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Old 02-17-2015, 08:11 AM   #1
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slackware 14.1 copying data to usb drives results data loss corruption

anytime i try to copy data to
-usb thumbdrives
-SD cards
i am getting strange errors where random chunks of data are unexplainable missing or corrupted

*as well i am starting to see such behavior on externalized hard-drives formatted to EXT4

this happens using just started copy/paste, as well as using rsync to copy move data,

usb thumbdrives especially are causing me problems where even if i format the drives to ext3 they STILL cause freezes and hangs,

my computer can read these devices fine, yet if goto copy data to them results in data loss and corruption
Old 02-17-2015, 09:30 AM   #2
Mark Pettit
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After copying the files, do you just "pull out" the drive, like you do on Windows ?

Or you do a proper umount via command-line, or "eject" via some desktop function ?
And if the latter, do you wait until it says you can remove the drive ?
Old 02-17-2015, 09:38 AM   #3
Registered: May 2011
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you should probably try sync before unmounting the device and try eject (some usb devices really support the ioctl command eject uses)
Old 02-17-2015, 09:44 AM   #4
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yes i use the safely remove drive feature, if the safely remove drive feature is when you right click on a drive in dolphin file manger and tells you that is safe to remove the drive at least

for example yesterday i used rysnc to copy data onto an externalized drive where i did a checksum of the data before i copied it, then once the data was on the drive the checksum told me that files where missing and few files where corrupted,

this makes sound like the externalized harddrive is failing yet i also have such a problem with SD cards and thumbdrives... where even if format the thumbdrive to EXT3 i get amazing errors all the same to the that will cause programs to freeze up

*i am using a slackware 14.1 install without much configuration from a fresh install,

i have a hotswap bay where the drives in the hotswap never have such a problem, seems to only be USB storage devices,

Last edited by TuxDork; 02-17-2015 at 10:21 AM.
Old 02-17-2015, 10:20 AM   #5
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i just tore open that externalized harddrive that was giving me the errors...

i tossed it into my hotwswap bay... and ran some tests like
smartctl -d ata -l error /dev/sdc
smartctl -d ata -Hc /dev/sdc

and the tests passed

as well i was able to copy data to the drive and the it copied perfectly and checksums passed suggesting it is a USB problem
Old 02-17-2015, 10:46 AM   #6
Senior Member
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I have noticed (for a long time) that writing to both disk drives and flash drives does not always complete when you "get the prompt back." File writes are buffered and usually will get written when the buffer is full and, I'm pretty sure, will just sit there for a while until enough additional data enters the buffer to flush it to the target media.

What I do when writing to flash drives is, when I "get the prompt back," I enter
and watch the activity light flash for a while as the last buffer is flushed.

You can demonstrate this at any time on an active system by simply opening a terminal and enter
Watch how long it takes to get the return prompt -- then repeat that and notice that the prompt is immediate. The system buffers are flushed when you "sync;sync;sync."

It's weird, it's been then forever (not just in Slackware or any other Linux but Solaris and Unix systems too) and, with removable media, it can be a pain in the hiney.

Hope this helps some.
Old 02-17-2015, 11:02 AM   #7
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I've seen the USB adapters (the USB to IDE/SATA board in the external case) go bad as well so it could be the adapter your plugging the drive into.
I've been making backups this way for years now and haven't had an issue. I do a second rysnc after the first so if something didn't write the second rsync would spot it.
Old 02-17-2015, 11:10 AM   #8
Didier Spaier
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Just a reminder: for FAT file system mount has the flush option since Linux 2.6.19 IIRC - though it took some time to be documented.


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