%HTMLlat1; %HTMLsymbol; %HTMLspecial; ]> OS X file system corruption
Roland van Ipen­burg
To be stolen or blogged

OS X file sys­tem cor­rup­tion

Thurs­day 26 March 2009 16:34

After a crash of OS X on my iBook G4 some ap­pli­ca­tions showed un­ex­pect­ed be­hav­iour: Mail.app lost it's pref­er­ences, BOINC Man­ag­er re­fused to start run­ning and Vim showed an er­ror mes­sage when start­ing. When I then read about prob­lems with lin­ux file sys­tems, I re­al­ized af­ter all these years most file sys­tems still can't be trust­ed to pre­vent data cor­rup­tion in such a sit­u­a­tion. Which means you don't just end up with a work­ing ver­sion of the file as it was just be­fore the crash, or no file at all, but a bro­ken ver­sion with ran­dom bi­na­ry data in it. Look­ing at the cause for Vim's er­ror mes­sage I found out there was just bi­na­ry junk at the end of the .vim­in­fo file. And BOINC Man­ag­er's pref­er­ences file was cor­rupt­ed in the same way. I sus­pect Mail.app's pref­er­ences had the same is­sue, since most like­ly those files were open or writ­ten to short­ly be­fore the crash. And all those files are in my FileVault­ed home fold­er, so that prob­a­bly had some­thing to do with it. Dis­ap­point­ed again by OS X, I would re­place it with Nex­en­ta with ZFS if it was avail­able for PPC...

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