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Data safety horror stories?

To: "xfs-oss" <xfs@xxxxxxxxxxx>
Subject: Data safety horror stories?
From: "Felix E. Klee" <felix.klee@xxxxxxx>
Date: Mon, 11 Feb 2008 17:46:29 +0100
Sender: xfs-bounce@xxxxxxxxxxx
I heard that, in case of a power failure, XFS may lose data, even data
that was already existing on the disk. For example, I heard horror
stories of files being overwritten with zeros.

Are those stories true?

If so:

* Do you recommend not using XFS on devices that may frequently fail due
  to power failure?

* Is it possible to find out what files have been damaged? If not,
  will only files be affected that have been changed during the last
  couple of hours?

* Are there options to increase data safety? Should one run a regular
  "sync" in a cron job?

* Is it unsafe to use XFS in a virtual machine which may sometimes be
  terminated without proper shutdown? Suppose the virtual machine is
  running under Windows, and Windows may sometimes be terminated without
  proper shutdown.

I currently am using XFS under Ubuntu 7.10 (Kernel 2.6.22), running in a
virtual machine (VMware) under Windows.  The XFS file system is in a
native partition on a second HDD.

Felix E. Klee
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