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    SubjectJournaling pointless with today's hard disks?
    In the German computer community, a statement from IBM[1] is
    circulating which describes a rather peculiar behavior of certain IBM
    IDE hard drivers (the DTLA series):

    When the drive is powered down during a write operation, the sector
    which was being written has got an incorrect checksum stored on disk.
    So far, so good---but if the sector is read later, the drive returns a
    *permanent*, *hard* error, which can only be removed by a low-level
    format (IBM provides a tool for it). The drive does not automatically
    map out such sectors.

    IBM claims this isn't a firmware error, but thinks that this explains
    the failures frequently observed with DTLA drivers (which might
    reflect reality or not, I don't know, but that's not the point

    Now my question: Obviously, journaling file systems do not work
    correctly on drivers with such behavior. In contrast, a vital data
    structure is frequently written to (the journal), so such file systems
    *increase* the probability of complete failure (with a bad sector in
    the journal, the file system is probably unusable; for non-journaling
    file systems, only a part of the data becomes unavailable). Is the
    DTLA hard disk behavior regarding aborted writes more common among
    contemporary hard drives? Wouldn't this make journaling pretty

    1. (German)

    Florian Weimer Florian.Weimer@RUS.Uni-Stuttgart.DE
    University of Stuttgart
    RUS-CERT +49-711-685-5973/fax +49-711-685-5898
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