In the recent year, I was been unable to cleanly shutdown the system 5 times. In 4 of the times, the filesystem is severely corrupted such that most, if not all, files (inodes technical) become unusable. The cases happened on different Linux distribution & different kernel versions
Case 1: Debian Unstable x86_64, 2.6.18 kernel (custom build)
The power was unplugged accidentally after the computer was idle for several hours.
Result: after running e2fsck and blindly answering 'y' on all questions, ALL files and directories are moved under /lost+found...
ls /lost+found was beautiful (with highlight based on file type)
Case 2: RHEL 4 x86, vmware, 2.6.9 (vendor build)
This was a high loading VM. Several minutes after telling it to do some memory intensive work (needs much swapping), I found that the VM was rebooting. I don't know why, but I guess it was caused by hangcheck timer.
Result: Ran e2fsck. After answering 'y' several times, I gave up. And then many files could not found (e.g., /sbin/shutdown, so that I need another unclean shutdown)
Case 3: Fedora Core 6 x86_64, 2.6.18 kernel (vendor build)
I was running 'badblocks' on a logical partition, and using 'pup' to update software. The system loading should be low. Suddenly the computer became unresponsive. All keys (including Alt-F?, CapLock, Ctrl+Alt+Del) have no effect. The harddisk light flashed for several hours (which must be much longer than the badblocks needed). Eventually, I pressed Reset
Result: ls some directories gives ext2 errors (forget to copy). ls some files gives IO errors. When running e2fsck, I noted that it says something like 'Root directory is not a directory. Fix?'
Case 4: Fresh reinstall of Fedora Core 6 x86_64, 2.6.18 kernel (vendor build)
Computer hangs after completing installation process. Presed Reset
Result: same as about
It seems ext3 (or e2fsck) is extremely intolerant about power failure. I know one is supposed to cleanly umount before reboot. But it is always possible that power fails or machine hangs. I am really tired of waiting the thing to install and collecting traces of important data all over my harddisks and CD-ROMs (Don't tell me to backup. The point of this post is filesystem corruption, not data loss.) I am now typing this on Windows
Have anyone had similar experience? What can I do if the computer hangs or someone know nothing about computer unplug the power cable?