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Encase 7 - Refund  

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johnny
(@johnny)
New Member

Dear All,

As one of several in my office we've tried to give Encase 7 a fair shout. But after 6 months or more we have lost all faith in it as a usable product - reduced functionality from V6, ludicrous processing times and numerous bugs etc, etc.

Our view is that it was sold as an beta release and we are aggrieved at paying the SMS and outlay for the upgrade and yet between 8 of us we haven't yet been able to use it on a single case.

I would just like to canvas the users of this forum on both their experience of the product and what, if any, steps they have taken on refunds or negotiations with Guidance.

I have been using Encase since version 3 and have loved it as an investigation tool. Version 7 has been a real backward step in my view, it is almost as if it were a product from a developer who had no previous experience of the forensics market.

Thanks in advance

John

PS, if you prefer to PM me, please do

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Posted : 07/03/2012 6:34 pm
Jonathan
(@jonathan)
Senior Member

I've had a little play with it, but not spent any serious time with it due to the seemingly universal criticism of it on here, on Twitter and on the Guidance boards.

I note that a new version came out last week which apparently addresses some issues - is this so?

THe SMS contract I have is coming up for renewal soon; I got a price for a 3 year renewal from Guidance but told them I'd hold fire before decideing to renew to see if the version 7 issues were going to be resolved.

I wonder why EnCase 7 wasn't widely beta tested? Seems most unusual.

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Posted : 07/03/2012 7:42 pm
johnny
(@johnny)
New Member

Hi Jonathan,

We've religiously updated to each new 'fix' but it's still unusable.

As far as the processing time is concerned, I believe they said it would halve the time needed - wow, ten weeks instead of twenty! We're still waiting on a single 320GB drive to finish after 20 days, frustrating is not the word.

The processing time aside, it is the way they removed so much of the useful functionality that has me perplexed. The right click context menus, the blue ticks, the keyword preview column, scripting, the ability to export files and link them to an HTML report, the ability to reference keyword hits in unallocated by offset - the list is almost endless. And these are not personal preferences, I believe they are fundamental to an investigation tool.

At what stage in the development cycle of this tool did someone at Guidance say "I know, we'll produce a report that doesn't allow anyone to verify the results independently without repeating the entire investigation, and let's not allow anyone but the investigator to view the actual files found, oh, and wouldn't it be great if none of their scripts would work".

I'm not sure where you are based but we are beginning to go down the route under UK law of something being sold as 'not fit for purpose'.

Sorry for the rant.

John

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Posted : 07/03/2012 8:03 pm
Jonathan
(@jonathan)
Senior Member

I'm in London, so under the same laws as you.

A legal action would be interesting to say the least! I believe The Sale of Goods Act 1979 may be the starting point; is what you've purchased as described (maybe) and is it of satisfactory quailty of which you would be reaonsably expected to be happy with (almost certainly not) which is where "fit for purpose" comes in. I'm not a lawyer, but I think an enquiry may be worthwhile.

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Posted : 07/03/2012 9:04 pm
johnny
(@johnny)
New Member

I'm just trying to canvas user views at the moment as the response we've had from Guidance leaves much to be desired.

Firstly, it's not their policy to offer refunds and secondly, they continue to fix the bugs and develop enhancement requests as required. My argument would be that their policy doesn't override consumer law and as far as point two goes, is that you can't release a product that is unusable and then hide behind a comment that effectively says we're working really hard to put it right. It needs to work 'out of the box' not 8 or 12 months later!

Again sorry for the rant.

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Posted : 07/03/2012 9:38 pm
ForensicRanger
(@forensicranger)
Active Member

Our shop still uses 6.19 - I have no desire to switch to 7 at this stage (we got an early look at it last year; plenty of flaws and the "user requested" features appeared to have been from their engineers viewpoint, certainly not the end users!)

I MUCH prefer FTK over EnCase 7…. I'll continue to use FTK and 6.19, but 7, as stated, and I agree, was released WAY too prematurely with the most used features being buried several menus down, rather than right-click.

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Posted : 07/03/2012 9:39 pm
BenUK
(@benuk)
Junior Member

We've got Encase 7 but we all use 6, except for the odd time we do a quick report on an iPhone backup.

There's a discussion on the Digital Detective forum about FTK4 that looks as if it may head down the same lines as this one - http//www.digital-detective.co.uk/cgi-bin/digitalboard/YaBB.pl?num=1330127825/15#15 for those with access.

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Posted : 08/03/2012 2:33 pm
pbeardmore
(@pbeardmore)
Active Member

Please remember that the Sale of Goods Act is mostly aimed at business to consumer contracts. The idea of a product being of satisfactory quality is an implied term within all consumer contracts and cannot be overidden by any terms that the seller has placed within the written contract. This is not the case within business to business contracts so you will need to check the terms of conditions of the original contract.

Also, the SMS is a seperate contract where you are actually complaining about their ability to update the product rather than the sale of the original product.
I agree completley with your sentiments but, I am guessing that their business model is so firmly built around the SMS income that they cant afford to start giving out refunds.

Finally, consider the legal ramifications if Guidance were to admit that their software was not of satisfactory quality or fit for purpose. Defence experts around that World would have great fun with that and you could see the whole business starting to crumble.

On the flip side, you could use this to your advantage, as they would far rather offer on refund on a voluntray basis and admit no liabilty rather than go through a civil court in view of everyone. A group action by all those who have gone for 7 and want a refund would be tremendous fun to observe but it is about time that both Guidance and Access were brought to account in terms of the lack of pre-sale testing.

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Posted : 08/03/2012 2:50 pm
mitch
(@mitch)
Active Member

Dear All

I am disappointed, In Ver. 7. and I will not be renewing my SMS. I am pro GS, and always will be.

I feel that V7 was a backstep, personally they should, hold their hands up, revert back to 6.19. release 6.20 and move forward. keeping the original GUI and the original E01

Now if they dont revert to the original GUI / E01……. well lets put it this way time will tell.

We must all remember what Guidance Software has provided the forensic community with over the last few years. I am very pro GS, and always will be…. but V7 will be known in my eyes….. well remember vista

Mitch

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Posted : 08/03/2012 7:30 pm
pragmatopian
(@pragmatopian)
Active Member

EnCase v7 is to Guidance what FTK v2 was to AccessData.

It sounds like AccessData may have made a retrograde step with v4, too.

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Posted : 08/03/2012 10:01 pm
John_Smith
(@john_smith)
New Member

I'm an FTK user primarily, but only because I work in two man office and my partner uses the EnCase dongle. That said, I've used v7 and it simply sucks. 10 minutes into a case and I'm looking for my FTK dongle while waiting for EnCase to stop what I've started.

FTK 4 has had some hiccups, but I seem to have it working right after a few weeks of use. I had the best luck with FTK 3.3.

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Posted : 09/03/2012 6:57 am
pbeardmore
(@pbeardmore)
Active Member

Well after years of going down the twin route of Encase and FTK, I have just ordered a copy of X-Ways to see if that can be an alternative. Should be interesting

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Posted : 09/03/2012 5:20 pm
johnny
(@johnny)
New Member

Pat,

You pointed out a couple of things I hadn't considered (call it naive). I was thinking along the Sale of Goods Act and hadn't realised about the differences in law. Also you are bang on about their reputation crashing.

Mitch,

I am also a long standing user and avid fan of Encase, since version 3 when I started in this arena, it has been head and shoulders better than anything else on the market as an investigative tool. Both FTK and XWays have their strengths but as an all rounder, I have always thought of Encase as the tool of choice.

To me version 7 is an abject failure as an investigation tool, released without proper testing and with a totally different unintuitive GUI. The GUI, I have no doubt, is so that we all need additional training to get the most out of it, but that is Guidance's prerogative. The lack of testing, hence the 'bugs', and the removal of so many of the necessary features is where I have my issue. It was marketed and sold as an investigation tool who's reporting features are described as a 'quantum leap forward' in the marketing literature - you can't even report the offset to a keyword in unallocated!!!!!!!

Processing times measured in weeks and months - how can this be used for anything other than wasting electricity?

To go back to my original question, has anyone actually been in discussion with Guidance about refunds or other compensation? Given the bashing this release is getting surely we should be going back to the vendor and making some demands of them.

regards

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Posted : 09/03/2012 6:11 pm
jhup
 jhup
(@jhup)
Community Legend

If we do not, the attorneys will.

I speculate, the first case where someone uses EC7, and the opposing counsel has any savvy and questions it, and wins that point . . . EnCase will have to deal with a public relations nightmare.

The universe of EC users is "tiny", and well connected. Such legal outcome would be all over forensics billboards, in my opinion.

[…]
To go back to my original question, has anyone actually been in discussion with Guidance about refunds or other compensation? Given the bashing this release is getting surely we should be going back to the vendor and making some demands of them.

regards

ReplyQuote
Posted : 09/03/2012 10:54 pm
LukeLuke
(@lukeluke)
Junior Member

http//guidancesoftware.polldaddy.com/s/encase-forensic-v7

you can express here your opinion

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Posted : 11/03/2012 11:20 am
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