U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government, Department of Justice.

SAFE Boot CD Version Evaluation Report

NCJ Number
Date Published
December 2011
19 pages

This report presents the features and manufacturer claims for the SAFE Boot CD Version - which is a software write-blocking solution that can be used to collect potential evidence from a computer - and results are presented from the performance testing of this software by the National Institute of Justice's Electronic Crime Technology Center of Excellence.


According to the manufacturer, SAFE (System Acquisition Forensic Environment) is "the first and only forensically sound Windows boot disk." It is further stated that "You can now boot and safely acquire and/or analyze any X86-based computer using your favorite Windows computer forensic software, without the need to remover drives." This means that SAFE Boot can easily and safely image every RAID, SAS, Fiber Channel, and/or laptop hard drive without the need for special adapters, controller cards, or any other hardware device not already present on the machine. In addition, even those drives protected by BitLocker can be accessed and analyzed. In all the performance tests conducted, SAFE Boot CD performed as advertised by the manufacturer. No data were altered during any of the testing. HPA/DCO and BitLocker drives could be viewed with the SAFE Boot CD. The only problem identified during the testing was the inability of the internal hashing function to display the hash value of the drive. Also, the BitLocker functionality will only work if the password is known or the USB key that contains the key is available. Extensive figures

Date Published: December 1, 2011