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SubjectRe: ext2/3: document conditions when reliable operation is possible
On Mon 2009-03-16 15:45:36, Greg Freemyer wrote:
> On Thu, Mar 12, 2009 at 5:21 AM, Pavel Machek <pavel@ucw.cz> wrote:
> <snip>
> > +Sector writes are atomic (ATOMIC-SECTORS)
> > +~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
> > +
> > +Either whole sector is correctly written or nothing is written during
> > +powerfail.
> > +
> > +       Unfortuantely, none of the cheap USB/SD flash cards I seen do
> > +       behave like this, and are unsuitable for all linux filesystems
> > +       I know.
> > +
> > +               An inherent problem with using flash as a normal block
> > +               device is that the flash erase size is bigger than
> > +               most filesystem sector sizes.  So when you request a
> > +               write, it may erase and rewrite the next 64k, 128k, or
> > +               even a couple megabytes on the really _big_ ones.
> > +
> > +               If you lose power in the middle of that, filesystem
> > +               won't notice that data in the "sectors" _around_ the
> > +               one your were trying to write to got trashed.
>
> I had *assumed* that SSDs worked like:
>
> 1) write request comes in
> 2) new unused erase block area marked to hold the new data
> 3) updated data written to the previously unused erase block
> 4) mapping updated to replace the old erase block with the new one
>
> If it were done that way, a failure in the middle would just leave the
> SSD with the old data in it.

The really expensive ones (Intel SSD) apparently work like that, but I
never seen one of those. USB sticks and SD cards I tried behave like I
described above.
Pavel
--
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