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Re: theoretical question about disks and os

From: Bill Hacker <wbh@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
Date: Sat, 02 Apr 2005 08:21:29 +0800

Raphael Marmier wrote:

Is it possible for a poorly written disk driver/filesystem to trash blocks on a hard disk? By trashing I mean that subsequent access result in an i/o error, aven accross reboot.

Of course. But what is far more likely is a failure elsewhere that happened to impact a disk write, and/or a drive electronics intermittency.

That could have been triggered by a hardware failure,
software failure, high temperature, or power glitch
 - even a mere noise spike.

I have such a disk where it happened a few years ago. Curiously, the damaged blocks where the first blocks of partitions that where mounted. The maker's test software says the drive's ok, as well as s.m.a.r.t., although it needed a "reformat" with the same tool to get rid of the bad blocks.

Get your hands on a decent thermometer - digital indoor/outdoor with one remote thermistor are cheap and cheerful - run the drive externally and cover it to make it warm up. Keep an eye on the temp so it doesn't go over the maker's max 'operating' temp, loop an I/O test on it, and see if it is OK when hot.

I would think it must be some kind of hardware failure, but a recent discussion about linux filesystems makes me wonder... linux was running on that disk, after all, with reaiserfs. And it was 3 years ago.


ReiserFS of '3 years ago' was not known for perfection, but I would look elsewhere first.



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