Windows Registry and Log Analysis with Freeware Tools

DURATION: 18 hours

CPE POINTS: On completion you get a certificate granting you 18 CPE points. 

Course eBook included!

In this course you will deepen your knowledge of the Windows registry and log analysis through the use of the main free tools of computer forensics in order to reconstruct the user's activities in detail. You will gain a new level of knowledge of the very principles of both Windows Registry and Logging.

The very practical approach can be used both for understanding the principles behind the automated analysis carried out by the industry's most popular forensics suite, both to deepen the level of detail, thanks to the gained knowledge, and interpretation of the artifacts generated by the system.

Why take this course now? 

No matter what stage of your career you're at, the skills learned here will serve you well in the future. At the end of the course, you will be able to conduct a fully valid and thorough expert forensic investigation in a Windows environment through the use of only freeware tools.

Who is this course for? 

  • The topics covered in the course are the basis of the Windows forensics. Therefore it is possible to approach both the most expert subjects who will find useful insights in relation to the information contained in the system registry and in the logs, and the neophytes who, through the use of simple but absolutely professional tools, can understand the Windows OS mechanisms .
  • Computer forensics consultants, system administrators, but also computer security experts can find useful information among the topics covered in the course. In particular, the examples provided with the course are taken from real cases, which makes the topics and techniques illustrated immediately applicable, especially in the Incident Response area.



What will you learn?

  • Windows Forensics concepts
  • Windows Event Logging
  • Log Analysis
  • Choosing the most useful logs for computer forensics
  • Windows Registry Analysis
  • How Windows Registry works

Particular attention will be paid to the System, Security and Application log such as:

Application: ID 11707 - Product installed, ID 11708 - Product installed failed

Security: ID 4608 - Windows is starting up, ID 4726 - A user account was deleted, ID 4728 - A member was added to a security-enabled global group, ID 4738 - A user account was changed

System: ID 6008 - Unexpected Shutdown, ID 6009 - System boot, ID 1074 - Shutdown

With regard to the registry, we will use the entries under the keys HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE, ControlSet001, SAM to acquire information related to the owner, registered users, time zone, network cards, number of logins and statistic access for each user.

What skills will you gain?

  • Extracting useful information from the Windows Registry
  • Combining PowerShell and Log Parser for log collecting and analysis
  • Correlating logs to reconstruct machine’s activity
  • Combining logs and registry information to track users’ activities
  • Tracking DHCP and Remote Desktop connections
  • Parsing Windows Artifacts

What tools will you use?

Consideration will be given to the main analytical tools freely available and universally recognized in the world of computer forensics and in international courts, such as: 

  • FTK Imager,
  • FTK Registry Viewer (demo version),
  • Autopsy,
  • Microsoft Log Parser,
  • Power Shell.


Course format:

  • Self-paced
  • Pre-recorded
  • Accessible even after you finish the course
  • No preset deadlines
  • Materials are video, labs, and text
  • All videos captioned

What should you know before you join?

  • Intermediate use of the Windows operating system
  • Intermediate understanding of the Windows operating system
  • Basic concepts of Computer Forensics (imaging, hashing)
  • Basic understanding of networking (TCP/IP, IP addressing, routing, DNS, DHCP)
  • Basic concepts of IT security

Your Instructor: Luca Cadonici

Member of the Italian National Observatory for Computer Forensics (ONIF), International Information Systems Forensics Association (IISFA), Luca Cadonici graduated from the University of Pisa in 2010, moving closer to Computer Security and obtaining the European Qualification as an Expert in Service Management and Network Security - liv.4 EQF (European Qualification Framework). During his career, he has obtained several Computer Security and Computer forensics certifications (among others: CDFE, OSFCE, eNDP, eJPT, CompTIA Linux +, ITIL v3) and worked at the Intesa Sanpaolo Development and Security Office taking care of the activities related to the ISO27001 and PCI-DSS standards.

He’s the author of articles and courses for “eForensics Magazine” and “Il Giornale dell’Ingegnere” - official magazine of the CNI – Italian National Council of Engineers.

He’s the owner of the Digital Forensics laboratory Nova Era and works as a forensic consultant for prosecutors, law enforcement agencies and law firms.


Module 1: Keeping track of it all - the Windows Event Logging

Windows Log System provides a wealth of information from different sources. In this first module, we’ll see a selection of the most useful logs for forensic purposes and how to correlate them using PowerShell.

Module 1 covered topics:

1.1 An introduction to Windows Logging

1.2 The EVTX files

1.3 Getting started with PowerShell

1.4 Using PowerShell for Log Analysis

1.5 Useful logs in computer forensics

1.6 Using PowerShell to combine logs from different channels

Module 1 exercises:

  • Tracking system boot and shutdown phases
  • Reconstructing recent activity on the computer

Module 2: At the heart of Windows OS - the Registry

Defined as a collection of databases of configuration settings, the Windows Registry stores information and settings for software programs, hardware devices, user preferences and operating system configurations. Here we’ll see its structure in detail, and  learn how to extract it and use it for forensic analysis.

Module 2 covered topics:

2.1 An introduction to the Windows Registry

2.2 How the Registry works: keys and values

2.3 The hives

2.4 Windows Registry extraction with FTK Imager

2.5 Parsing the Registry with FTK Imager

2.6 Registry parsing with PowerShell:  Get-ChildItem and Get-ItemProperty cmdlet

Module 2 exercises:

  • Registry Key Cell analysis with FTK Imager
  • Retrieving information with PowerShell

Module 3: Taking advantage of the Windows Registry

The Windows registry provides a lot of information about the system, the machine and the users. Now we will work to select and extract the most useful elements for the purposes of our analysis.

Module 3 covered topics:

3.1 Registry Analysis with Registry Viewer

3.2 Machine and Operating System

3.3 USB devices

3.4 Users

3.5 Applications

3.6 Network activity

Module 3 exercises:

  • Investigating through Registry Analysis
  • Parsing Registry Keys to collect network information

Module 4: Tracking User Activities - Combining information from Logs and Registry

In the final part of the course, we show how to put together information acquired from different sources, such as hives from Registry and System and Security logs, to reconstruct all the activities performed by the users during a session or a specific timeframe.

Module 4 covered topics:

4.1 Combining PowerShell with Log Parser

4.2 Tracking Remote Desktop Sessions

4.3 Tracking Network Connections

4.4 A practical example - Unauthorized access from a corporate network

Module 4 exercises:

  • Reconstructing a Remote Desktop session
  • Putting it all together - simulation of a real forensics expertise in a Windows Environment


If you have any questions, please contact us at [email protected].

Course Reviews


6 ratings
  • 5 stars5
  • 4 stars1
  • 3 stars0
  • 2 stars0
  • 1 stars0
  1. Windows Registry and Log ANALYSIS


    Excelent course. A lot of usefull information and an great introduciton to some intresting tools.

  2. Windows Registry and Log Analysis


    This is a great course. I am a big fan of log analysis and do a lot of it for Linux and Unix systems.I knew there was a lot of Windows logging but had no idea how to get at it or make it humanly viewable. This course did all that and more. I highly recommend it for any forensic analyst.

  3. 5

    Great course … a lot of new informations for me

  4. Super course


    I’ve learned a lot. Thanks for this course

  5. Thank you for an excelent course


    I have been able to use the material learned here right away in the office and found it to be quite useful when diagnosing anomalous behavior.

  6. Challenging and Enlightening


    If you are new to Powershell this will be challenging but doable. You will be provided the opportunity to examine the registry and event logs from several different perspectives. Given scenarios that are applicable to real world events, you will learn how to establish a time line of events for a given machine. Instead of manually reviewing log files, you will learn how to use Powershell to automate the tasks of extracting pertinent information from logs.

    Three things that would have been nice to see in this course, is tracking malware; activities that pivots to other activities.; and last how to remotely gather this information remotely. Perhaps this could be a second course.

    All in all, what is learned in this course, is applicable to incident responders daily tasks.

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