Free Forensics Tool – $I File Parser

In nearly all digital forensics cases where a Windows computer is involved, we need to process the recycle bin for deleted files.  When a file is deleted through the recycle bin on a computer with the NTFS file system several things will occur.  First the NTFS $MFT entry is updated with a new record number for a parent.  Basically, that means its parent now becomes the Recycle Bin instead of it’s original location.  The second thing is that the file is given a new name.  Instead of the original name it now becomes named $R with six random characters and the original file extension.  For example if a file was named “dog.txt” it could become “$R24E32E.txt”.  In addition, a paired administrative file is created.  This administrative file starts with $I and then has the same six random characters and the original extension.  So, the paired administrative file using the example above “$R24E32E.txt” would be “$I24E32E.txt”.  These $I files contain a good deal of information, even when the paired $R file is overwritten.

The $I files contain:

  • The original file’s size
  • The date the file was sent to the recycle bin
  • The original file’s full path

There aren’t any good tools that specifically parse only this information out of these file quickly, so this is why we made the Flashback Data $I File Parser.  You take all of your $I files for your case (you can use your favorite forensics tool to get these) and put them in a directory.  Point the program to it, set an output CSV file and it will parse all of the files into a CSV.  The CSV fields outputted are: $I file name, $R file name, Size (in bytes), Date (UTC), Original path, Original File Name and MD5 hash of the $I file.

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We hope this helps some of you make your job easier.

To Download UPDATED VERSION (2/28/2017) v0.95 click here

Unzip the file and run IFileParser.exe