Compact Flash, EXT3, and IDE - a bad idea?

Kieft, Brian bkieft at
Tue Apr 24 17:29:56 UTC 2007

Good points. Thanks for the advice. I'll give badblocks a try (currently it's not a part of my build so I'll run it from a different machine with a card reader). 

In terms of power loss and corrupt sectors, both of the systems that I'm having issues with do experience occasional and sudden power interruptions. 

Results from running dd showed multiple inode errors. Then the system crashed. On the subsequent boot, e2fsck attempted to repair the card and couldn't. It could only be mounted as EXT2 after that! Attempting to run tunefs gives: 

sbin/tune2fs: Bad magic number in super-block while trying to open /dev/hda1
Couldn't find valid filesystem superblock.

Also, the partition info is here:
major minor  #blocks  name

   3     0    8064000 hda
   3     1    8063968 hda1

-----Original Message-----
From: Cam [mailto:camilo at] 
Sent: Tuesday, April 24, 2007 1:52 AM
To: Stephen Samuel
Cc: Kieft, Brian; ext3-users at
Subject: Re: Compact Flash, EXT3, and IDE - a bad idea?

Stephen / Brian

I use badblocks to check for unreadable sectors. I find that CF can gain 
corrupt sectors when power is lost suddenly. These can almost always be 
fixed by re-writing them. I use badblocks -w to do the re-writing.

Your message seems to imply a problem writing, badblocks -w would write 
several patterns to the device so would be a good 'stress test'


camilo at                                                 <--

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