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Old 09-16-2004, 07:49 PM   #1
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Unhappy "cp" command causes system crash


I have a mail server which run Red Hat 7.3 with kernel 2.4.20-promise on an Acer Altos R300 platform. The mail server is running postfix and MailScanner, and not much else.

In the last week our mail server has crashed every day several times, until we realized that the server seems to crash every time a certain user accesses his mailbox. In trying to solve the problem we tried to "cp" the file for his user mailbox to another directory but this also crashes the system. We tried to move other mailboxes and they didn't cause a problem, only that one file does that we know of so far.

When I say crash, even the console is black, absolutely everything is frozen, which forces us to do a hard reboot. On bootup the filesystem check does find orphan i-nodes most of the time, but then passes the check successfully after the fix.

Could someone please help me to fix that file?

Thanks in advance!
Poca Hontas
Old 09-17-2004, 12:52 AM   #2
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Location: Brisbane, Australia
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couple of things to try
mv the file to somewhere, and check it.

but most likely ... hmm ... have you run fsck over the hdd manually (ie the non startup one, but the one that would be run if it can't fix the mistakes)?

Another thing you might try is mount the hdd on another OS (eg a Knoppix or Slackware (or whatever) boot cd) and look at the file that way (that requires server downtime though).

Also you could just nuke the file, if the file is dead it's dead anyway, but of course you want to be sure it is dead before you do something to it ...

Incidentally, what was the last time it was changed ? what does a ls -op or a ls -l give?

Last edited by chakkerz; 09-17-2004 at 12:54 AM.
Old 09-17-2004, 01:48 AM   #3
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Thanks chakkerz!!!

fsck seems to have fixed the problem. Isn't that what runs on startup when it asks for confirmation for a file system check? I was so certain it was running fsck that I didn't bother running it again after bootup...

Thanks again!

Poca Hontas


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