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[K12OSN] Disk corruption

I have a dual Pentium III 800 MHz with 2GB of RAM serving a lab with 25 client machines. It has a single IDE drive.

Yesterday, for the second time since the beginning of the year, the disk became corrupted. I ran fsck manually, and many of my students' files ceased to exist. I had a backup (from last Thursday...pat myself on the back), but obviously it would be better if this didn't happen.

Any ideas why it's happening? Is there anything I can do quickly and cheaply to help? I'm thinking the problem could be heavy use of the disk when the server runs out of memory...Is there any way to limit each user's memory use so that I'm less likely to need virtual memory on the drive? I teach programming in C++, so if students forget to delete their pointers, they could end up with nasty memory leaks. In fact, I ran a program that, in an infinite loop just kept asking for more memory and it eventually started using the hard drive. I'd prefer that after say 100MB of use it would give an out of memory error.


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