Very slow ext3 fsck

Theodore Tso tytso at
Thu Feb 22 22:26:38 UTC 2007

On Thu, Feb 22, 2007 at 10:34:26AM +0000, Jeremy Sanders wrote:
> Hi -
> We have an ext3 file system which is 3.5TB in size (on top of lvm). Free are
> 172049011 out of 854473728 4096K blocks, and 396540654 out of 427245568
> inodes. This is using Scientific Linux 4.4 (a RHEL clone). The filesystem
> consists of multiple backups created with rsync using --link-dest, which
> hard links files which haven't been modified to the previous copy. There
> are several hundred days worth of these backups.
> I decided to fsck the file system, but unfortunately fsck is extremely slow.
> It has been going now for 67 hours and appears to be completely cpu bound
> (no obvious disk access) and stuck at the "Pass 2: Checking directory
> structure" stage. It doesn't respond to a normal kill or ctrl+c.

Did you run fsck out of a command-line?  It should respond to a normal
kill or ctrl-c.  If it isn't I have to wonder whether the device
driver is locked up for some reason. 

Can you login via ssh or a second console?  If so, run "ps aux" and
"ps lx" and report back what the e2fsck ps lines shows.

Also, how much memory do you have?  3.5TB is pretty big, and if you
don't have enough memory, it could just simply be a matter of the
system paging its brains out.  

						- Ted

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