Interesting Windows Registry Keys

Windows system info


  • Software\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion: Windows version, Service Pack, Installation time and the registered owner


  • System\ControlSet001\Control\ComputerName\ComputerName: Hostname


  • System\ControlSet001\Control\TimeZoneInformation: TimeZone

Last Access Time

  • System\ControlSet001\Control\Filesystem: Last time access (by default it's disabled with NtfsDisableLastAccessUpdate=1, if 0, then, it's enabled).

    • To enable it: fsutil behavior set disablelastaccess 0

Shutdown Time

  • System\ControlSet001\Control\Windows: Shutdown time

  • System\ControlSet001\Control\Watchdog\Display: Shutdown count (only XP)

Network Information

  • System\ControlSet001\Services\Tcpip\Parameters\Interfaces{GUID_INTERFACE}: Network interfaces

  • Software\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\NetworkList\Signatures\Unmanaged & Software\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\NetworkList\Signatures\Managed & Software\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\NetworkList\Nla\Cache: First and last time a network connection was performed and connections through VPN

  • Software\Microsoft\WZCSVC\Parameters\Interfaces{GUID} (for XP) & Software\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\NetworkList\Profiles: Network type (0x47-wireless, 0x06-cable, 0x17-3G) an category (0-Public, 1-Private/Home, 2-Domain/Work) and last connections

Shared Folders

  • System\ControlSet001\Services\lanmanserver\Shares\: Share folders and their configurations. If Client Side Caching (CSCFLAGS) is enabled, then, a copy of the shared files will be saved in the clients and server in C:\Windows\CSC

    • CSCFlag=0 -> By default the user needs to indicate the files that he wants to cache

    • CSCFlag=16 -> Automatic caching documents. “All files and programs that users open from the shared folder are automatically available offline” with the “optimize for performance" unticked.

    • CSCFlag=32 -> Like the previous options by “optimize for performance” is ticked

    • CSCFlag=48 -> Cache is disabled.

    • CSCFlag=2048: This setting is only on Win 7 & 8 and is the default setting until you disable “Simple file sharing” or use the “advanced” sharing option. It also appears to be the default setting for the “Homegroup”

    • CSCFlag=768 -> This setting was only seen on shared Print devices.

AutoStart programs

  • NTUSER.DAT\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Run

  • NTUSER.DAT\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\RunOnce

  • Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Runonce

  • Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Policies\Explorer\Run

  • Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Run

Explorer Searches

  • NTUSER.DAT\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\WordwheelQuery: What the user searched for using explorer/helper. The item with MRU=0 is the last one.

Typed Paths

  • NTUSER.DAT\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\TypedPaths: Paths types in the explorer (only W10)

Recent Docs

  • NTUSER.DAT\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\RecentDocs: Recent documents opened by the user

  • NTUSER.DAT\Software\Microsoft\Office{Version}{Excel|Word}\FileMRU:Recent office docs. Versions:

    • 14.0 Office 2010

    • 12.0 Office 2007

    • 11.0 Office 2003

    • 10.0 Office X

  • NTUSER.DAT\Software\Microsoft\Office{Version}{Excel|Word} UserMRU\LiveID_###\FileMRU: Recent office docs. Versions:

    • 15.0 office 2013

    • 16.0 Office 2016


  • NTUSER.DAT\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\ComDlg32\LastVisitedMRU

  • NTUSER.DAT\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\ComDlg32\LasVisitedPidlMRU

Indicates the path from where the executable was executed

  • NTUSER.DAT\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\ComDlg32\Op enSaveMRU (XP)

  • NTUSER.DAT\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\ComDlg32\Op enSavePidlMRU

Indicates files opened inside an opened Window

Last Run Commands

  • NTUSER.DAT\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\RunMRU

  • NTUSER.DAT\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\Policies\RunMR

User AssistKey

  • NTUSER.DAT\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\UserAssist\{GUID}\Count

The GUID is the id of the application. Data saved:

  • Last Run Time

  • Run Count

  • GUI application name (this contains the abs path and more information)

  • Focus time and Focus name


When you open a directory Windows saves data about how to visualize the directory in the registry. These entries are known as Shellbags.

Explorer Access:

  • USRCLASS.DAT\Local Settings\Software\Microsoft\Windows\Shell\Bags

  • USRCLASS.DAT\Local Settings\Software\Microsoft\Windows\Shell\BagMRU

Desktop Access:

  • NTUSER.DAT\Software\Microsoft\Windows\Shell\BagMRU

  • NTUSER.DAT\Software\Microsoft\Windows\Shell\Bags

To analyze the Shellbags you can use Shellbag Explorer **and you will be able to find the MAC time of the folder and also the creation date and modified date of the shellbag which are related with the first time the folder was accessed and the last time**.

Note 2 things from the following image:

  1. We know the name of the folders of the USB that was inserted in E:

  2. We know when the shellbag was created and modified and when the folder was created an accessed

USB information

Device Info

The registry HKLM\SYSTEM\ControlSet001\Enum\USBSTOR monitors each USB device that has been connected to the PC. Within this registry it's possible to find:

  • The manufacturer's name

  • The product name and version

  • The Device Class ID

  • The volume name (in the following images the volume name is the highlighted subkey)

Moreover, checking the registry HKLM\SYSTEM\ControlSet001\Enum\USB and comparing the values of the sub-keys it's possible to find the VID value

With the previous information the registry SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows Portable Devices\Devices can be used to obtain the {GUID}:

User that used the device

Having the {GUID} of the device it's now possible to check all the NTUDER.DAT hives of all the users searching for the GUID until you find it in one of them (NTUSER.DAT\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\Mountpoints2)

Last mounted

Checking the registry System\MoutedDevices it's possible to find out which device was the last one mounted. In the following image check how the last device mounted in E: is the Thoshiba one (using the tool Registry Explorer).

Volume Serial Number

In Software\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\EMDMgmt you can find the volume serial number. Knowing the volume name and the volume serial number you can correlate the information from LNK files that uses that information.

Note that when a USB device is formatted:

  • A new volume name is created

  • A new volume serial number is created

  • The physical serial number is kept


In System\ControlSet001\Enum\USBSTOR{VEN_PROD_VERSION}{USB serial}\Properties{83da6326-97a6-4088-9453-a1923f573b29}\ you can find the first and last time the device was connected:

  • 0064 -- First connection

  • 0066 -- Last connection

  • 0067 -- Disconnection

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