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  #1  
Old 8th March 2012, 10:35 PM
rholme Offline
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linuxfedorafirefox
backup to external disk causes CRASH

I backup my system (fedora 14-64 bit fully patched) regularly to a "passport" external drive - 1TB).

I have been doing this for months. However some of the dump files (from dump) were over 4GB so I split them using "split" to 2GB pieces - this way I could copy the files to another external drive which only supports 32 bit file systems. This SEEMED to work flawlessly,but all heck breaks loose when I want to dismount the external drive. For the record, I run "sync" twice after the full dump finishes and then click on "unmount this file system safely" in the desktop. The first time I did this - I got the black screen of death (had to power cycle to get back); the second time I did this (test, test) I got a blue screen of death - the fedora screen that comes up after boot and before the window manager asks for username/password (just the little fedora icon in the center). Again I had to power cycle the beast.

The second time, I saw the flushing buffers widget come up before the blue screen and it looked like ti was working for a few seconds. The first time I might have removed the device before it was done, but I never saw the flushing buffers widget (it looked OK, I took the drive out and ZOWIE).

This problem never happened before I split the dump files (strange) and now it happened twice. This is the first time that fedora has completely lost it's cookies.

PS - I could not login to the machine using ssh from another machine. Only pulling the plug physically worked. PANIC!
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  #2  
Old 9th March 2012, 01:19 PM
rholme Offline
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linuxfedorafirefox
Unhappy Re: backup to external disk causes CRASH

Well just to be sure, I went back to the old dump command (without split and not backgrounded) AND the same blue screen comes up after the pop up saying it is flushing all changes says it is done. I would have to conclude that one of the more recent kernel updates has caused this and I will have to hope a new kernel comes out that is fixed.

PS - this is my current kernel: vmlinuz-2.6.35.14-106.fc14.x86_64
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  #3  
Old 9th March 2012, 05:05 PM
DBelton Offline
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Re: backup to external disk causes CRASH

I wouldn't hold out too much hope for a kernel update. Since you are running F14, it's now past EOL which means that it's no longer being updated.
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  #4  
Old 9th March 2012, 05:39 PM
jpollard Offline
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linuxfirefox
Re: backup to external disk causes CRASH

You can always install a generic kernel.

Not that difficult.

What filesystems are involved? (both source and destination).

I've had no problems backing up to a 1TB partition (ext4) on a 2TB disk - granted, it is SATA rather than ESATA or USB. My source volumes are all ext4.

Last edited by jpollard; 9th March 2012 at 05:42 PM.
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  #5  
Old 9th March 2012, 08:41 PM
rholme Offline
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linuxfedorafirefox
Re: backup to external disk causes CRASH

update on this problem

it is not just a 64 bit problem, it shows up on 32 bit too, but exhibits slightly different symptoms.

After the pop-up says it has flush the disk and it is safe to remove it, I do NOT get the blue screen of death on the 32 bit portable. Instead the windowing system just freezes with the standard icons, top bar, and background. The mouse is dead and everything else is too (cannot ssh in either), The only solution is to turn if off and on again.

Also I tested an older version of the Passport external disk with 256GB and no problems happen at all. I assume the problem is due to the slightly different file system on the bigger disk (NFS I believe but a newer revision to support 4GB+ files).

However, I believe there is a work around: after the double sync that I do now, I am pretty confident that I could wait 5 minutes and repeat the double sync, then simply pull the wire. It is not neat but saves booting and things will have been flushed.

Answers to questions - the source file systems are standard ext4 and the output is using the drive on a USB port. Also understand that fedora 14 is EOL - tried 16 but I did not care for the new windowing setup with all icons. I could not figure how to make it more old fashioned with pop up text text. Oh well.
Thanks.

Good luck to others who encounter this problem.
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  #6  
Old 15th March 2012, 01:23 PM
rholme Offline
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linuxfedorafirefox
Re: backup to external disk causes CRASH

For the record, I upgraded a system to Fedora 16, added Cinnamon so I could stand the windowing, and the final product issues a message when I try to "safely dismount the device" -> "cannot unmount this device" - the quoted words are mine but that is the idea. This is better than crashing but certainly strange.
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  #7  
Old 15th March 2012, 02:09 PM
jpollard Offline
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linuxfirefox
Re: backup to external disk causes CRASH

Normally, "cannot unmount" is because a process has a file open on the device.

You can find out what process that is with the "fuser" command (I use "fuser -c <mountpoint>". Occasionally I get surprised and find I set my working directory there...)
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