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Re: ext3 bug?

On Fri, Jan 16, 2004 at 02:37:06PM +0100, Simon Vogl wrote:
> sorry about this - yes, they are I/O errors (interestingly, I do use 
> LANG=C normally.
> don't know what reset this - som kind of Debian magic, I suppose).

I/O errors are returned my the filesystem under a number of different
conditions; in this case, it's likely they were simply caused by
filesystem inconsistencies.  How the filesystem became inconsistent is
a different storiy.

> The log files did not show anything, I didn't even have something on the 
> system console :(

In general, if userspace sees an "I/O Error" returned up to it, the
kernel would have logged something; either a hardware I/O error, or a
filesystem inconsistency warning.  If you didn't see something, then
either the relevant log files got corrupted and so were lost, or you
aren't looking at the right logs, and/or the console has been
configured to suppress certain (fairly important) levels of log
messages.  Basically, there really should have been *some* kind of log
entries given the symptoms you described.

The usual cause for this kind of really massive levels of
inconsistency is a hardware fault; either garbage is being written
into the inode table, or the block sector address to the controller is
getting corrupted, so the wrong data is being written to the wrong
place, or memory is getting corrupted and then being written out to

It's possible that this might be caused by a filesystem bug, of
course, but I'm not aware of any other reports that match your report
at this point, and ext3 is fairly widely used.

So my first suggest is to make sure that logging is working correctly,
since the fact that you didn't see any logs, especially on the
console, is highly suspect.  The linux kernel is pretty verbose when
it's unhappy, and from what you described, the kernel should have been
extremely upset.  :-)

						- Ted

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