February 21, 2003

Possible data write corruption problem on Linux

Andy Tai writes "According to this report on sr5tech.com, current GNU/Linux file systems (such as ext3 and reiserfs) suffer from possible data corruption on IDE drives with write-back caching turned on. Even though these file systems are journaled, the IDE controller may fool the OS into thinking an I/O operation has been completed even though the data are still in the drive buffer waiting to be written to disk. The problem becomes more severe when RAID is used--since multiple drives are used, the chances of corruption increases significantly. The authors did numerous power-cycling experiments in single drive and multiple drive (RAID) setups to demonstrate the problem, where data corruption makes ext3 or reiserfs volumes inconsistent or even unmountable."

Link: http://sr5tech.com/

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