?

You only need an Internet connection for Registry Recon when you initially enter your license code and when you renew your license. If you cannot connect to the Internet, see the air-gapped workstation instructions below.

How can I license Registry Recon on an air-gapped (a/k/a offline) workstation?

If you want your air-gapped workstation properly licensed for Registry Recon, please:

  • Open Registry Recon and enter the license code you were given
  • Upon realizing that no Internet connection is available, Registry Recon will save a “.LIC” file to your ProgramData\ArsenalRecon folder
  • On a workstation with Internet access, go to our Offline Activation page and upload the “.LIC” file.
  • Finally, copy the CDM file you receive to your ProgramData\ArsenalRecon folder

Your air-gapped workstation is now ready to run Registry Recon!

What kinds of evidence can be added to Registry Recon?

Registry Recon supports adding forensic images in EnCase (E01) and raw (dd) formats, VHD disk images, physically mounted slave drives, and the contents of directories as evidence.

I had trouble adding evidence to Registry Recon, what's wrong?

Certain computer forensics applications can interfere with physical drives being added as evidence to Registry Recon, so Arsenal recommends refraining from their use while Adding Evidence.

I'm a student and would like to try Registry Recon. Where can I find sample evidence?

You can find sample evidence herehere, and here.

What updates are on the way?

We are working on a large number of updates which include support for live memory captures, greatly improving searching, bookmarking, and reporting functionality, and performance tuning.

Requirements

Hibernation Recon requires Microsoft Windows 8 or later.

Features

  • Windows XP, Vista, 7, 8/8.1, and 10 hibernation file support
  • Active memory reconstruction
  • Identification and extraction of multiple levels of slack space (Professional Mode Feature)
  • Brute force decompression of partially overwritten slack (Professional Mode Feature)
  • Segregation of extracted slack based on particular hibernations (Professional Mode Feature)
  • Proper handling of legacy hibernation data found in modern hibernation files
  • NTFS metadata recovery with human-friendly decoding (Professional Mode Feature)
  • Parallel processing of multiple hibernation files

How can I run the command line interface version of Hibernation Recon?

Running Hibernation Recon from the Windows console is quite simple (you can see all switches by simply running “HibRec”):

HibRec /HiberFill=(FullPath)

What are the “Legacy” and “Modern” hibernation formats?

Legacy hibernation format, used by Windows XP, Vista, and 7, applies XPRESS compression to hibernation data. Modern hibernation format, used by Windows 8/8.1 and 10, applies XPRESS compression with Huffman encoding to hibernation data.

What are the output files created by Hibernation Recon?

Output Filename Description
ActiveMemory.bin Active memory decompressed & reconstructed
DecompressedSlackLegacy.bin All levels of slack (Legacy format) decompressed & placed in one output file
DecompressedSlackModern.bin All levels of slack (Modern format) decompressed & placed in in one output file
DecompressedSlackLevels/
DecompressedSlackLevelXXXLegacy.bin
Slack (Legacy format) decompressed & placed in multiple output files by slack level
DecompressedSlackLevels/
DecompressedSlackLevelXXXModern.bin
Slack (Modern format) decompressed & placed in multiple output files by slack level
RawSlackLegacy.bin Raw slack (Legacy format) from all slack levels placed in one output file
RawSlackModern.bin Raw slack (Modern format) from all slack levels placed in one output file
RawSlackChunks/RawSlackChunk_(Decimal Offset)_(Hex_Offset).bin Raw slack placed in multiple output files by chunk
NonZeroAfterValidSlack.bin Non-zero data after all valid levels of slack
AllSlack.bin All levels of slack (Modern & Legacy formats) decompressed, raw, and non-zero in one output file
Indx_I30_Entries.csv Indexed folder content (a/k/a $I30 data) from active and slack space of NTFS INDX records
Indx_ObjIdO_Entries.csv Indexes of linked files (a/k/a $O data) from active and slack space of NTFS INDX records
HibRec.log Hibernation Recon log file

What can I do with the output from Hibernation Recon?

You can load decompressed and reconstructed memory (ActiveMemory.bin) into your memory forensics toolkits and run your other tools against all the output from Hibernation Recon to extract many kinds of artifacts. We will begin adding artifact recovery to the next major version of Hibernation Recon.

Do I need an Internet connection for Hibernation Recon licensing?

You only need an Internet connection for Hibernation Recon when you initially enter your license code and when you renew your license. If you cannot connect to the Internet, see the air-gapped workstation instructions below.

How can I license Hibernation Recon on an air-gapped (a/k/a offline) workstation?

If you want your air-gapped workstation properly licensed for Hibernation Recon, please:

  • Open Hibernation Recon and enter the license code you were given
  • Upon realizing that no Internet connection is available, Hibernation Recon will save a “.LIC” file to your ProgramData\ArsenalRecon folder
  • On a workstation with Internet access, go to our Offline Activation page and upload the “.LIC” file.
  • Finally, copy the CDM file you receive to your ProgramData\ArsenalRecon folder

Your air-gapped workstation is now ready to run Hibernation Recon!

What are some examples of problematic hibernation files?

Hibernation Recon does not currently support the processing of BitLocker, TPM-impacted, or empty (yes, we had to say that!) hibernation files. If you find that Hibernation Recon has not processed your hibernation file, please determine whether BitLocker and/or TPM is in play and whether the file contains any significant volume of non-zero data. If you are still unsure why Hibernation Recon has not processed a particular hibernation file, please contact support and we will assist you.

How can a hibernation file be zeroed out?

Windows hibernation files are essentially zeroed out when the ClearPageFileAtShutdown Registry setting is enabled or after Windows 8/8.1 and 10 resume on SSDs.

What impact does Fast Boot/Fast Startup have on Windows hibernation?

Windows 8/8.1 and Windows 10 normally have “Fast Boot” or “Fast Startup” functionality (hereafter “Fast Boot”) enabled by default. Windows shutdowns on a Fast Boot enabled system will write kernel memory (filesystem drivers, other drivers, Registry data, etc.), all system services that normally run in background, and other user mode processes that do not belong to any specific user session to the hibernation file. Although all user sessions are logged out before this writing to the hibernation file occurs, much more than kernel memory is taken into account. Of course, a “normal” or “complete” hibernation when a user is logged into Windows will result in much more data being written to the hibernation file.

What kinds of advanced NTFS metadata recovery does Hibernation Recon provide?

Hibernation Recon currently supports the extraction and human-friendly decoding of NTFS INDX data. More specifically, we are targeting INDX records containing indexed folder content (a/k/a $I30 data normally found in $I30 metafiles) and indexes of linked files (a/k/a $O data, normally found in $O metafiles, which contains Object IDs or Object Identifiers). Of course, in true Arsenal fashion, we do not only exploit the active space within recovered INDX records but their slack space as well.

How would you describe Object IDs?

NTFS supports the use of “object identifiers” (also known as OBJECT_ID attributes or Object IDs), which improves the ability of the Microsoft Windows operating system to track files in situations that can include renaming and moving (but not copying) those files. Object identifiers can be appended to a file’s $MFT record when a file is moved, created, or first opened. Object identifiers do not “travel” with files to removable storage devices, but object identifiers can be created on removable storage devices when files are first moved to, created on, or first opened there. It should be noted that whether Object IDs are first appended to a file’s $MFT record when the file is created or first opened can be dependent upon the application that created or first opened it. You can learn more about how to apply Object IDs in your analysis by reading Harry Parsonage’s The Meaning of LIFE document.

Coming Soon

All subscription users are eligible for software updates for the duration of their subscription. Legacy license holders are eligible for updates for the duration of their SMS. We continue to work on more aggressive NTFS metadata recovery, hibernation carving and other features!

Why is Arsenal Image Mounter different than other disk image mounting solutions?

Many disk image mounting solutions mount the contents of images in Windows as shares or partitions (rather than complete disks), which limits their usefulness. Arsenal Image Mounter is the first and only open source solution for mounting the contents of disk images as complete disks in Windows. We have also developed functionality (see “Interesting Functionality” above) that is particularly useful to the digital forensics and incident response community.

Features

  • Mounts raw, forensic, and virtual machine disk images
  • Temporary write support
  • “Fake” disk signatures
  • Removable disk emulation
  • Volume Shadow Copy (VSC) mounting (Professional Mode Feature)

Specifications

Supported Operating Systems

  • Windows 10
  • Windows 8 (and 8.1)
  • Windows 7
  • Windows Vista
  • Windows Server 2012 (and R2)
  • Windows Server 2011
  • Windows Server 2010
  • Windows Server 2008 (and R2)
  • Windows Server 2003 (with KB932755)

Supported File Systems

  • Any filesystem with a driver installed is supported
  • NTFS, FAT32, ReFS, exFAT, HFS+, UFS, and EXT3 have all been tested

Supported Image Formats

  • Raw (dd)
  • EnCase (E01 and Ex01 if libewf is available)
  • Virtual Machine Disk Files (VHD, VDI, XVA, VMDK… if discutils is available)

Why are some files and folders inaccessible to me after mounting a disk image with Arsenal Image Mounter?

Arsenal Image Mounter passes the contents of disk images to Windows as if they were complete disks. Once Arsenal Image Mounter has passed the contents of disk images to Windows, the file system drivers you currently have installed take over. Arsenal Image Mounter does not do anything magic after passing the contents of disk images off to Windows. If you want to access protected files and folders after mounting the contents of disk images with Arsenal Image Mounter, you will need to use other tools designed to do so.

Is there a command line interface (CLI) version of Arsenal Image Mounter?

Yes – Arsenal Image Mounter CLI is a .NET 4.0 tool that provides most of Arsenal Image Mounter’s functionality. The command “AIM_CLI /?” displays basic syntax for using Arsenal Image Mounter CLI. We have also released Arsenal Image Mounter Low Level which does not use .NET and provides more “low level” access to the Arsenal Image Mounter driver. The command “AIM_LL /?” displays basic syntax for using Arsenal Image Mounter Low Level. You can find Arsenal Image Mounter CLI and Low Level on our GitHub page here.

How can I or my organization contribute to Arsenal Image Mounter?

If Arsenal Image Mounter has become a valuable part of your toolkit, please tell us about how you use it and any suggestions you may have. If your organization uses Arsenal Image Mounter in commercial ventures (consulting, training, etc.) we would greatly appreciate financial support which helps us offset the cost of development. If you or your organization have used Arsenal Image Mounter source code and/or APIs, please make sure you are complying with our licensing requirements.

What does “Create “removable” disk device” from the “Mount options” screen do?

This function essentially emulates the attachment of a USB thumb drive. We have heard that it facilitates the mounting of images containing partitions rather than disks, even though Arsenal Image Mounter was designed to mount disks specifically. Characteristics (and limitations) of using this function include:
•    Windows will only identify and use the first partition on the image, even if the image contains more than one partition
•    SAN policies such as requiring new devices to be mounted offline do not apply
•    Drive letters are always assigned even if automatic drive letter assignment is turned off
•    Windows identifies and uses file systems even for single-volume images that have no partition table
•    Inability to interact with Volume Shadow Copies natively

How can I resolve issues mounting EnCase images?

Arsenal Image Mounter is distributed with x64 libewf DLLs that allow the vast majority of our users to mount EnCase images. If you need x86 or experimental (with EnCase Ex01 support) libewf DLLs, you can get them from our GitHub page here. The libewf DLLs should be placed in the same folder as the Arsenal Image Mounter executable.

Do I need an Internet connection for Arsenal Image Mounter licensing?

You only need an Internet connection for Arsenal Image Mounter when you initially enter your license code and when you renew your license. If you cannot connect to the Internet, see the air-gapped workstation instructions below.

How can I license Arsenal Image Mounter on an air-gapped (a/k/a offline) workstation?

If you want your air-gapped workstation properly licensed for Arsenal Image Mounter, please:

  • Open Arsenal Image Mounter and enter the license code you were given
  • Upon realizing that no Internet connection is available, Arsenal Image Mounter will save a “.LIC” file to your ProgramData\ArsenalRecon folder
  • On a workstation with Internet access, go to our Offline Activation page and upload the “.LIC” file.
  • Finally, copy the CDM file you receive to your ProgramData\ArsenalRecon folder

Your air-gapped workstation is now ready to run Arsenal Image Mounter!

Can I use Arsenal Image Mounter to mount Volume Shadow Copies (VSCs) in Windows natively?

Yes, you can license Arsenal Image Mounter and use the “Professional Mode” VSC mounting functionality, or you can leverage AIM’s basic functionality along with other tools as described on David Cowen’s blog here.

Can I use Arsenal Image Mounter to decrypt full-disk and volume encryption within disk images?

Yes, Arsenal Image Mounter is used frequently for this purpose. You can read more about the general process on David Cowen’s blog here. You can read more about the specific process involved with decrypting Apple FileVault encrypted volumes on Yogesh Khatri’s blog here.

Are you having trouble booting decrypted BitLocker volumes?

See Adam Bridge’s excellent blog post on modifying an NTFS volume’s Volume Boot Record (VBR) using Arsenal Image Mounter’s “Write temporary” mode here.

Is there an Application Programming Interface (API)?

Yes – Arsenal Image Mounter provides both .NET and non-.NET APIs. You can find these APIs on our GitHub page here.

What programming languages have been used to build Arsenal Image Mounter?

Arsenal Image Mounter’s Storport miniport driver is written in C and its user mode API library is written in VB.NET, which facilitates easy integration with .NET 4.0 applications.

Where can I find the source code?

Arsenal Image Mounter source code can be found on GitHub

Use and License

We chose a dual-license for Arsenal Image Mounter (more specifically, Arsenal Image Mounter’s source code and APIs) to allow its royalty-free use by open source projects, but require financial support from commercial projects.

Arsenal Consulting, Inc. (d/b/a Arsenal Recon) retains the copyright to Arsenal Image Mounter, including the Arsenal Image Mounter source code and APIs, being made available under terms of the Affero General Public License v3. Arsenal Image Mounter source code and APIs may be used in projects that are licensed so as to be compatible with AGPL v3. If your project is not licensed under an AGPL v3 compatible license and you would like to use Arsenal Image Mounter source code and/or APIs, contact us to obtain alternative licensing.

Contributors to Arsenal Image Mounter must sign the Arsenal Contributor Agreement (“ACA”). The ACA gives Arsenal and the contributor joint copyright interests in the source code.