thumbnailing a suspect hard drive

Graphic Workshop Professional can be used to browse, locate and process images on a suspect hard drive without writing anything to the host computer. This procedure will permit the contents of graphic file directories to be examined as an array of small thumbnail images, rather than by manually opening each file.

Thumbnail images in a Graphic Workshop Professional browser window can be viewed at their full resolution by double-clicking on them. A variety of other processes, such as printing, copying and conversion can also be performed on them.

Here's a step by step procedure for browsing a suspect hard drive using Graphic Workshop Professional.

  1. Establish a Windows network connection from the computer with Graphic Workshop Professional installed on it to the suspect computer.
  2. Map the suspect computer to a local drive letter on the computer with Graphic Workshop. For the purpose of this discussion, we'll call this drive M.
  3. Run Graphic Workshop Professional and create a new browser window by selecting New Browser from the File menu. A new browser window will appear.
  4. Right-click somewhere in the file area of your new browser window and select Virtual Thumbnails from the right-click menu that appears. The Virtual Thumbnail mode instructs Graphic Workshop to build its thumbnail images "on the fly" when it first looks at a folder, and to store these images in memory. This is somewhat slower than its default stored thumbnail mode, but it prevents Graphic Workshop from writing anything to the hard drive being examined.
  5. Click on the thumb button in the Graphic Workshop Professional tool bar and select the large thumb from the menu that appears. This will ensure that your Graphic Workshop browser window is in its highest-resolution thumbnail mode.
  6. Use the folder navigation tree in the left portion of your Graphic Workshop Professional browser window to navigate to the suspect computer – drive M in this example – and then to locate the folder you wish to investigate. Graphic Workshop will build thumbnails of all the image files it finds therein.

Here are a few additional tips for using the foregoing procedure:

  • If Graphic Workshop Professional encounters a file it can't read, it will display a gray thumbnail. This can mean the file is corrupted, and as such unreadable. It can also mean that it has be deliberately renamed with an incorrect file type to make it appear to be unreadable. For example, renaming an ART file with the extension GIF will trick image viewers into trying to treat the file in question as a GIF file, finding that it's not a valid GIF file and displaying an error message, or in this case, an error icon. You can work around this by using Graphic Workshop's Mystery File Identification function.

  • If you have to navigate through a number of folders to find the one you're looking for, waiting while Graphic Workshop builds virtual thumbnails for each can be time-consuming. In this case, click on the thumb button in the Graphic Workshop Professional tool bar and select one of the A items in the menu that appears. This will put your Graphic Workshop Professional browser window into a text-only mode, in which no thumbnails will be created or displayed. Navigate to the folder you're interested in and then use the thumb button in the Graphic Workshop tool bar to select the large thumbnail mode again, the large thumb button in the menu that appears.

  • You can also change to a specific folder without having to work through all the folders above it by clicking on the folder button in the Graphic Workshop Professional tool bar to open the New Folder window. Select the folder you're interested in from its folder tree.

  • You can create as many Graphic Workshop Professional browser window as you like, and point them to different folders on a suspect hard drive, using the procedure discussed above. This can be useful if you need to compare the contents of multiple folders.



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