There is a new write up on WinFE in a free issue of eForensics Magazine. Check it out, it's free :)
[caption id="attachment_984" align="aligncenter" width="356"] http://eforensicsmag.com/jumpstart-3-free/
The Mini-WInFE project is out of beta (it worked as expected). This is a "mini" FE because it is a tad bit more than the original command line only version and a little less than the full-featured-every-option-available version.
A faster WinFE build is available on http://winfe.wordpress.com/ that includes a script to add XWF to the build. Of course, you have to have a license for XWF for the script to add it to the build. As of now, it includes FTK Imager and dd tools, with more on the way to add. The build method is a beta only because more apps are being added that need to be tested. Other than that, it works great with FTK Imager, XWF, and a few other small apps. The goal is to put several imaging options on it for user preference.
Have 10 minutes to spare? Then you can build a WinFE bootable USB or CD with XWF installed on it.
There is no difference between the write protection in this faster build as it uses Colin Ramsden's write protection application, but the main difference is that you can build a WinFE ISO file in less than 5 minutes, start to finish. You can burn it to a CD or make a bootable USB within 5 more minutes, giving you a WinFE in about 10 minutes time, starting from pushing the button and having a WinFE CD/DVD/USB in your hand.
Although this is meant to be the fastest method to build an acquisition boot OS, with X-Ways, you can still do a heck of a lot more than just imaging with WinFE. And just because it only takes 10 minutes doesn't mean WinFE is a minor forensic tool. With XWF, WinFE is way more than just something you can throw together to image. It's really neat.
Updated link: http://mistype.reboot.pro/documents/WinFE/winfe.htm
This is really good info, check it out.
I'm in the process of creating working materials to go along with the XWF Guide in the form of exercises and test images. I expect to be finished in 2014 or 2015 or ...(it all depends on time available). The materials will be freely available but will really only work best with the XWF Guide. And yes, I know I can use images already available, like at http://digitalcorpora.org/corpora/disk-images, but these datasets will be made to demonstrate all the neat things detailed in the XWF Guide.
One thing I'd like to point out regarding an issue with creating forensic images when giving images to students that contain data may violate the EULA if distributed. Files like commercial programs and operating systems. Anyone that deals with this in training will be happy with how XWF can be used to address this problem.
With the "Cleansed Image" option of XWF, simply exclude/hide any and all files that would violate any privacy concerns or EULA violations before creating the image. Then create the image :)
This gives you a complete (minus excluded files) disk image without worrying about violating a EULA. You could do this the hard way by using WinHex to overwrite every single file in question. Or you can mass exclude files in one fell swoop with XWF and bam. Image done. Now you have something to give out to your class.
I've always wondered why some instructors give out complete images of a single system and make the student "promise" not to distribute the files...that is a bit too trusting in my opinion. And come on, you know who you are...
<and I'll leak a little information from the book on the cleansed image feature. you can use this technique to remove private/privileged/protected data from an image to comply with a court order but can't produce specific protected data on the image. an example being a civil case where you need to turn over an image to the opposing expert but have privileged files on the image. don't hex edit it, cleanse it!>
The XWF Guide has dozens of these kinds of tips and tricks, but you get one today for free. Get the book for the rest of the tips and tricks, you will without a doubt, find something worthwhile that will save you hours or days of work.