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What is he E01 File and Why it is Used in Digital Forensics?

Published By Aswin Vijayan
Approved By Anuraag Singh
Published On July 10th, 2024
Reading Time 4 Minutes Reading
Category File Forensics
what is E01 file?

E01 file is a file format that is use in digital forensics. It is a forensic disk image file which is create by Encase software. It captures a bit-by-bit copy of your hard drive or other devices that are use in storage. E01 file includes all the files like slack files the unallocated spaces and everything that is on your hard drive. It will create a replica of that drive. The file extension of this file is .E01 which stands for “Evidence 01”. Let’s know more about the E01 file and why this file is used in digital forensics.

Why is the E01 File Use in Digital Forensic?

However, The use of the E01 file in digital forensics depends on various key factors that make the E01 file highly suitable for preserving and analyzing data.

  • Create Whole Disk Image: E01 allows the investigators to generate the copy. A bit-by-bit copy of the entire storage device like hard drives, pen drives, memory cards, etc. ensures all the data including deleted and unallocated spaces is preserved for investigation.
  • Support Metadata: The E01 file is capable of storing the metadata of the image file. This means it includes all the information in the file like timestamps, investigator details, and case serial numbers. Which are use in making reports and presenting them to the court.
  • The soundness of Forensic Evidence: E01 files are mainly design to maintain the integrity and authenticity of the original data. That is why it includes the metadata and hash values. So it ensures the examiner that the image is a faithful copy of the evidence. And make sure the integrity of the replica is preserved throughout the investigation.
  • Compression and Segmentation: E01 files often aid in file compression to reduce the storage space needs. Thereby facilitating breakage of large amounts of load into smaller manageable parts (e.g., E01, E02, ….). This is crucial whenever there is a necessity for effective imaging of vast storage devices on the part of investigators.
  • Standardization and Compatibility: The E01 file mostly recognized and well-supported file format in the digital evidence community. Mostly every forensic tool is capable of creating, viewing, and analyzing the E01 files. Making certain that various forensic settings are easy to use and interoperable.
  • Admissibility in law: E01 files also help to ensure the forensic evidence legally meets the standard for evidence handling and presentation in court. To maintain the ability and chain of custody report. It is essential to maintain the reliability and integrity of the evidence.

Types of E01 File Formats

Moreover, E01 files are primarily related to Encase forensic software, which is available in many formats to support different forensic image and analysis needs. Here are the main types of E01 files:

  1. Standard E01 File: Standard includes a bit-by-bit copy of the source data with its metadata, hashes, CRC values, and integrity checks.
  2. Compressed E01 Files: It is important to compress an E01 file to save on space, and protect the integrity of the evidence in it. At the same time maintain a complete forensic image
  3. Split E01 Files: Large E01 files are divided down into smaller, manageable sizes to help in transferring or managing them better. Such files would normally be suffixes by terms like .E01, .E02, .E03 among others.
  4. Files for Logical Evidence (L01): A file that comprises specific files or folders instead of the complete bit-by-bit copy of the storage device is store in L01 files. It is a variant of the E01 file format and these files are use in more focused research.
  5. EX01: Files are improve E01 files create by Encase 7. which have additional functionalities like better performance on compression and security.

Each variant ensures both integrity and authenticity about its specific function. it ranges from complete disk imaging requirements to selective inquiries in particular areas.

Best Tool to Preview and Extract Your E01 File Format Data

SysTools E01 Viewer Pro is the perfect solution if you are a digital forensic investigator. It gives you the facility to view E01 files and analyze them, user can even extract data from E01 files. The main focus of the application is to enhance the accuracy of forensic investigations. With its advanced features, the software gives you a facility to analyze the evidence and filter out what you need from that particular case.


In this article, we have explained E01 in brief and also discussed the needs of the E01 file. Moreover, we have also explained the various types of E01 available. It depends on the user and what is most suitable for them. We have also mention the software that is commonly use for viewing and extracting data from the E01 file format.