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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

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