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e2fsck message "inode is too big"

Hallo List,
after rebooting one of our systems one of the ext3 filesystems, that was cleanly unmounted, fsck stopped the boot process due to critical errors in that filesystem.

Running fsck -y manually returned, that one of the i-nodes is "too big" an was truncated.
After this about three million i-nodes were orphaned an moved to lost+found.

# strings /sbin/e2fsck | grep -i 'too.*big'
@i %i is too big.  
@b #%B (%b) causes @d to be too big.  
@b #%B (%b) causes file to be too big.  
@b #%B (%b) causes symlink to be too big.  
@h %i has a tree depth (%N) which is too big
Ext2 file too big

shows the according output sting.

In the literature I found covering ext2/3 internals I didn't come accross anything, that suggets how an inode can become "too big". After all the inode-size is set, when the filesystem is created (usually to 128 byte, if I understand correctly).

I have two questions regarding this:

1. What can cause this error
2.  Is there any message logged to either syslogd or the kernel ring buffer, when this limit is reached, since we couldn't find any. At least this holds true for /var/log/messages.

Kernel version is  2.6.9- #1 SMP Wed May 2 14:59:56 PDT 2007 i686 athlon i386 GNU/Linux

Thanks a lot for your help in this

Kind wishes
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