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Old 11-29-2014, 04:07 PM   #1
Geremia
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ext4 lost 24 GB of my Calibre Library! Should I switch to btrfs? It seems easy to do.


ext4 lost 24 GB of my Calibre Library!
(I do have it backed up elsewhere: on my Nook and another external drive, thanks be to God!)

fsck didn't find any missing inodes or anything, and there's very little of anything in lost+found… very strange. I went about a month before running fsck (specifically, "e2fsck -Dfy"), but I ran that before my Calibre Library lost most of its inodes, which happened immediately after I deleted some old ISOs I had and torrent'ed some new ISOs. ext4 often has problems for me when I write or delete big files.

Would've this likely happened if I used btrfs? It seems it wouldn't have because ext4 seems to sacrifice reliability for speed.

I read that ext4 is a stop-gap, temporary "fix" (kludge). Is that true?

Conversion from ext3/4 to btrfs seems easy. I wonder if it would be better to just reformat my drive as btrfs?

Has anyone here tried it?

Last edited by Geremia; 11-29-2014 at 04:13 PM.
 
Old 11-29-2014, 04:22 PM   #2
jpollard
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Doesn't have to have been an ext4 problem. It could just as easily have been an issue with the library database that cleaned out your data.

I've been using ext4 for the last 8 years without any failures at all.

Did have a disk failure though, and that ate the data for what was on a disk. The metadata (inodes/filenames and such) had no problem, but the contents were gone. fsck didn't report structural errors (it wouldn't - that only checks the metadata), but the contents of the files were severely damaged or gone.

Ext4 does keep (well, tries to keep) the metadata separate from the data for speed and the ability to optimize the storage.

As for being a kludge? no it is not. Early developements were a bit kludgy for testing purposes, but once the design was finalized, not a kluge.

Last edited by jpollard; 11-29-2014 at 04:28 PM.
 
Old 11-29-2014, 04:51 PM   #3
rkelsen
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ext4 lost 24 GB of my Calibre Library! Should I switch to btrfs? It seems easy to do.

Any filesystem will fail in the right (wrong?) circumstances.

I've been using xfs with good results for a long time. Large files haven't caused any of the issues you've noted above. Before that I used reiserfs. I made the switch when Hans Reiser was convicted.
 
Old 11-29-2014, 07:14 PM   #4
btmiller
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I am pretty sure that btrfs isn't considered production ready just yet (although it's rapidly moving that way and some distros are beginning to ship it). If the underlying physical media is bad, no filesystem in the world can prevent data loss, at least not without RAID or some other form of replication. That being said, btrfs has the ability to do checksumming and scrubbing, and so will at least be able to detect silent corruption. However, on a single disk it won't be able to stop it. This is why back-ups are important!

You don't say much about your hardware or the circumstances of the data loss. Without details it's tough to know the right solution for you.
 
Old 12-02-2014, 01:42 PM   #5
Geremia
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It ended up being a hardware failure. Perhaps it wasn't EXT4's fault.
Although, when I ran fdisk, it said my partitions weren't aligned and that this causes poor performance. I wonder if this poor performance caused the hardware to wear out quicker?
 
Old 12-03-2014, 09:13 AM   #6
jpollard
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Alignment errors should not cause noticeable additional wear - it just causes a bit more rotational delay in extracting data.
 
  


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