Good afternoon/morning,

I'm having problem with Problem set 4 Recover, My code can compile but Segmentation fault (core dumped) keeps going out,

I checked on debug50 and it seems the segfault occurs when hit " sprintf(filename, "%03i.jpg", k);"

I'm very confused. Any tips?

#include <stdio.h>
#include <stdlib.h>
#include <stdint.h>

typedef uint8_t BYTE;
int BLOCK_SIZE = 512;

int main(int argc, char *argv[])
    // Ensure proper usage
    if (argc != 2)
        printf("Usage: ./recover IMAGE\n");
        return 1;

    // Open input file
    FILE *infile = fopen(argv[1], "r");
    if (infile == NULL)
        printf("Could not open %s.\n", argv[1]);
        return 2;
    //allocate memory for file name and for buffer
    char *filename = malloc(8 * sizeof(char));
    BYTE *buffer = malloc(BLOCK_SIZE * sizeof(BYTE));
    filename = "000.jpg";
    int k = -1;
    FILE *outfile = fopen(filename, "w");

    while (fread(buffer, 1, BLOCK_SIZE, infile) == BLOCK_SIZE)
        //find the signature
        if (buffer[0] == 0xff && buffer[1] == 0xd8 && buffer[2] == 0xff && (buffer[3] & 0xe0) == 0xe0)
            //make outfile name
            k = k + 1;
            sprintf(filename, "%03i.jpg", k);
            //open outfile
            outfile = fopen(filename,"w");

        if (outfile == NULL)
            printf("Could not create %s.\n", filename);
            return 5;
        //write outfile
        fwrite(&buffer, sizeof(BYTE), BLOCK_SIZE, outfile);

    // Close outfile
    return 0;


1 Answer 1


The problem lies here: filename = "000.jpg";

There are a couple problems with this line. First of all, one cannot put a string in a variable in this way. You need to use the strcpy() function instead. But that's not the big problem here.

The real problem is that filename is a pointer variable. That means it must contain an address. You can't simply assign a string to it. In this case, the system is taking the numeric value of the string and putting it in the pointer as an address. When the code attempts to use it later, the results are totally unpredictable.

Fixing this may or may not cause other problems later, simply because later code is dependent on this line. You may have to rewrite other code to adjust for this change.

It'll be good to work through this, so I'll leave it to you to deal with the remaining issues.

One question/hint though. What happens if the first data block read in is garbage and should be discarded? What does this code try to do with it? ;-)

If this answers your question, please click on the check mark to accept. Let's keep up on forum maintenance. ;-)

  • Thanks, I've figured it out with help from your hints.
    – Eva Chen
    Commented Dec 23, 2022 at 12:55

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