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Subject2.2.18 data corruption issues
I'm not subscribed to the list, so please CC me on any responses.

I am running the stock 2.4.18 kernel, downloaded a few days ago from the
kernel mailing list. The kernel was custom-built to my specifications, using
the default RH7.2 gcc (config available upon request). The machine is a dual
pentium-III 1000 MHz, one scsi drive (sym53cxxx criver) and two ide drives.
All filesystems are ext3 journaling.

We copied several very large partitions from one machine to another in an
attempt to put a new machine in service. Just for kicks, we attempted to
verify the copy. It turns out that a small amount of files, about 60 to 100
on a 17 gig partition, are corrupted. Mod times are exactly the same,
owners, even file size. It turns out that pretty consistently four null
characters (and occasionally other characters and a different number) are
appended to the beginning of the file, and the last four characters are
rolled off the end. We ran the copy (and rsync and stuff) multiple times.
Each time different files were modified, in a seemingly random fashion, but
with a fairly consistent pattern of corruption.

I have turned off DMA on the disk drives to no effect. I have replaced the
ide cables with higher quality cables. The problem seems to be occuring on
both the scsi and ide drives, which to me eliminates the ide or scsi
controllers, drivers, or anything on the back end of them as the source of
the problem.This same machine was in service previously, minus one disk
drive, and this problem never manifested itself, leading me to believe it is
either something to do with the ext3 jfs, or with the 2.4.18 kernel.

Does anyone have any tips on how to debug this? I have administrative access
to the machine, and although it is running production, I am very keen on
getting this resolved and will provide any information you need. If this is
a kernel or ext3 problem as I suspect I imagine you want to get this resolved
as much as I do.

Thank you in advance for your help.


Russell Miller
Somewhere in Northwestern Iowa
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