MacQuisition is a powerful, 3-in-1 solution for live data acquisition, targeted data collection, and forensic imaging. Tested and used by experienced examiners for over a decade, MacQuisition runs on the Mac OS X operating system and safely boots and acquires data from over 185 different Macintosh computer models in their native environment - even Fusion Drives. There’s no need for complicated take-aparts when you’ve got MacQuisition.
A forensic examiner can boot from the MacQuisition USB dongle and image out to an external collection device using the source computer itself. Because MacQuisition boots into a forensically sound environment, no additional write-blocking software or hardware is necessary. The examiner only needs the source computer, a MacQuisition USB dongle, and a destination collection device to perform this type of static data acquisition.
To boot from the MacQuisition USB dongle and acquire data from a Mac Pro, MacBook Pro, or MacBook Air computer, with the power off, and the source system plugged into a power source, insert the USB dongle into a source system USB port and attach an external collection device.
Press the power button and immediately hold down the Option key. The EFI Boot screen (Startup Manager) appears.
Click the MacQuisition icon with the MacQuisition version best suited for the source machine hardware. If you do not know which version you should boot to, click the Compatibility tab above for further information. Click the arrow below the MacQuisition icon to begin the boot process.
The BlackBag logo appears, and shortly after that, a thin progress bar appears beneath the logo. Next, depending on the hardware model and date of manufacture, the Apple logo may appear for approximately 5-10 seconds. Lastly, the MacQuisition splash screen appears, followed by the EULA.
Important: If the Apple logo appears before the BlackBag logo, IMMEDIATELY shut down the computer by pressing and holding the power button - the source system is attempting to boot to a drive or other device, and not to the MacQuisition dongle.
If a gray screen with a slashed circle appears, shut down the system by pressing and holding the power button, and boot the system to the 'MacQuisition Legacy' partition.
MacQuisition is a unique forensic imaging and acquisition tool capable of booting hundreds of Mac OS X systems, as well as acquiring live targeted data. MacQuisition is the trusted forensic solution that runs within a native OS X boot environment.
Below is the range of Mac systems supported by the newest version of MacQuisition, followed by instructions for examiners in need of a solution for older Mac hardware. For Mac models with a USB-C port, we advise using an Apple USB-C adapter. Other third party USB-C accessories may not be compatible.
*Note: Not all recent systems have been fully tested. The compatibility table represents the full list of systems that MacQuisition is built to support. If you have any issues with system compatibility, please contact our Support Team.
Current MacQuisition Release = 2018 R1 Date Released = January 24, 2018
|Type||Earliest Compatible System*||Most Recent Compatible System|
|iMac||iMac (Late 2009)
Model Identifier: iMac10,1 / 11,1
Model Identifiers: iMac18,1 / 18,2 / 18,3
|iMac Pro||iMac Pro (Late 2017)
Model Identifier: iMacPro1,1†
iMac Pro (Late 2017)
|Mac mini||Mac mini (Mid 2010)
Model Identifier: Macmini4,1
|Mac mini (Late 2014)
Model Identifiers: Macmini7,1
|Mac Pro||Mac Pro (Mid 2010)
Model Identifier: MacPro5,1
|Mac Pro (Late 2013)
Model Identifier: MacPro6,1
|MacBook||MacBook (Late 2009)
Model Identifier: MacBook6,1
Model Identifier: MacBook10,1
|MacBook Air||MacBook Air (Late 2010)
Model Identifier: MacBookAir3,1 / 3,2
|MacBook Air (2017)
Model Identifiers: MacBookAir7,2
|MacBook Pro||MacBook Pro (Mid 2010)
Model Identifier: MacBookPro6,1 / 6,2 / 7,1
|MacBook Pro (2017)
Model Identifiers: MacBookPro14,1 / 14,2 / 14,3
* Certain older 2007-2009 models that are not supported by the MacQuisition 2018R1 partition may be bootable by the MacQuisition Secondary partition. Having trouble identifying a Mac OS X system? We recommend the MacTracker App, available for free at the App Store.
† T2 chip default encryption may be present.
Trouble booting older Mac systems? Within each MacQuisition dongle, there is a legacy version of the software that can boot Intel-based Mac systems that predate the compatibility table above. For even older systems, including those running OS 9 (Classic), all MacQuisition customers have access to an ISO boot disk. ISO downloads are available within MacQuisition customers' individual account pages on BlackBag's website. Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions regarding current compatibility or use of the ISO boot disk.
Key features of MacQuisition™ 2018 R1 include: