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Legal Holds for Laptops

I had this question after viewing Legal hold, eDiscovery: device or data.

For a legal hold, do you preserve the entire laptop including system files or do you preserve just the common file types that may exist on a laptop?
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Most Valuable Expert 2013
Top Expert 2009
The "safest" approach would be to completely image the laptop's hard drive -- save the image with a descriptive name [e.g. "VProwell's Laptop"] -- and then you can reformat the drive and repurpose the laptop.
It would be much simpler to just remove the disk drive and then buy a new drive to replace it.  It saves time over cloning and then erasing and you'd have the original to fully clone for the purpose of forensic recovery of the empty sectors.  You never want to boot from the disk you try to forensically recover and you'd want to make sure it's only ever put into read only interfaces.
Gary CaseRetired
Most Valuable Expert 2013
Top Expert 2009

Removing the disk certainly works too; but a forensic image (i.e. not compressed) is just as good, and is much easier to store than a bunch of drives.
My main point is that swapping out the disk takes 3-10 minutes versus a few hours for cloning, then, if there's sensitive data, securely erasing it.  It really depends on how much time you have and how much physical space you have.  Laptop disks are quite small already.
Jackie Man IT Manager
Distinguished Expert 2019

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