A client gave me a 250 gig hard drive that wouldn't boot any more. I was hoping it was a problem with Windows, such that I could image it and move on. However, when I tried imaging the drive, it would fail after 145 gigs of imaging. I tried this a couple of times and was able to repeat the fail at the 145 gig mark. Without a physical image, I wasn't able to pull out the logical partition. However, the client was asking what word documents I could pull off the machine.
So, with an image (as complete as I could make it) I decided to carve out what I could find. I edited the foremost.conf file to uncomment the "doc" file type. Following that, I ran foremost:
foremost -o /path/to/foremost/output -c /path/to/formost.conf /path/to/image
This bombed right away. I shouldn't say that it bombed, rather it brought back many files, and most of them were huge files, quite obviously not Word documents. Taking a look at the documentation, I decided to add the -q switch, which starts the search of files on sector boundaries. This produced more files, but all of them were gibberish...at least, I couldn't read anything meaningful from them. I took another look at the foremost.conf file and some postings on the internet and found that the ole type has automatic extration. And, I would not need the config file. My final command was:
foremost -q -t ole -o /path/to/foremost/output /path/to/image
This carved out plenty of Word files for me. I'm going to try carving jpgs in a few minutes. One spec I haven't found is Word 2007 files (docx) or excel files. If you have a config that can be used in a foremost.conf file for those formats, I'd appreciate it. Just leave a comment.