Forensic tool for examining Thumbs.db files
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Forensic tool for examining Thumbs.db files

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                 Michel Roukine <>

Version beta 0.07 (June 14 2007)


Vinetto is a forensics tool to examine Thumbs.db files. It is a command line python script that works on Linux, Mac OS X and Cygwin(win32).


This program is distributed under the GNU General Public License - see the accompanying COPYING file for more details.


Many thanks to Christophe Monniez ( for the idea of this tool and for his encouragements.

The vinetto code was written with grateful thanks to Martin Schwartz, author of Laola and its Hacking guide to the binary structure of Ole / Compound Documents.

Project overview

1 - Context : The Windows systems (98, ME, 2000 and XP) can store thumbnails and metadata of the picture files contained in the directories of its FAT32 or NTFS filesystems. Thumbnails and associated metadata are stored in Thumbs.db files. Thumbs.db files are undocumented OLE structured files.

Once a picture file has been deleted from the filesystem, the related thumbnail and associated metada remain stored in the Thumbs.db file. So, the data contained in those thumbs.db files are an helpful source of information for the forensics investigator.

2 - What the software is intended to do : Vinetto extracts thumbnails and associated metadata from the Thumbs.db files.

Moreover [when vinetto will be 0.98 beta] it will function according to three modes: -> elementary mode : in this mode vinetto will only extract thumbnails and metadata from chosen Thumbs.db file. -> directory mode : in this mode vinetto will check for consistency between directory content and related Thumbs.db file i.e. it will report thumbnails that have a missing associated file into the directory. -> filesystem mode : in this mode vinetto will process whole FAT or NTFS partition.

3 - What purpose it will serve : Vinetto will help *nix-based forensics investigators to : -> easily preview thumbnails of deleted pictures on Windows systems, -> obtain informations (dates, path, ...) about those deleted images.

4 - Misc. : Vinetto is intended to be integrated into forensics liveCD like FCCU GNU/Linux Forensic Boot CD.


Python-2.3 or later.

PIL (Python Imaging Library) 1.1.5 or later. PIL is used to attempt correct reconstitution the Type 1 thumbnails.

Current known limitations

AFAIK Windows(R)(TM) uses two format types to store thumbnails in its Thumbs.db files. I called these formats Type 1 and Type 2. Type 2 is compliant to jpeg format. But Type 1 seems to be a family of jpeg-alike formats with special headers, huffman and quantization tables.

*** Currently, vinetto does not manage to reconstitute correctly some Type 1 thumbnails. ***


usage: vinetto [OPTIONS] [-s] [-U] [-o DIR] file

options: --version show program's version number and exit -h, --help show this help message and exit -o DIR write thumbnails to DIR -H write html report to DIR -U use utf8 encodings -s create symlink of the image realname to the numbered name in DIR/.thumbs

Metadata list will be written on standard output.

June 14 2007 Michel Roukine