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SubjectRe: Laptop mode causing writes to wrong sectors?
Jan Niehusmann wrote:
>> Bradley, Jan, since when have these problems been happening? Kernel
>> version-wise, I mean?
>
> I didn't notice these problems before 2.6.14. As these corruptions are
> not happening very often, and as I usually do not run the notebook on
> battery power, the problem may have existed for a while, though.
>
> Today I did a simple test: I activated laptop mode with a 10s idle
> timeout, and made a script write files with uniqe identifiers, followed
> by a sync, every 60 seconds. After nearly an hour, I didn't see any
> corruption, though at least some of these writes have triggered
> a spin-up. When I have some spare time I'll do more intensive testing.

Well, the syncs should trigger a spinup every time. Laptop mode does not
influence syncs, really.

> Additionally, I mounted more than half of the partitions on this
> notebook read only, and made a 1:1 copy of these partitions to an
> external hard drive. Therefore, I can check later if something
> accidentally did write to these areas.

"more than half"? Exactly how many partitions *are* there on this
notebook? ;)

> If you have any suggestions for additional test, please tell me.

Perhaps you could enable /proc/sys/vm/block_dump. This makes the kernel
output all disk activity, including block numbers. By looking up the
corrupted block numbers in your logs you can check later if the
corrupting write was done by the kernel (i.e., software fault) or not
(hardware fault).

Note that the output of block_dump may not go into your logs by default,
because it's output with KERN_DEBUG. You may need to change your log
settings.

You can add extra context on ext3's state by enabling JBD debugging
(CONFIG_JBD_DEBUG, IIRC).

> The random filesystem corruption had one positive effect: I never had
> such a good backup of my data before. ;-)

It made me rethink my backup strategy as well. :)

--Bart
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