Abstract The possibility of studying DNA extracted from archival of formalin fixed tissue included in paraffin (FFTIP) enables valuable retrospective investigations. However, according to some authors it is difficult to obtain genomic DNA of good quality, since the process of fixation often results in fragmentation of DNA. In order to evaluate the quality and quantity of DNA extracted, necropsy samples of FFTIP (spleen/lung) and hairs, with or without bulbs, were analyzed using three methods of extraction (QIAamp DNA mini, QIAamp DNA micro-kit and phenol–chloroform followed by microcon YM-30). The amount of DNA recovered was quantified by spectrophotometer. The β-actin, amelogenin gene and the profiles of STR were analyzed. Based on experimental results, a general guideline concerning the appropriate extraction method according to the tissue and the quantity of the starting material for the analysis of DNA from FFTIP and hairs could be suggested.