Homework 1: MBR and Volume Analysis

Due Date:

February 27

Done By:



On Gradescope

For this project, you will write a program that analyzes the Master Boot Record (MBR) of a forensic image. A sample raw image for you to use while programming is available here (you’ll need to unzip it to get the raw image). The SHA-256 checksum of the correct image is: e60fcb65165416c5ab5b1cb1b66f7b84395220025c73334e0655d91c12b926d7

Your program, which must be an executable called mbr_info, must take as input the path to a raw image, like so:

$ ./mbr_info sample.raw

Before opening the raw image to perform any analyses, your program should first calculate MD5 and SHA1 checksums for the image. The checksums should be stored as MD5-[imagename].txt and SHA1-[imagename].txt and should contain only the checksum value, not any other text. For example, the name of raw image is Sparky.raw then your authentication module needs to generate MD5-Sparky.txt and SHA1-Sparky.txt before opening the raw image. It doesn’t matter if the checksum uses upper- or lower-case letters because the check we will use when grading is case-insensitive.

Next, ensure that you open the image as read-only and locate and extract the partition tables from the MBR. Your program MUST generate the partition type including hex value and corresponding type, start sector address (LBA), and size of each partition in decimal as follows:

(07) NTFS, 0002056320, 0000208845


For the partition types, please take advantage of the list available on Wikipedia.

This is the one instance where I will allow students to share information for homework solutions: If a more digitally ingestible version (e.g., JSON) of the partition types were to be distributed among the class, I would accept its use as not violating the academic integrity policy. However, the usual rules apply for citation, etc. As usual, please feel free to ask clarifying questions on Piazza.


You should print integers showing 10 digits padded with zeros, as in the example above. Delimiters between values should also be as shown in the example.

For each partition your program discovers listed in the MBR, locate and read in the boot record of the partition (first sector) and output the hexadecimal values of the final 8 bytes of the boot record, as follows:

Partition number: 1
Last 8 bytes of boot record: 67 66 72 65 65 6D 61 6E


The above is only illustrative. The given hex values are not valid in a regular boot record.

So, invoking your program will output data in the following format:

$ ./mbr_info sample.raw
(07) NTFS, 0002056320, 0000208845
(07) NTFS, 0002265165, 0000208845
(07) NTFS, 0002474010, 0000208845
(07) NTFS, 0002682855, 0000208845
Partition number: 1
Last 8 bytes of boot record: 67 66 72 65 65 6D 61 6E
Partition number: 2
Last 8 bytes of boot record: 67 66 72 65 65 6D 61 6E
Partition number: 3
Last 8 bytes of boot record: 67 66 72 65 65 6D 61 6E
Partition number: 4
Last 8 bytes of boot record: 67 66 72 65 65 6D 61 6E


It isn’t necessary for you to include partition entries if the partition type is 0x00. For an explanation of this exclusion, please see the first entry in this table: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Partition_type#List_of_partition_IDs


Your program must work on Ubuntu 18.04 64-bit with the default packages installed. You may find it helpful to set up a virtual machine to do your development. VirtualBox is a free and open-source VM system.

If you wish to use packages that are not installed on Ubuntu 18.04 64-bit by default, please submit a file with your code named packages, with a list of packages that you would like installed before calling make. Each line of packages must be a valid package name, one package per line. The submission system will automatically install all the dependencies that the package lists.

For example, if you were going to write your assignment in Haskell, you could install the GHC compiler with the following packages file:


We’ve created a test script called test.sh to help you test your program before compiling.

  1. Download test.sh to the directory where your code lives (including README and Makefile).

  2. Ensure that test.sh is executable: chmod +x test.sh

  3. Run: ./test.sh

Submission Instructions

You will need to submit your source code, along with a Makefile and README. The Makefile must create your executable, called mbr_info, when the command make is run. Your README file must be plain text and should contain your name, ASU ID, and a description of how your program works.

A prior TA compiled some resources on how to write a Makefile which might be helpful:


Submission Site

Log into Gradescope and look for Homework 1.