>Date: Thu, 17 May 2001 14:31:55 -0700 (PDT)
>From: John Baldwin <[EMAIL PROTECTED]>

>Has anyone else been trying out the background fsck?

A little; despite my desire to help debug things, getting to a point
where doing this is appropriate isn't something I am all too eager to do.
Thus, it wasn't exactly "voluntary."  :-}

>Last night I was working on the ithread code some and managed to panic
>my laptop while ejecting a pccard.  Anyways, the kernel ate itself while
>trying to flush its buffers and I ended up with a dirty filesystem.

I've had a couple of occasions when I'd boot my laptop (which resembles
yours, as you may recall) from -STABLE into -CURRENT (or vice versa),
and xdm would fire up, but not present a login window.  Meanwhile, the
fan kicks into high gear (indicating that the machine is a tad busy,
thankyouverymuch), and I can't get its attention by any means I have
been able to discover short of a power-cycle.  (At least the button does
the job; I didn't need to yank the batteries out.)  But lid-closure just
shut off the display, no key chord I could find had a noticable effect,
nor did removing & re-inserting a PCMCIA card.

>I rebooted and let fsck -p do its usual thing, except
>that it freaked out.  The actual fsck of / proceeded fine (actual fs activity
>when I panic'd my machine was very low, so the filesystems weren't corrupted,
>just marked dirty).  When it got to /usr and /var, however, fsck freaked out
>and claimed that the primary superblock didn't match the first alternate.

Well, I confess that the first couple of times I had been running
-CURRENT and the box wanted a fsck more elaborate than the -p variety, I
recalled that there had been recent activity, and I remembered one
person's rather unfortunate experience of finding everything sitting in
lost+found.  Since I had no desire for that to happen, I booted -STABLE
instead:  single-user mode, "fsck -p".  Wasn't quite happy with a couple
of file systems, so I did manual "fsck" (still under -STABLE) on each of
those.  Finally, system said things were OK; I was able to do a
"mount-a", so after that, I did a "reboot" into -CURRENT.

Much to my surprise (and some chagrin), those 2 file systems that needed
the extra attention (/var and -CURRENT's /usr, if I recall correctly)
didn't pass muster with -CURRENT's fsck; it wanted a manual fsck of
those, no question about it.  Since they passed -STABLE's fsck, I
figured they weren't likely in *too* terribly bad shape, so I went ahead
and did the manual fsck, per request.  And in each case, I had a similar
symptom (re: primary & first alternate superblock mismatch).

I did wonder about making a choice just between those two, without
checking for one of the other alternates (some sort of "voting protocol"
-- though I wouldn't be too terribly keen on making fsck unecessarily
complicated, certainly).  But under the circumstances, I wanted to run
-CURRENT, so I didn't see that I had a great deal of choice in the
matter (regardless of what I was being asked), so I told it to go ahead.

Following those manual fscks, I re-booted into multi-user mode, and
things worked normally (as far as I can tell).

>At this point I first had a heart attack.

I believe that a technical term for that literary device is "hyperbole".  :-)

>Once I recovered from that, I attempted
>read-only mounts of /usr and /var which did succeed, except that each mount
>spewed out a message to the kernel console about losing x files and y blocks. 
>Confident that my fs wasn't totally hosed after doing some ls's, I unmounted
>/usr and /var and ran a non-preen fsck on them, which insisted on using an
>alternate superblock, but otherwise proceeded fine (except that it seemed to
>take longer than usual).  Once the fscks's finished, it seemed to be all ok. 
>Is anyone else seeing any weird stuff like this?  I've never had fsck complain
>about the superblocks after a crash before.

As noted, it's happened a couple of times for me.  Generally, somewhat
inopportune times (almost by definition), so I wasn't really able to
take the time to sit back, take notes, and report back much that was
coherent.  And I was under the impression that much of this was "under
construction" anyhow, so the value of any report I maight make was
somewhat open to question (from my perspective, anyhow).


>Hmm, that's odd, I did have soft updates on on /usr and /var before the crash. 
>It seems to be off now. :(

That also happened to me.  I thought it odd at the time, but forgot to
mention it....  At least I have some reason to believe I was unlikely to
have been hallucinating about that....

David H. Wolfskill                              [EMAIL PROTECTED]
As a computing professional, I believe it would be unethical for me to
advise, recommend, or support the use (save possibly for personal
amusement) of any product that is or depends on any Microsoft product.

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