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Building a Forensic Analysis Machine

Discussion of forensic workstations, write blockers, bridges, adapters, disk duplicators, storage etc. Strictly no advertising of commercial products, please.
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vrocco
Member
 

Building a Forensic Analysis Machine

Post Posted: May 16, 06 21:21

I am interested in thoughts and experience of this forum on building my own forensic analysis machine. This would be a non-portable, lab machine for analyzing forensic images, cell equipment, memory cards, etc.

What (by current standards) would you recommend for hardware requirements?  
 
  

DigitalExodus
Member
 

Re: Building a Forensic Analysis Machine

Post Posted: May 16, 06 22:58

start here: Computer Forensic Systems

In my opinion, the critical areas are Alot of HDD space, and very fast disks. But when taking images, you can only pull as fast as the source drive spins. But remember once you've got an image the faster your disks are that hold the image, the faster you can manage the image (when using forensic software to analyze it) Also i would want a good bit of memory 1-2GB would be ideal. (the more the better though) And i would assume the faster the cpu can crunch numbers the better off you'll be. I would shoot for the dual core p4's. and then a motherboard that can handle this powerhouse and bring it all together with room for expansion to say the least. But be sure you have a device such as a 6-in-1 card reader, or something, just be sure you have the capability to read from almost any type of media (usb, sata, IDE, SCSI, etc.. you get the point)  
 
  

Andy
Senior Member
 

Re: Building a Forensic Analysis Machine

Post Posted: May 17, 06 00:26

Whatever you get it needs plenty of speed (dual processor), many forensic tools are processor and RAM hungry (EnCase, etc), also a large amount of storage space (Terabyte RAID).  
 
  

hogfly
Senior Member
 

Re: Building a Forensic Analysis Machine

Post Posted: May 17, 06 03:27

I agree with the other guys.
I finally got enough money last year to build a solid system. Cost me around $3k.

Tyan K8WE -Dual opteron MOBO - dual core capable
Dual Opteron 246's (2.0ghz)
6GB Patriot ECC ram
1.2TB array (WD 400GB Raid class SATA drives)
4 removable drive bays (2 IDE, 2 SATA)
Firewire 800 PCI-X 16 adapter
Digital Intel T335 forensic drive bay controller(new addition)  
 
  

armresl
Senior Member
 

Re: Building a Forensic Analysis Machine

Post Posted: May 17, 06 04:34

WD are the absolute worst hard drives made.

I see more failed WD's than any other drive and the 250's and up are the worst offenders.

If speed is an issue get a very small SCSI drive and load your OS's to that drive. Pretty sure you would run a multiple OS boot with different flavors including some Linux.
_________________
Why order a taco when you can ask it politely?

Alan B. "A man can live a good life, be honorable, give to charity, but in the end, the number of people who come to his funeral is generally dependent on the weather. " 
 
  

hogfly
Senior Member
 

Re: Building a Forensic Analysis Machine

Post Posted: May 17, 06 06:06

to each his own..I've been running this class of hard drive for a few years in servers and never had a single problem. The "consumer" grade drives are junk..no matter which manufacturer you use.  
 
  

rkamens
Member
 

Re: Building a Forensic Analysis Machine

Post Posted: May 17, 06 17:15

deleted  

Last edited by rkamens on May 18, 10 01:37; edited 1 time in total
 

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