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Old 02-06-2009, 08:43 AM   #1
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Registered: Jun 2008
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Question Best way to Access Raw sectors of a USB device

Hi All,

I am new to Linux. In my attempts to understand the ext3 and FAT filesystems, I want to write a C code to access the raw sectors to read the MBR and layout of the filesystems.

I formatted the USB with two partitions ext3 and FAT and study them.
I would need read / write access on the raw sectors of the usb drive.

I googled for the information and found
  1. Directly access the dev file in linux for the usb (say /dev/sdb) and do an open/read/write/lseek combination to read the raw sectors.
  2. Another way, would be to write a wrapper over an IOCTL and construct the scsi packets and do queries .. but read/write and dd internally do this anyway.

Am I on the right track .... ?

I want to know are there any other efficient methods or which of the above is the proper approach to access the raw sectors of the USB device?

All responses appreciated, Thanks in advance.
Old 02-07-2009, 05:39 PM   #2
Registered: Dec 2005
Location: Oregon
Distribution: Debian Testing
Posts: 488

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Your C program is only going to interact with the file system. It knows nothing about disk sectors, etc. The physical structure of the disk almost entirely hidden from the user (and operating system) by the disk controller. So even at the lowest level you can imagine you still have deal with the disk controller.


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