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computer forensics
computer users
Forensic And Data Strategies
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Computer forensics is the digital forensic analysis of information contained within and created with computing devices and computer systems, basically in other to figure out what happened and who was involved, how it happened and when it happened. More so, computer users who perform criminal activities could store information on these common devices and therefore enables the forensic expert to successful carries out their investigations.

Furthermore, the article should reveal the limitations of computer users to recognized and be able to organize data into files, folders, directory structures, and partitions which are the most common formation of media storage.

Data Units:

Data is made-up of files and files is made-up of folders and folders to directory structure, which could be stored and retrieved from storage devices. The function of the storage device is by whatever means to store files, once the file can be reliably retrieved with some integrity. This freedom of the storage device to save and retrieve information can be both helpful and hurtful to forensics investigators. To understand why, it is necessary to understand a little more about how storage devices can store data.

First, the basic unit of a storage device is a "bit", or rather a binary switch that is either on or off (similarly 1 or 0 or yes or no or true or false). These bits are the basic units of any storage media. Eight bits strung together form a byte. Two bytes form a word.

To store data on a device with capacity as large as a terabyte, the storage device must have a means of specifying the location on the storage media where the data is to be located. There are two strategies for how this addressing should work:

1. Stream Devices: Stream devices use a tag such as the file name to designate the beginning and end of the file. The bits are in series and placed on the tape and read from the tape in the same way. Because all files must also be serialized, a simple read may initiate a search over a terabyte of space. Similarly, a simple appending of data to an existing file may cause a file to be erased from one part of the tape only to be copied to another, thus leaving large gaps in the used portions of the tape. This effect change is called fragmentation. Stream devices are almost non-existent in modern computer systems.

2. Block devices: Block devices (such as hard disks or flash drives) divide the file into units called blocks. Blocks are a fixed sized for a particular storage device, but can vary greatly between the different storage devices available. Blocks are therefore allocated in groups called clusters for optimization. The storage device tracks free or unused blocks/clusters and allocates them as needed to store a file. With some help from the operating system in the computer, the blocks allocated for a particular file (and the order of those blocks) are recorded on the storage media. Thus, appending a file is as simple as obtaining a new block.


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