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usb mass-storage device class - wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

usb mass-storage device class - wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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Published by: Manit on Jan 07, 2010
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A USB flash drive like this one
will typically implement the
USB mass storage device
USB mass-storage device class
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
(Redirected from USB mass storage device class)

TheUSB mass storage device class orUSB MSC orUMS is a set of computing communications protocols defined by the USB Implementers Forum that run on the Universal Serial Bus. The standard provides an interface to a variety of storage devices.

Some of the devices which are connected to computers via this standard are:
external magnetic hard drives
external optical drives, including CD and DVD reader and writer drives
portable flash memory devices
adapters bridging between standard flash memory cards and a USB
digital cameras
various digital audio players & portable media players
Card readers
Portable Gaming systems (Nokia N-GAGE/Sony PSP)
personal data assistants and handheld computers
some newer mobile phones, such as the Sony Ericsson K800 and K510,
Nokia N73, Nokia E61, Nokia N95, Nokia N96, Nokia N97, Apple
Devices which support this standard are referred to asMSC (Mass Storage
Class) devices. While MSC is the official abbreviation,UMS (Universal Mass
Storage) has become common in on-line jargon.
1 Operating system support
1.1 Microsoft Windows
1.1.1 Malware and inherent vulnerability
1.2 Mac OS
1.3 Unix-like
1.4 DOS
1.5 AmigaOS
1.6 Game consoles
1.7 Graphing Calculators
2 Device access
3 Complications of the mass-storage device class
3.1 Hard drive-based devices
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4 See also
5 External links
Operating system support
Most current mainstream operating systems include support for USB mass storage devices, although support on
older systems is available through patches.
Microsoft Windows

Windows 95 OSR2.1, an update to the operating system, featured very limited support for USB. During that time, no generic USB mass storage driver was produced by Microsoft, even for Windows 98. This meant that a device- specific driver was needed for each type of USB storage device. Today, generic drivers which support USB flash drives even in Windows 98 are available as free downloads. By 2000, the problem was almost solved. Products designed for Windows Me and Windows 2000 (where a specific driver was required only for rare devices) are only fully corrected in subsequent OSes. On Windows Server 2003, however, a drive letter has to be assigned to it in order to access it. This can be done in Disk Management (under Computer Management (local) | Storage | Disk Management).

There is no native (supplied by Microsoft) support for USB in Windows NT, earlier versions of Windows, or MS- DOS, although some third-party solutions exist for each OS. A third party driver for Windows 98 and Windows 98SE is also now available. There is also a USB UMS driver for Windows NT 4. FreeDOS supports USB mass storage as ASPI devices.

Windows Mobile supports accessing most USB mass storage devices formatted with FAT on devices with USB

Host. However, portable devices typically cannot provide enough power for disk enclosures containing hard drives
(a 2.5" hard drive typically requires the maximum 2.5 W provided by the USB specification) without a self-
powered USB hub. On the other way around, Windows Mobile devices can not show their file systems as a mass
storage device unless the device implementer explicitly decides to add such functionality. However, third party

applications exist to add MSC emulation to most WM devices (commercial "Softick CardExport" and free "WM5torage"). Generally only memory cards can be exported, and not internal storage memory, due to the complications outlined below.

Malware and inherent vulnerability

Since Windows's AutoRun feature works indiscriminately on any removable media, USB storage devices became the infection entryway for computer viruses. As the FAT file system, most used on USB storage for its simplicity and wide compatibility, has no access control features, a user has no convenient way to protect his USB drives from infection after inserting into untrusted computer unless the device has a hardware read-only switch.

Mac OS
Apple Computer's Mac OS 8.5.1 supports USB mass storage through an optional driver. Mac OS 9 and Mac OS
X support USB mass storage natively.
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A USB Card reader like this
o n e , w ill t y p ic a lly im p le m e n t
The Linux kernel has supported USB mass storage devices via a generic driver since kernel version 2.4 (year

2001), and a backport to kernel 2.2 has also been made. Solaris also supports devices since the 2.8 release and up
(year 1998), NetBSD since the 1.5 release and up (year 2000), FreeBSD since the 4.0 release and up (year
2000), and OpenBSD since the 2.7 release and up (year 2000).

DOS has no generic support for USB but there are external drivers available which support USB mass storage
devices. These are Duse, USBASPI and DOSUSB.

AmigaOS supports UMASS storage devices through Poseidon, a third-party USB stack which has become a de
facto standard. It supports various USB device types through a modular system of Hardware Independent Device
Driver (HIDD) classes. Poseidon as used in AmigaOS Classic up to version 4.0, and in the MorphOS operating
system. The supposedly final AmigaOS version of the Poseidon stack is released OEM licensed with the Deneb
USB card in May 2008. AmigaOS 4.0 has its own USB stack called Sirion, though it can still use Poseidon. A new

USB stack called ANAIIS (Another Native Amiga IO Interface Stack) is available for all Amiga platforms with
Highway or Subway hardware, but does not yet support UMASS.
FAT16 and FAT32 filesystems are supported by the FAT95 filesystem.
In September 2009 Poseidon was released as Open Source and was finally also ported to AROS, an Open
Source AmigaOS inspired system.
Game consoles
The Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 support most mass storage devices.
Graphing Calculators
Independent developers have released drivers for the TI-84 Plus and TI-84 Plus Silver Edition in order to access
USB mass storage devices. usb8x contains the driver for this access, while msd8x handles the user interface.
Device access

The USB mass storage specification does not require any particular file system to be used on conforming devices. Instead, it provides a simple interface to read and write sectors of data\u2014much like the low-level interface used to access any hard drive\u2014using the "SCSI transparent command set." Operating systems may treat the USB drive like a hard drive, and can format it with any file system they like.

Because of its ubiquity and relative simplicity, the most common file system on

embedded devices such as USB flash drives, cameras, or digital audio players is
Microsoft's FAT or FAT32 file system with (optional) support for long names.
Large USB-based hard disks may come formatted with NTFS, which is much

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