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SubjectRe: 2.4.20-rc3 ext3 fsck corruption -- tool update warning needed?
On Mon, Nov 25, 2002 at 12:12:55AM -0500, Clemmitt Sigler wrote:
> I'd been running 2.4.20-rc3 for two days. While rebooting it tonight
> fsck.ext3 corrupted my / partition during an automatic fsck of the
> partition (caused by the maximal mount count being reached). (I had
> backups so I was able to recover :^) The symptoms were that some files
> like /etc/fstab and dirs like /etc/rc2.d disappeared -- not good.

Did you also get some duplicated entries in /etc? I've had a
similar problem, with some files in /etc vanishing entirely, and
others being duplicated (so I got, for example, /etc/fstab appearing
twice in `ls /etc`). This has happened, as far as I can tell,
spontaneously -- no reboot, no run of fsck, not even any non-daemon
processes running other than X and an xterm. The machine wasn't being
used at all. Nothing turns up in the syslogs -- no oops, no bug,
nothing.

Running fsck recovers the missing files into lost+found, but
doesn't remove the duplicated filenames. Duplicate files can be
deleted, but only one "filename" is removed, and the file then no
longer exists except to ls -- it shows up in `ls /etc`, but (e.g.)
`cat /etc/fstab` gives a "No such file or directory" error.

> My system is Debian Testing, with Debian e2fsprogs version
> 1.29+1.30-WIP-0930-1. I use ext3 partitions with all options set to
> the defaults (ordered data mode). This is an SMP system, in case
> that matters.

I'm also using Debian testing with the same e2fsprogs. I saw the
effect on ext2, on a UP box.

> Please e-mail me for any other details that might help.
>
> I'm wondering if this change between -rc1 and -rc2 might be a factor ->
>
> <tytso@think.thunk.org>
> HTREE backwards compatibility patch.

I remember seeing a comment about HTREE running past when I tried
the e2fsck for the first time. Don't know if this is relevant.

I've seen this happen twice now -- both times requiring a day or so
of effort to recover the system configuration (it wasn't up for long
enough between times to do a system backup :( ). I can't afford any
more downtime on this machine for the next month or so, so I'm no
longer running ext2 on my root partition -- I moved to reiserfs in the
hope that it'll be more stable.

Hugo.

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