Skip to content


Switch branches/tags

Name already in use

A tag already exists with the provided branch name. Many Git commands accept both tag and branch names, so creating this branch may cause unexpected behavior. Are you sure you want to create this branch?

Latest commit


Git stats


Failed to load latest commit information.
Latest commit message
Commit time

INDX files are features of the Windows NTFS file system. They can 
be thought of as nodes in a B+ tree, where each directory has an 
INDX file. The INDX files contain records for each file within a 
directory. Records contain at least the following information:

 - Filename
 - Physical size of file
 - Logical size of file
 - Modified timestamp
 - Accessed timestamp
 - Changed timestamp
 - Created timestamp

INDX files are interesting to forensic investigators for a number 
of reasons. First, an investigator may use INDX files as a source 
of timestamps to develop a timeline of activity. Secondly, these 
files have significant slack spaces. With careful parsing, an 
investigator may recover old or deleted records from within these
data chunks. In other words, the investigator may be able to show 
a file existed even if it has been deleted.

INDX files are not usually accessible from within the Windows 
operating system. Forensic utilties such as the FTK Imager may 
allow a user to extract the file by accessing the raw hard disk. 
FTK names the INDX file "$I30". Tools like the Sleuthkit can 
extract the directory entries from a forensic image. INDXParse 
will not work against a live system.

Previous work & tools
I'd like to first mention John McCash, who mentioned he was 
unaware of any non-EnCase tools that parse INDX files in a SANS 
blog post. That got my mental gears turning.

I started out with a document called NTFS Forensics: A 
Programmers View of Raw Filesystem Data Extraction by Jason 
Medeiros. Unfortunately, while this document describes parsing 
INDX files in detail, a number of steps in the explanation were 

The second resource I used, and used extensively, was Forensic 
computing by A. J. Sammes, Tony Sammes, and Brian Jenkinson. I 
found the relevent section was available for free via Google 
books. This was an excellent document, and I now plan on buying 
the full book.

42 LLC provides the INDX Extractor Enpack as a compiled EnScript 
for EnCase. This was not useful to me, because I was unable to 
get to the logic of the script.

The Sleuthkit has INDX structures defined in the tsk_ntfs.h 
header files. I didn't do much digging in the code to see if 
TSK does any parsing of the INDX files (I suspect it does), 
but I did use it to verify the file structure.

----- accepts a number of command line parameters and 
switches that determine what data is parsed and output format. currently supports both CSV (default) and 
Bodyfile (v3) output formats. The CSV schema is as follows:

  - Filename
  - Physical size of file
  - Logical size of file
  - Modified timestamp
  - Accessed timestamp
  - Changed timestamp
  - Created timestamp will parse INDX structure slack space if provided 
the '-d' flag. Entries identified in the slack space will be 
tagged with a string of the form "(slack at ###)" where ### is 
the hex offset to the slack entry. Note that slack entries will 
have separate timestamps from the live entries, and could be 
used to show the state of the system at a point in time.

If the program encounters an error while parsing the filename, 
the filename field will contain a best guess, and the comment 
"(error decoding filename)". If the program encounters an error 
while parsing timestamps, a timestamp corresponding to the UNIX 
epoch will be printed instead.

The full command line help is included here:

INDX $ python -h
usage: [-h] [-c | -b] [-d] filename

Parse NTFS INDX files.

positional arguments:
  filename    Input INDX file path

optional arguments:
  -h, --help  show this help message and exit
  -c          Output CSV
  -b          Output Bodyfile
  -d          Find entries in slack space is a template file for the useful 010 Editor.
Use it as you would any other template by applying it to INDX files.

  - Brainstorm more features ;-)

INDXParse is released under the Apache 2.0 license.


  - Jerome Leseinne for identifying a bug in the is_valid constraint and null blocks