Reiserfs vs ext3

Jimmie Houchin jhouchin at
Thu Mar 10 03:19:43 UTC 2005

My experience with several years with ReiserFS was generally good. But 
recently I had a problem with a hard drive beginning to fail and a bad 
block developed. ReiserFS became very unfriendly due to the bad block.

When ReiserFS discovered the bad block it ceased working at all and 
required that I run some program to find all the bad blocks and a bunch 
of other stuff before it would ever again run reiserfsck (or whatever it 
was called). It was an unpleasant process and left a poor impression 
upon me.

I have had computers a long time and have had hard drives fail. But 
never before have I had a filesystem plain refuse to operate due to a 
bad block. Yes, I understand there is potential/probable data loss due 
the development of bad blocks. But to refuse to run a check, mount and 
let me have access to what was still good, was very, very bad to me.

After that experience, I immediately reinstalled Ubuntu on my server and 
used XFS. On my desktop I went back to ext3.

I can only speak of my experience. Before the bad blocks I gave no 
concern and had no problems with ReiserFS. After it, I wasn't so 
confident. This was with ReiserFS 3. I have no comments on ReiserFS 4, 
as I do not know how it handles bad block situations. Hopefully it will 
handle them more gracefully.

I did eventually recover my data and move to a different drive, but it 
was more effort than necessary.

Hope this helps.

Jimmie Houchin

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