Navigating Unmountable Media with the Digital Forensics XML File System
Alexander J. Nelson, Alexandra Chassanoff, Alexandra Holloway
Some computer storage is non-navigable by current general-purpose computers. This could be because of obsolete interface software, or a more specialized storage system lacking widespread support. These storage systems may contain artifacts of great cultural, historical, or technical significance, but implementing compatible interfaces may be beyond available resources. We developed the DFXML File System (DFXMLFS) to enable navigation of arbitrary storage systems that fulfill a minimum feature set of the POSIX file system standard. Our approach advocates for a two-step workflow that separates parsing the storage's file system structures from navigating the storage like a contemporary file system, including file contents. The parse extracts essential file system metadata, serializing to Digital Forensics XML for later consumption as a read-only file system.