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[linux-lvm] Re: [PATCH] 64 bit scsi read/write

At 9:45 AM +0100 2001-07-14, Alan Cox wrote:
> If, after a power outage, the IDE disk can keep going for long enough
 to write its write cache out to the reserved vendor area (which will
 only take 20-30 milliseconds) then the data may be considered *safe*
 as soon as it hits writecache.


 In which case it is perfectly legitimate and sensible for the drive
 to ignore flush commands, and to ack data as soon as it hits cache.

Since the flushing commands are 'optional' it can legitimately ignore them

 If I'm right then the only open question is: which disks do and
 do not do the right thing when the lights go out.

As far as I can tell none of them at least in the IDE world

It's not so great in the SCSI world either. Here's a bit from the Ultrastar 73LZX functional spec (this is the current-technology Ultra160 73GB family):

5.0 Data integrity
The drive retains recorded information under all non-write operations.
No more than one sector will be lost by power down during write operation while write cache is
If power down occurs before completion of data transfer from write cache to disk while write cache is
enabled, the data remaining in write cache will be lost. To prevent this data loss at power off, the
following action is recommended:
* Confirm successful completion of SYNCHRONIZE CACHE (35h) command.

What's worse, though the spec is not explicit on this point, it appears that the write cache is lost on a SCSI reset, which is typically used by drivers for last-resort error recovery. And of course a SCSI bus reset affects all the drives on the bus, not just the offending one.
/Jonathan Lundell.

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