US 20050177698 A1
A method for partitioning a memory mass storage device is disclosed. The partition task is performed by the controller within the memory mass storage device. Firstly, the controller partitions the logical space of the memory storage device into multiple areas, each area belonging to a particular drive. Secondly, the controller partitions the logical space of the memory storage device into a public area and a security area, both areas belonging to the same drive. Finally, the controller partitions the logical space of the memory storage device into multiple areas, which include public areas and security areas and belong to multiple drives.
18. A removable memory storage device, comprising:
at least two drives;
a controller, partitioning each of the drives, wherein at least one of the drives is partitioned into a public area and a security area, wherein the security area includes an access
wherein when the removable memory storage device is electrically connected to be accessed by the host, the host executes a security management program to request an input password from a user and the controller check the input password with the access password to see whether a match occurs,
wherein when the match occurs, the host can configure and access the security area of the specific drive.
19. The removable memory storage device of
The present invention relates to mass storage device, and particularly to a method for partitioning a memory mass storage device.
Although hard disk drives are widely used in current computer system, there are still a variety of deficiencies regarding such rotating, magnetic mass storage devices, like an inherent latency during accessing the hard disk drives, high power consumption, being unable to withstand the physical shock, and having a large weight for portable computer devices.
A non-volatile memory mass storage device, like a flash memory disk drive, is a nice choice for replacing a hard disk. Each memory mass storage device always comprises two portions; one is a controller part, and the other is a memory module. The semiconductor technology allows such a memory storage device to withstand many of the kinds of physical shock and reduce power consumption or weight. These flash memory storage devices are also widely used and accepted for all the current computer devices, like desktop PC, laptop, PDA, DSC, and so on. Each of current mass storage devices, no matter hard disk drives or memory storage devices, is always configured as a mass storage drive by the host. This drive could be partitioned into a plurality of “logical” drives by the host. For example, the host just executes a “partition program” and then the partition information is written into the drive. When next time power-on, such a drive partitioned by the host will be recognized as multiple ‘logical’ drive.
From the host point of view, a drive is composed of a plurality of logical blocks, and the partition information is generally located on the first block, logical block address 0(LBA 0). If the first block is defective or infected by the computer virus, all the logical drives indicated by the partition information may not be detected by the host. It is a risk for a drive partitioned into multiple logical drives by the host.
Furthermore, because the host can easily free access all the data, some important files, like system files, may be deleted by careless end users. Another aspects of this case, the right of data access is too open to meet the private, security requirements. It is another risk or inconvenience.
Accordingly, the object of the present invention is to provide a method for partitioning a memory storage device into multiple drives. Such a method is performed by the controller, instead of the host. Each of said multiple drives is exactly a drive for the host, but not a logical drive. If the host executes a “partition program” to partition each drive and then a copy of partition information will be written into the first block of each drive. Thereby, it reduces the possibility of partition information defect or computer virus infection. Moreover, a drive could be subdivided into a variety of areas; some are freely accessed by any end users and the others can be accessed just for the specific users passing the password identification. Thereby, the function of data protection or security could be implemented. The various objects and advantages of the present invention will be more readily understood from the following detailed description when read in conjunction with the appended drawing.
A memory storage device generally comprises two portions; one is the controller and the other is the memory module. As shown in
As shown in
Partition performed by the host
In the prior art as shown in
The contents of partition table 301 point out where each partition is located. A partition is as a logical drive so that the host can fully use 4 logical drives after partitioning the logical space provided by the controller. This partition way performed by the host results in a variety of deficiencies. For example, if the partition table 301 of MBR is defective or infected by the computer virus, all the logical drives may not be detected anymore. Besides, the partition structure performed by the host is a open standard, so that any user using the host can easily free access all the files in any logical drives. Some important files, like system files, may be deleted by careless end users; some private, confidential documents, like your financial information, may be found by any intended users. There are no security or data protection functions for such a partition way performed by the host.
Partition performed by the controller
In our present invention, the controller within the memory storage device has partitioned the logical space 200 into multiple areas before the host uses the memory storage device, as shown in
A security drive
Using the same concept of the logical space partition performed by the controller, the memory storage device can increase the security function. In another preferred embodiment of the invention as
Once the memory storage device is plugged into the slot attached in the host, the controller will read the information block into the SRAM within the controller after initial power-on. According the information block data loaded into the SRAM, the controller will respond to host requests for configuring the memory storage device. In this case, the number of drives is 1 and the size of the drive 600 is as that of the public area0 602. Accordingly, the public area0 602 of the drive 600 can be free accessed by the host, but the security area1 604 can not be seen by the host or any end user after the initial configuration.
A security management program is used for managing the security functions. If a specific end user wants to access the security area1 604 of the drive 600, the said security management software is executed first then, the specific end user enters a password to the executed program. Finally, this security management program enables the host to send a password to the memory storage device for accessing the security area1 604. The said security management program can be stored in any public area of the memory storage device and becomes a portable tool for using the security function.
After received the password from the host, the controller compares the host input password with the password 810 loaded into the SRAM of the controller. As shown in
Multiple drives with the security function.
In another preferred embodiment of the invention, the combinations of previous two skills make it possible to partition a memory storage device into multiple drives, each with the security function. As
Once the memory storage device is plugged into the slot attached in the host, the controller will read the information block into the SRAM within the controller after initial power-on. According the information block data loaded into the SRAM, the controller will respond to host requests for configuring the memory storage device. In this case, the number of drives is 2, the size of the drive 902 is the same as that of the public area0 906, and the size of the drive 904 is the same as that of the public area2 910. Accordingly, the public area0 906 of the drive 902 and the public area2 910 of the drive 904 can be free accessed by the host, but the security area1 908 of the drive 902 and the security area3 912 of the drive 904 can not be seen by the host or any end user after the initial configuration.
If a specific end user wants to access the security area1 908 of the drive 902, the said security management program is executed first, then, the specific end user enters a password to the executed program. Finally, this security management program enables the host to send a password to the memory storage device for accessing the security area1 908. After received the password from the host, the controller compares the host input password with the password 1110 loaded into the SRAM of the controller. As shown in
However, in the present invention, the sizes of the security area or the public area are adjustable. As required, the size of the public area can be set as zero and then only the security area exists for a particular drive.
Removable memory module
In our invention, the memory storage device partitioned into multiple security drives, can be substantially divided into two portions one is called a adapter with a controller inside and the other is a removable memory module including a plurality of memory chips. Such a architecture is beneficial to the end users. If a end user wants to upgrade the capacity of the whole memory storage device, just removes the original memory module and then inserts a new, large-size memory module. Certainly, the information block data must be stored in the new memory module before insertion.
If there is no memory module plugged in, the controller will go into the state A 1210. During the state A 1210, the controller always responds a no media message when the host asks for data access by the host command input 1212. Once the memory module is plugged into the adapter, state A 1210 will go into the step 1204. Accordingly, the controller will read the information block and realize the security functions as stated above.
Other than flash memories, above said embodiment is suitable for a variety of memories, such as flash memories, ROMs, PROMs, EPROMs, EEPROMs, and hard disks without departure from the scope and spirit of the present invention.
The present invention is thus described, it will be obvious that the same may be varied in many ways. Such variations are not to be regarded as a departure from the spirit and scope of the present invention, and all such modifications as would be obvious to one skilled in the art are intended to be included within the scope of the following claims.