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e2fsck running for hours, printing out lists of numbers -- should I stop it?



I recently rebooted one of my machines and was greeted with a message
about one of my ext3 partitions having some errors. I dutifully started
e2fsck on the partition, but after a few hours of some useful messages
about fixing inodes, it then started printing out lists of ascending
numbers which I'm not sure how to interpret. 

The first time I noticed this, these numbers were in the 4000000 range.
Checking back later I've seen them as high as 16000000, but at some
point the counting restarts and I again see 4000000 numbers. The whole
screen is filled with these numbers, and there is no other text. 

So far this has been going on for about 4 days. I was busy with some
other things so I figured I'd just let it keep running. The machine in
question is very low end (something like a 120 Mhz Pentium) and the
partition  is fairly large (200 GB). Running top shows me that e2fsck is
gobbling up almost all cpu and memory resources. I figured e2fsck just
needed some time to work, but now I'm really curious if it will ever
stop or if it would be better to just kill the thing. 

If I were to stop e2fsck, should I just accept that my data is lost and
start over?

As far as the problem itself, my best guess is that it was a mistake on
my part. I'm running Debian woody on this box but I have been running a
backported kernel to get usb working better. The backported kernel has
this ext3 driver:

Linux version 2.4.26-1-386 (tretkowski rollcage) (gcc version 2.95.4
20011002 (Deb ian prerelease)) #1 Fri Aug 20 16:36:09 CEST 2004
EXT3 FS 2.4-0.9.19, 19 August 2002 on ide3(34,65), internal journal

However, at one point I forgot to pick the correct kernel at boot time
and I ran the standard woody kernel instead which has this ext3 driver:

Linux version 2.4.18-bf2.4 (root zombie) (gcc version 2.95.4 20011002
(Debian prerelease)) #1 Son Apr 14 09:53:28 CEST 2002
EXT3 FS 2.4-0.9.17, 10 Jan 2002 on ide3(34,65), internal journal

I'm guessing that running the older driver after having used the newer
one somehow screwed things up.  The partition in question is my backup
drive for the whole network and at night I copy newly archived files to
it (using scp)  and delete older ones.  The night after I booted with
the older kernel, the machine had the following  in its logs. It must
have been when trying to delete some older archives.

Mar 30 02:37:11 musicien kernel: invalid operand: 0000
Mar 30 02:37:11 musicien kernel: CPU:    0
Mar 30 02:37:11 musicien kernel: EIP:    0010:[journal_forget+170/400]  
 Not tainted Mar 30 02:37:11 musicien kernel: EFLAGS: 00010286
Mar 30 02:37:11 musicien kernel: eax: 00000058   ebx: c3f29ab0   ecx:
c1760000   edx: c5e96a20 Mar 30 02:37:11 musicien kernel: esi: c5fc7e00 
 edi: c3e55a40   ebp: c41be6a0   esp: c1761d2c Mar 30 02:37:11 musicien
kernel: ds: 0018   es: 0018   ss: 0018 Mar 30 02:37:11 musicien kernel:
Process rm (pid: 10451, stackpage=c1761000) Mar 30 02:37:11 musicien
kernel: Stack: c02cbcc0 c02cc241 c02cbca0 000004c1 c02cc250 01000000
c3496ec0 c57e1060  Mar 30 02:37:11 musicien kernel:        c57e1060
c5fc7e94 c015015b c3496ec0 c3e55a40 01000000 c52be274 c3496ec0  Mar 30
02:37:11 musicien kernel:        c42b8e50 01000000 c52be274 c3496ec0
c0151cde c3496ec0 00000000 c57e1060  Mar 30 02:37:11 musicien kernel:
Call Trace: [ext3_forget+91/216] [ext3_clear_blocks+250/288]
[journal_get_write_access+63/88] [ext3_free_data+200/356]
[ext3_free_branches+510/528]  Mar 30 02:37:11 musicien kernel:   
[ext3_free_branches+200/528] [ext3_free_branches+200/528]
[ext3_truncate+199/972] [ext3_truncate+751/972] [journal_start+165/204]
[start_transaction+85/128]  Mar 30 02:37:11 musicien kernel:   
[ext3_delete_inode+0/284] [ext3_delete_inode+159/284]
[ext3_delete_inode+0/284] [iput+243/456] [d_delete+76/108]
[vfs_unlink+300/348]  Mar 30 02:37:11 musicien kernel:   
[sys_unlink+165/284] [arp_rcv+1116/1140] [system_call+51/56]  Mar 30
02:37:11 musicien kernel:  Mar 30 02:37:11 musicien kernel: Code: 0f 0b
83 c4 14 90 8d 74 26 00 53 e8 ae 02 00 00 c7 43 14 00 

So are the ext3 drivers not backward compatible? If anyone could give me
any ideas, it would be most appreciated. 

Allen






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