SANS Digital Forensics and Incident Response Blog: Tag - defragmenter

De-mystifying Defrag: Identifying When Defrag Has Been Used for Anti-Forensics (Part 1 - Windows XP)

I have seen the following Windows Prefetch entries in nearly every Windows XP / Vista machine that I have reviewed over the past several years. Their existence always reminds me of the imperfect nature of information gained via individual artifacts. Does this mean that a user ran the Microsoft Defragmenter application on July 16, 2009 at 1:19PM? Or was the defragmenter started automatically by Windows? The defragmenter tool has been used very effectively as an anti-forensic tool since it was first introduced. In cases where data spoliation could be important, it is critical for the examiner to be able to identify any overt actions by a user. Complicating this is that starting with Windows XP, the operating system conducts limited defragmentation approximately every three days. [1] This post seeks to identify forensic artifacts which can help us determine if a user initiated the defrag

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