Reading physical disks.

Corinna Vinschen
Wed Mar 31 19:45:00 GMT 1999

Serguei DACHIAN wrote:
> I need to read a physiacl sector from a physical disk (say /dev/hda).
> Under UNIX/POSIX the way to do it whould be just to "fopen" the "/dev/hda"
> and to "fread" from it.  Under CygWin (B20.1 on Win98) this doesn't work.
> Indeed /dev/hd* don't exist (not even visible by ls). As to dev/fd*, even if
> visible by ls, they are inacessible neither by "fopen", nor from bash prompt
> by "dd", "cp", etc.
> [...]
> So, is there at least a way to read a physiacl sector from a physical disk
> under CygWin gcc, or not???!!!  HELP, I am lost.

You will find a patched version of b20.1, supporting raw access to partitions,
hard drives and tapes on


The newer snapshots of winsup (since winsup-990130, I think) contain this patch,
too. Nevertheless, you should download the forementioned README for a short
description of the features.


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