Spontaneous development of supremely large files on different ext3 filesystems

Maurice Volaski mvolaski at aecom.yu.edu
Tue Sep 11 00:32:33 UTC 2007

I have come across two files, essentially untouched in years, on two 
different ext3 filesystems on the same server, Gentoo AMD 64-bit with 
kernel 2.6.22 and fsck version 1.40.2 currently, spontaneously 
becoming supremely large:

Filesystem one
Inode 16257874, i_size is 18014398562775391, should be 53297152

Filesystem two
Inode 2121855, i_size is 35184386120704, should be 14032896.

Both were discovered during an ordinary backup operation (via EMC 
Insiginia's Retrospect Linux client).

The backup runs daily and so one day, one file must have grew 
spontaneously to this size and then on another day, it happened to 
the second file, which is on a second filesystem. The backup attempt 
generated repeated errors:

EXT3-fs warning (device dm-2): ext3_block_to_path: block > big

Both filesystems are running on different logical volumes, but 
underlying that is are drbd network raid devices and underlying that 
is a RAID 6-based SATA disk array.

Maurice Volaski, mvolaski at aecom.yu.edu
Computing Support, Rose F. Kennedy Center
Albert Einstein College of Medicine of Yeshiva University

More information about the Ext3-users mailing list