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    SubjectRe: 3TB disk hassles
    On Mon, 3 Jan 2005, Jeff V. Merkey wrote:

    > Jeff V. Merkey wrote:
    >
    >> H. Peter Anvin wrote:
    >>
    >>> Andries Brouwer wrote:
    >>>
    >>>>
    >>>> Concerning one, it is a somewhat complicated format that takes over
    >>>> your disk, rather inconvenient. It seems to me that one needs a good
    >>>> reason (like a BIOS that understands the format and is able to boot
    >>>> from it) to choose it.
    >>>>
    >>>
    >>> Not really; it's actually a very simple table.
    >>>
    >>
    >> It would be nice to know when this is going to make it in for my Linux
    >> projects.
    >> I am running a 3Ware 9500 series with 3.1 TB disks. I am able to use all
    >> the
    >> storage at present with dsfs. dsfs can support volumes up to 281 TB at
    >> present
    >> but linux readir() can get into some problems when directories get really
    >> large.
    >>
    >> I am not seeing problems with files that are 1.5 TB in size. Have not
    >> tried to
    >> create a 3TB file yet, but in theory, the VFS looks to support it. I am
    >> getting around the
    >> partition problem by basically ignoring the table extents (fdisk is broken
    >> with these large
    >> partitions and wraps back to 700GB) if I have only created a single
    >> partition, I just query
    >> the drive geometry and take the remaining space on the device and I ignore
    >> the partition
    >> table. It works fine. If I detect more than one of my partitions I revert
    >> back to the actual
    >> partition dimensions.
    >> For Jens edification, I am using the BIO subsystem with this and I am
    >> seeing no problems
    >> reading and writing these huge drives, so I think Linux 2.6.9 and 2.6.10
    >> will support this
    >> well, and appears to. I will be testing a combined striped array at around
    >> 20TB with multiple
    >> controllers and FC/AL and will update if any problems are encountered.
    >> Other than the partition problem, the base kernel seems to support these
    >> huge sizes with
    >> 64 bit LBA addressing very well.
    >>
    >> Jeff
    >>
    >
    > One other item I noticed is that the compiler for X86 has some problems doing
    > math for a 64 bit target
    > variable, so when you are using Large LBA and doing something like:
    >
    > sector_t lba = part.start_lba + (block * (block_size / sector_size));


    I think the writer forgot about promotion rules so it's not
    a compiler problem.

    >
    > you need to cast the variables if they are defined as 32 bit numbers because
    > the compiler is too stupid
    > to realize you are adding the cumlative result into a 64-bit value, and it
    > will wrap the offset as a 32 bit number.
    >

    If block_size = uint32_t, and sector_size = uint32_t, then
    block_size / sector_size is uint32_t, nothing more. Now, we have
    a uint32_t * another uint32_t which is uint32_t with a possible
    wrap, still correct. Then we have uint32_t + uint32_t which will
    be promoted to sector_t (uint64_t).

    If you need to promote variables ahead of the final assignment, the
    writer needs to do this, not the compiler.


    > i.e.
    > sector_t lba = part.start_lba + (sector_t)((sector_t)block *
    > ((sector_t)block_size / (sector_t)sector_size));
    >
    > This works but if you leave off the type casting on any of the variables the
    > number reverts to a 32 bit value
    > and wraps when you are calculating a 64 bit lba address.
    > Jeff
    >

    Cheers,
    Dick Johnson
    Penguin : Linux version 2.6.9 on an i686 machine (5537.79 BogoMips).
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