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Spontaneous development of supremely large files on different ext3 filesystems

I have come across two files, essentially untouched in years, on two different ext3 filesystems on the same server, Gentoo AMD 64-bit with kernel 2.6.22 and fsck version 1.40.2 currently, spontaneously becoming supremely large:

Filesystem one
Inode 16257874, i_size is 18014398562775391, should be 53297152

Filesystem two
Inode 2121855, i_size is 35184386120704, should be 14032896.

Both were discovered during an ordinary backup operation (via EMC Insiginia's Retrospect Linux client).

The backup runs daily and so one day, one file must have grew spontaneously to this size and then on another day, it happened to the second file, which is on a second filesystem. The backup attempt generated repeated errors:

EXT3-fs warning (device dm-2): ext3_block_to_path: block > big

Both filesystems are running on different logical volumes, but underlying that is are drbd network raid devices and underlying that is a RAID 6-based SATA disk array.

Maurice Volaski, mvolaski aecom yu edu
Computing Support, Rose F. Kennedy Center
Albert Einstein College of Medicine of Yeshiva University

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