Copy smart card on Linux system?

By CharlieSpencer ·
We have a 'CompactFlash' format media card with a couple of programs we use to test one of our products. We have only this single card, which is both a production bottleneck and a point of failure. We need multiple copies of this card.

We can't read the card with a Windows system, but we can read it with a Linux (RedHat) box. Unfortunately, this box has only a single USB slot, so we can only attach one card reader at a time.

Is there a (easy?) way to make copies of this CF card?


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Not necessarily

by TobiF In reply to Copy smart card on Linux ...

Smart cards are called "smart cards" because they typically have some "smart" functions.

The card may contain secret information, like encryption keys, which you can't retrieve.

This can be used to have the card function as a licensing tool.

So, you could try to extract files and write them in some binary format to your hard drive and then copy them to another card. But probably there are files hidden on the card that you can't get to.

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My mistake.

by CharlieSpencer In reply to Not necessarily

I was going from the user's description, something I should know better than to do. Once I looked at it, I realized it's a CompactFlash format media card. I don't think there are any 'smart' capabilities to it. It was loaded several years ago by an employee who has since left.

We're about to try a Ghost disk-to-disk operation on it.

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by TobiF In reply to My mistake.

Well, then there shouldn't be any big hurdles.
Maybe you don't even need to use the same bearer on newer machines?

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Ghost didn't like it.

by CharlieSpencer In reply to Good

It reported the card as corrupt and unreadable. Back to square one.

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So I would assume the issue is the file-system?

by robo_dev In reply to Ghost didn't like it.

Perhaps loading a Linux emulator on the PC, or even a CD-ROM or USB-based linux distro?

Oh wait, here's a Windows driver to allow EXT2 file-system to be read on a windows box:

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Correct in that assumption.

by CharlieSpencer In reply to So I would assume the iss ...

Thanks for the software recommendation. I've forwarded it to the guy I'm assisting with this mess.

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Pardon my ignorance

by HAL 9000 Moderator In reply to Copy smart card on Linux ...

But couldn't you use a USB Hub to add more than 1 Card Reader/Writer?

This shouldn't be a Problem on any Red Hat Box just copy from one Card to another as I'm assuming that you'll need several Card Readers for the different Cards that you make.

What am I missing here?


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I believe the issue is that Linux uses the EXT2 file system

by robo_dev In reply to Pardon my ignorance

and Windows surely does not. The solution is to either find a Linux emulator that allows copying to/from a EXT2 volume.

The better solution is to load the add-on driver for windows which lets you read Linux EXT2 file system:

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Well here I was assuming that

by OH Smeg Moderator In reply to I believe the issue is th ...

This card wasn't being used with Windows Platforms as it's obviously not a Native Windows Partition type.

Yep I do agree that adding the Emulator to a Windows Platform will be the best idea here provided that this is Documented. Unfortunately too often I've seen one tech do something and then others who come latter end up in all sorts of problems because I saw "Joe" do this but I can not get it to work. When you start to add additional things to basic Windows Systems that are undocumented or others don't know about that's a recipe for problems latter. Had that happen to me way too often in the past particularly when I ask Users what's gone wrong? They just say that such and such used to happen and it's stopped working. Never something common and always a nasty little used thing. Or back in the Main Frame Days the fitters would move in install the new system and not document anything and then we had to come in after and make it work without knowing where anything was going.


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Done that; more data than card can hold???

by CharlieSpencer In reply to Pardon my ignorance

We don't have any USB hubs but borrowed one. We slapped it on the RH box, but attempting to copy from one card to the other failed.

There's something really bizarre going on here. The card's manufacturer's label says '128 Mb'. However, when we look at the card, it's full of files that are EACH 1.4 GIG. When we try to copy them to the second card, it reports insufficient file space (no kidding).

My only guess is that there's some other file system on the original card. When Windows wouldn't read it, I -assumed- it must have been in EXT2. Now I'm thinking it's formatted in something else that neither OS can read.

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