Image Mounter by Paragon Software
Free tool for computer forensics specialists
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We are those guys you know by Hard Disk Manager, NTFS for Mac, Slovoed dictionaries and dozens of other tools. We have been out there for 25 years already, yet still have no intention of resting on laurels. We are developing new tools, exploring new areas and reaching out to new users. From now on, we’ll be sharing our expertise on Medium, too.
Paragon Software Group serves a bunch of verticals including enterprise, automotive, security, data storage, and more. Now, we are making inroads into forensics.
In this blog posting, we are introducing the new Image Mounter by Paragon Software — a tool for mounting forensic images.
What is a forensic image?
Image Mounter is a very simple, yet feature-packed tool for mounting forensic images. A forensic image is an integral copy of a hard drive or any other digital media, meant to be used as evidence.
Connect to a regular operating system (OS), the digital media under investigation will be damaged irreversibly. The standard OS configuration activates the device immediately after detection, mounts the file systems and changes its contents without even asking the user. Windows, for example, may automatically change timestamps in file attributes, create hidden folders in the Recycle Bin, or save configuration data.
New Image Mounter in action
To create an exact forensic image, the contents of digital media should remain intact and the copy should be a “bit-for-bit” Copy. These are the main attributes required by forensic experts performing computer audit or investigation.
Essentially, Image Mounter allows to store mount, and verify integrity of images in various formats.
How does the product stand out from the competition?
- Mounting of RAW images and virtual disk images*
- Auto-mounting of partitions in known formats
- Standard OS features for handling mounted disks of known formats
- Mount mode selection: read-only or read-write
- Easy unmount in any required order
*Other supported formats: E01, Ex01, VMDK, VDI, VHD, pVHD, and VHDX.
Mounted and verified forensic images can be used as evidence for the investigations.
File System Link technology for cross-platform compatibility
Forensic experts will especially benefit from APFS for Windows driver that can be used in tandem with Image Mounter. Both tools help solve common forensic tasks, like securing of evidence and other in-depth data analysis. With APFS for Windows, PC users are able to instantly access and write to APFS-formatted hard disk drives, solid-state drives or flash drives directly on Windows PCs.
This article is a general explanation why and how forensic experts could use Image Mounter. The product is their first-line tool for data retrieval — as you can’t retrieve the data without mounting the images first. Being able to read this data under any OS — regardless of the original file system — is an extra value that comes with the Image Mounter + the Paragon proprietary drivers.