How to Use Sandman to Read the Windows Hibernation File
The Windows hibernation file, also known as hiberfil.sys, is a file that stores the contents of the system memory when the computer enters hibernation mode. This file can contain valuable information for forensic analysis, such as open files, network connections, encryption keys, passwords, and browser history.
However, reading the hibernation file is not a trivial task, as it is compressed and encrypted by Windows. To access the data inside the file, you need a tool that can decrypt and decompress it. One such tool is Sandman, a free and open-source program that can read the Windows hibernation file and extract its contents.
Sandman – Read the Windows Hibernation File
In this article, we will show you how to use Sandman to read the Windows hibernation file and explore its contents.
Step 1: Download and Install Sandman
You can download Sandman from its official GitHub repository: https://github.com/Comsecuris/sandman. You will need to download the latest release of the executable file for your system architecture (32-bit or 64-bit).
Once you have downloaded the file, you can run it by double-clicking on it or from the command line. You will see a window like this:
Sandman does not require installation, so you can run it from any location on your computer or from a removable drive.
Step 2: Locate and Open the Hibernation File
The hibernation file is usually located in the root directory of the system drive (usually C:\\). The file name is hiberfil.sys. You can use the File Explorer or the command line to find it.
To open the hibernation file with Sandman, you can either drag and drop it onto the Sandman window or use the File menu and select Open. You will see a progress bar indicating that Sandman is decrypting and decompressing the file. This may take some time depending on the size of the file and your system performance.
When Sandman finishes processing the file, you will see a list of processes that were running when the computer entered hibernation mode. You can click on any process to see its details, such as memory regions, threads, handles, modules, and environment variables.
Step 3: Analyze the Hibernation File Contents
Sandman allows you to analyze the contents of the hibernation file in various ways. You can use the following features:
Search: You can search for any text or hexadecimal string in the memory regions of any process. You can use regular expressions or wildcards to refine your search. You can also save your search results for later reference.
Dump: You can dump any memory region or process to a file for further analysis with other tools. You can choose to dump raw data or formatted data (such as PE files).
Hex View: You can view any memory region in hexadecimal format and edit it if you want. You can also copy or paste data from or to other applications.
Disassemble: You can disassemble any memory region using various architectures (such as x86, x64, ARM, MIPS) and syntaxes (such as Intel, AT&T). You can also set breakpoints and step through the code.
Strings: You can extract all printable strings from any memory region or process. You can filter the strings by length or encoding (such as ASCII, UTF-8, UTF-16).
Graph: You can visualize the memory layout of any process using a graph that shows the memory regions and their attributes (such as base address, size, protection).
Sandman is a powerful tool that can help you read and analyze the Windows hibernation file. It can reveal important information that may be hidden or inaccessible by 0efd9a6b88