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Date:      Sat, 25 Jan 2003 12:38:18 +0800
From:      Greg Lehey <>
To:        Andy Farkas <>, Thomas David Rivers <>, Robert Watson <>
Subject:   Re: I've just had a massive file system crash
Message-ID:  <>
In-Reply-To: <> <> <>
References:  <> <> <> <> <> <>

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On Friday, 24 January 2003 at 20:34:24 +1000, Andy Farkas wrote:
>> I'm rather astounded.  I'm currently at a Linux conference, and have
>> of course been boasting about the stability of ufs, and today I had a
>> crash which tore apart my /home file system.
>> This is on a laptop, one which has been running -CURRENT for years
>> with no trouble.  At the moment it's running 5.0-RELEASE.  Today I
>> shut it down cleanly, and a couple of hours later rebooted it.  It has
>> three file systems, one of which came up dirty.  fsck -y reported
>> thousands of errors, and when it was finished, my home directory and
>> some other files were gone, and all the subdirectories of my home
>> directory were in lost+found, a total of 1.4 GB.  Most of the errors
>> appear to be duplicate Inode numbers.
>> Obviously it's too late to work out what happened, but I thought it's
>> worth mentioning in case somebody else is having the same trouble.
> I can only think that your disk is going bad.

That was one of my thoughts too.

> Try a dd if=/dev/ad0 of=/dev/null and see if you get any read
> errors.

Nope, runs fine.  It also doesn't explain why it happened at startup

On Friday, 24 January 2003 at  6:53:41 -0500, Thomas David Rivers wrote:
>  Don't be too hasty to blame UFS.

I'm not.  I've just reported what happened, in case others see it.

On Friday, 24 January 2003 at 11:06:26 -0500, Robert Watson wrote:
> Next time you run fsck -y in this scenario, log the output to an md
> partition and stick it somewhere for analysis.  At least, that was the
> moral of the story last time I hosed a box in this form (incidentally, I
> think it ended up being a failing hard disk).

Yes, if you know it's going to happen.  I could easily have written it
to /var/tmp, which was mounted.  I just wasn't expecting anything like
this to happen.  I've been using UFS on a daily basis for over 10
years, and this is the first time this has happened to me.

I've been thinking about what happened, and I have a possibility: the
session before shutdown included a lot of writing to that file system,
and I did a shutdown -p.  It's possible that the shutdown powered off
the system before the disk had flushed its cache.  For the moment I'm
avoiding shutdown -p, but when I get home I'll try to provoke it

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