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Possible bug in mkfs.ext3

I am reporting this on the advice of the Fedora Users Mailing List Member.

This the mailing list exchange outlining the problem with specifying -S to mkfs,
and it's subsequent consequences when fsck is run.

I am reporting this per suggestions made to me on the Fedora Users Mailing List.

The following is the mailing list exchange:

On 09/18/2014 07:01 PM, Robert Nichols wrote:
On 09/18/2014 12:37 PM, jd1008 wrote:
Is there any other tool that can extract files from a partition that
seems to have corrupted superblocks?
I tried dumpe2fs, and fsck -b <blockNumber>
to no avail. Tried all available block numbers that are listed
when original mkfs was done, and it's output was saved.

None of the blocks seem to work - all of them have invalid magic.

Verify that the partition table still appears to be correct.  If it
is pointing to the wrong starting location, none of the super blocks
will appear in the expected places. You might see if /testdisk/can
find any intact super blocks.

Consider using a hex editor to look at some of the super blocks.
They should contain the same data.  The data that actually appears
there might give some clue as to what happened.

As a last ditch recovery effort, run mke2fs/mke3fs with the "-S"
option to initialize the super blocks and group descriptors only.
Do this only with (or on) a backup copy of the partition, since
it is potentially destructive.  Then see if /debugfs/can make
sense of the filesystem, and if so, run /fsck/with the "-f"
option to repair the metadata.

On 09/19/2014 07:16 PM, Chris Murphy wrote:
On Sep 19, 2014, at 11:49 AM, jd1008 <jd1008 gmail com> wrote:

On 09/19/2014 08:39 AM, Robert Nichols wrote:
On 09/18/2014 10:57 PM, jd1008 wrote:
I ran mkfs.ext3 -S  /dev/sdc7
then ran fsck.ext3 -y /dev/sdc7
it blew away EVERYTHING :)

Back to square one and re-dd original to test drive
and start over.
Ouch!  That _used_ to work.  Trying it just now, "mke3fs -S" seems
to clear a substantial portion of the inodes, which the manpage
specifically says it should _not_ do, and then /fsck/ completes the
destruction by moving all of the remaining inodes to lost+found.

Sorry about that.

Can raise a bug against it?
Chances are this is an upstream bug, or a misunderstanding. You should post your reproduce steps to the ext4 list, what you expect to happen based on man page, and what actually happens.

Chris Murphy

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