Adding LVM volumes to an EnCase case

@bit_reader recently posted on Twitter that it seems that EnCase does not support drives with LVM2. I could’ve sworn I’ve seen EnCase display LVM data before so I decided to do a quick test.

My original idea for testing this was to check a Linux VM that I already had the EnCase agent on. Turns out finding one was harder than I expected. Turns out I didn’t have any non-production VM’s available that had the EnCase agent installed. The other option at this point was to create a VM specifically for my test and just add the VM disk to EnCase for anlysis.

I started out by installing a new Centos 7 VM using VMWare Workstation. I used all default settings for the Centos install as the default partitioning scheme already uses LVM.

LVM in EnCase

First Attempt -> Add the VMDK to EnCase directly

For my first attempt to analyze the drive, I figured I would simply just add the VMDK file to EnCase for analysis. The VMDK file is essentially the drive of the VM so I thought this may work. Turns out it didn’t.

Second Attempt -> Acquire the drive as an E01

Since the first attempt at simply analyzing the VMDK file using EnCase failed, I decided I needed to acquire the drive in a format that EnCase recognizes. Which in this case is E01. A quick internet search shows that FTK Imager has support for working directly with VMDK files.

Acquisition with FTK

  1. Start FTK Imager
  2. Start the acquisition process by using the “Create Disk Image” option located under the File menu LVM in EnCase
  3. Select Image File as the source for the acquisition. Select the VMDK file as the image file of choice. LVM in EnCase
  4. Click Add to create a new destination for the disk acquisition. LVM in EnCase
  5. Select E01 as the destination image type.
    LVM in EnCase
  6. Fill in your case details
    LVM in EnCase
  7. Select your file destination folder and the file name for the new E01 file you’re creating LVM in EnCase
  8. Make sure Verify Image is checked and click on Start to start the acquisition process

Add image to EnCase

Now that we have the drive image in a format that EnCase easily recognizes, we start up EnCase and add the newly created E01 file as evidence to our case.

  1. Click on Add Evidence LVM in EnCase
  2. Select Add Evidence File LVM in EnCase
  3. The drive is successfully added to the evidence list. Unfortunately, you can only browse the filesystem contained on /boot. Everything else shows up as Unallocated. LVM in EnCase
  4. We now need to use the Scan for LVM function in order for the LVM volumes to be view-able in our evidence list. The Scan for LVM function is accessed by right clicking on the drive in the Evidence List. Selecting Device. Selecting Scan for LVM. LVM in EnCase
  5. Once the scan is completed, the LVM volumes will appear in the Evidence List. LVM in EnCase


EnCase doesn’t automatically parse/scan for LVM volumes when a disk is added to the Case as evidence. In order for the LVM volumes to be seen, you have to use the Scan for LVM option.

Follow up question…

@bit_reader followed up his Tweet by mentioning LVM volumes with LUKS encryption. I performed the same test described above but this time during the installation of the OS, I encrypted the drives using LUKS. Unfortunately EnCase was not able to find the encrypted volumes and I was not able to find an option to enter the password for the LUKS volumes. In the end I wasn’t able to analyze the drive using EnCase. If someone knows how to do it, I’d be very happy to learn your tricks.