The American Society of

          Digital Forensics & eDiscovery, Inc

          For Digital Evidence Experts™


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Windows 11 Computer Forensics

Computer forensics is the process of collecting, analyzing, and preserving digital evidence for use in legal proceedings. In order to effectively conduct a forensic investigation on a Windows 11 system, it is important to understand the various artifacts that can be found on the system and how they can be used to piece together a picture of the system's activity.

One of the most important artifacts for forensic investigators is the Windows event log. This log contains a wealth of information about system and application events, including user logins, software installations, and system crashes. The data can be exported from the forensic image and opened with the Event Viewer.


Another important artifact is the Windows registry. The registry is a database that stores configuration information for the operating system and installed applications. It can contain information such as user accounts, installed software, and network settings. Many computer forensic applications can review registry within a forensic image.  It can also be exported and viewed within the native Registry Editor application or by using third-party tools.


The file system is also a valuable source of forensic evidence. On Windows 11 systems, the NTFS file system is used, which has several features that can be useful for forensic investigators. For example, NTFS stores timestamps for file creation, modification, and access, which can be used to determine when a file was last used. Additionally, NTFS stores information about file ownership and permissions, which can be used to determine who had access to a file.


Another important artifact is the Windows Prefetch files. The Windows Prefetch feature is used to speed up the launch of frequently used applications. Every time an application is launched, Windows creates a Prefetch file that contains information about the application's launch, such as the file path, timestamp, and number of times the application has been launched. These files can be used to determine which applications have been used on the system, and when they were last used.

Windows also has a feature called the Jump Lists, which is a list of recently used files and documents. Jump Lists can be used to determine what files and documents were recently used on the system, and when they were last used. These files are usually located in 


C\Users\username\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Windows\Recent\AutomaticDestinations.


User activity on a Windows 11 system can also be determined through the use of browser history and cookies. Internet Explorer, Microsoft Edge, and other popular browsers store information about the websites that a user has visited, as well as any cookies that have been stored on the system. This information can be used to determine what websites a user has visited, and when they were last visited.


Finally, another important artifact is the Windows system restore points. Windows 11 has a feature called System Protection that allows users to create restore points, which can be used to revert the system to a previous state. These restore points can be used to determine what changes were made to the system, and when they were made.

In conclusion, forensic investigators have many different artifacts available to them when conducting an investigation on a Windows 11 system. These artifacts can be used to piece together a picture of the system's activity, including user logins, software installations, network settings, and file usage. By understanding these artifacts, forensic investigators can effectively analyze a Windows 11 system and extract valuable evidence for use in legal proceedings.

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The American Society of

     Digital Forensics & eDiscovery, Inc

     For Digital Evidence Experts™

       2451 Cumberland Parkway, Suite 3382 

       Atlanta, GA 30339-6157

       (866) 534-9734

       Contact us online.




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