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    SubjectInteresting fs corruption story
    Hello all,

    I have been telling this story to a few people, and nobody seems to have a
    clue about what is going on... Alan suggested me to post a description of
    the problem to this list, so this is what I am doing.

    So, I had a Dell Inspiron 5000 which worked great for a while. It was
    running a more-or-less stock Red Hat 6.1 with the stock kernel from
    it. At some point, the hard drive in that machine was broken so I had to
    buy a new one. The new drive was an IBM Travelstar 20G.

    I installed a Debian system on it, with a reiserfs root partition, which
    was the only partition besides an ext2 /boot partition. Everything seemed
    to work fine, but after a while I started getting massive metadata
    corruption on it. Whenever I did an apt-get dist-upgrade, something weird
    happened, such as files that couldn't be stat()ed nor unlink()ed and
    directories that would make the kernel oops nicely if written to.

    I could never figure out what was wrong with it. The reiserfs people
    seemed to have no clue about what was going there.

    In the meantime, I got a new machine. An IBM Thinkpad T21, which is now
    my main machine. After the previous experience, I decided to not trust
    reiserfs this time, so I installed using ext2. Again, I installed Debian
    Woody. I needed to rebuild the kernel myself as I needed the soundcard to
    work, and the stock Debian one didn't even seem to have APM working, so I
    installed the 2.2.18 source from Debian, configured it, and
    compiled/installed using make-kpkg and dpkg.

    Unfortunately, after importing 15k mail messages or so into Gnus (which is
    a pretty disk-intensive activity -- I use nnml so every mail goes into a
    separate file) and apt-get upgrading a couple of times, I started getting
    file system corruption again. /tmp/.X0-lock was turned into a weird file
    with abnormal length and couldn't be removed, so I tried to manually force
    a fsck and this resulted in a lot of problems being reported, and
    lost+found getting 656 files into it. (Some of which are files from the
    Gnus mail repository, and other seem to come from TeX.)

    So, this looks pretty interesting to me. I got these metadata corruption
    problems (no data corruption that I know of) on two different machines
    with different hardware and different file systems. Maybe it's a kernel
    bug?

    Another interesting thing is that both machines use a Travelstar 20G
    drive. Maybe the drive's firmware is to blame, but I know at least two
    more people that are using that same drive on Thinkpads for quite a long
    time and have had no problems at all with it. (Using both XFS and ext2.)

    Some system information: (I don't have the Ispiron at hand anymore, so I
    can only be detailed about the Thinkpad)

    milkplus:~# /sbin/lspci
    00:00.0 Host bridge: Intel Corporation 440BX/ZX - 82443BX/ZX Host bridge
    (rev 03)
    00:01.0 PCI bridge: Intel Corporation 440BX/ZX - 82443BX/ZX AGP bridge
    (rev 03)
    00:02.0 CardBus bridge: Texas Instruments PCI1450 (rev 03)
    00:02.1 CardBus bridge: Texas Instruments PCI1450 (rev 03)
    00:03.0 Ethernet controller: Intel Corporation 82557 [Ethernet Pro 100]
    (rev 09)00:03.1 Serial controller: Xircom: Unknown device 000c
    00:05.0 Multimedia audio controller: Cirrus Logic CS 4614/22/24
    [CrystalClear SoundFusion Audio Accelerator] (rev 01)
    00:07.0 Bridge: Intel Corporation 82371AB PIIX4 ISA (rev 02)
    00:07.1 IDE interface: Intel Corporation 82371AB PIIX4 IDE (rev 01)
    00:07.2 USB Controller: Intel Corporation 82371AB PIIX4 USB (rev 01)
    00:07.3 Bridge: Intel Corporation 82371AB PIIX4 ACPI (rev 03)
    01:00.0 VGA compatible controller: S3 Inc. 86C270-294 Savage/MX-/IX (rev
    13)

    milkplus:~# dmesg | grep hda
    ide0: BM-DMA at 0x1850-0x1857, BIOS settings: hda:DMA, hdb:pio
    hda: IBM-DJSA-220, ATA DISK drive
    hda: IBM-DJSA-220, 19077MB w/1874kB Cache, CHS=2584/240/63, UDMA
    hda: hda1 hda3 < hda5 hda6 > hda4

    milkplus:~# hdparm /dev/hda
    /dev/hda:
    multcount = 0 (off)
    I/O support = 0 (default 16-bit)
    unmaskirq = 0 (off)
    using_dma = 1 (on)
    keepsettings = 0 (off)
    nowerr = 0 (off)
    readonly = 0 (off)
    readahead = 8 (on)
    geometry = 2584/240/63, sectors = 39070080, start = 0

    Any idea? What am I doing wrong?

    Thanks in advance,

    --
    Ettore
    (I am not subscribed to the list, so please reply to my own address too.)

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