Second Block on Partition overwritten with 0xFF

Andreas Dilger adilger at
Thu Sep 6 23:18:49 UTC 2007

On Sep 06, 2007  23:02 +0200, Tomas Pospisek's Mailing Lists wrote:
> On Thu, 6 Sep 2007, Christian Kujau wrote:
> >On Thu, 6 Sep 2007, Tomas Pospisek ML wrote:
> >>default) at 0x400. Thus as I understand it, it *would* be possible for
> >>the ext3 driver to pysically write to those first sectors inside its
> >>partition.                                                ^^^^^^
> >
> >Yes, ext3 will write *inside* its assigned partition, but not outside.
> Thanks, however it seems I can not get through what I need to know - 
> sorry for that. I *do* know that ext3 will only write to its partition 
> only. But once mke2fs has run:
> * will ext2/3 *ever* write to the first 4 sectors on *its* partition?
> Same question restated: is it possible that ext2/3 will write into the 
> space before the first block group [1]?

The ext2/3/4 superblock is at offset 1024 bytes.  It is written by marking
the buffer it is in dirty.  If the filesystem blocksize is > 1024 bytes
then the whole block will be written to disk (including the first sectors).

That said, the buffer cache is coherent when written by the filesystem and
when written via /dev/XXX so any modifications made to the first sectors
should be rewritten each time the superblock is marked dirty.  The ext3
code will never itself modify those sectors.

Cheers, Andreas
Andreas Dilger
Principal Software Engineer
Cluster File Systems, Inc.

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