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USB Mass Storage

Designing and Programming Devices
and Embedded Hosts

Jan Axelson

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From the IntroductionUSB Complete

A mass-storage device can provide access to data for just about any purpose. Every time you load an application or save a file on a PC, you’re using a mass-storage device. A computer’s hard drive is a mass-storage device, as are flash, CD, and DVD drives. Devices with dedicated functions—data loggers, robots, and other embedded systems—can use mass storage as well. Every mass-storage device contains a microcontroller, microprocessor, or other intelligent hardware that knows how to access the contents of the storage media. More...

Table of Contents

detailed version

1 Mass Storage Basics
2 Supporting USB
3 The USB Mass Storage Class
4 Accessing Flash Memory Cards
5 MultiMediaCard Protocol
6 SCSI Commands
7 Media Structure
8 FAT File Systems
9 Directories
10 File Operations
11 Embedded Hosts

Chapter 1: Mass Storage Basics

A mass-storage device is electronic hardware that stores information and supports a protocol for sending and retrieving the information over a hardware interface. The information can be anything that can be stored electronically: executable programs, source code, documents, images, spreadsheet numbers, database entries, data logger output, configuration data, or other text or numeric data. Mass-storage devices typically store information in files. A file system defines how the files are organized in the storage media.

In Windows computers, mass-storage devices appear as drives in My Computer. From Windows Explorer, users can copy, move, and delete files in the devices. Program code can access files using file-system APIs or .NET’s File class. More...

Example Code

My Mass Storage page contains links to firmware using the example code in the book, plus links to chip and other product information and much more.


In technical writing, clarity is the name of the game. As someone who writes technical prose, I greatly admire Jan Axelson; she knows better than almost anybody else how to write clearly and how to explain complex technical issues so that her audience can understand them with minimal frustration. - EDN.

From handling commands and data errors to interface specs, manipulating FAT file systems, and more, USB MASS STORAGE provides project managers and developers with all the basics on using industry standard commands, controllers, and ports. - Midwest Book Review/California Bookwatch.

Book Information

Price: $29.95
287 pages, 7" x 9"
Publication date: August 2006
ISBN# 1-931448-04-3
Where to buy
Distribution (for bookstores and wholesalers)