Bug 208

Summary: Problems using a swapfile on fat/fat32 partitions.
Product: [Retired] Red Hat Linux Reporter: mproulx
Component: mountAssignee: David Lawrence <dkl>
Severity: high Docs Contact:
Priority: high    
Version: 5.1   
Target Milestone: ---   
Target Release: ---   
Hardware: i386   
OS: Linux   
Fixed In Version: Doc Type: Bug Fix
Doc Text:
Story Points: ---
Clone Of: Environment:
Last Closed: 1998-12-06 21:38:30 UTC Type: ---
Regression: --- Mount Type: ---
Documentation: --- CRM:
Verified Versions: Category: ---
oVirt Team: --- RHEL 7.3 requirements from Atomic Host:
Cloudforms Team: ---

Description mproulx 1998-11-27 14:28:01 UTC

I'd like to report a problem I recently encountered with the
RedHat 5.1
distribution on Intel.

I'd like to know if anyone else has ever experienced the
problem, and if
it can be fixed in any way.

I recently installed Linux on a rather small (ext2 fs)
partition for a
Unix tutorial/demo purposes at work.

There were no place for a swap partition, but my fat/fat32
drives had
plenty of space left on them, so I figured I'd use a swap
file on one of
these drive.

There was a fat32 drive available as /mnt/c and a fat on
available as
/mnt/f.  (I believe both of them were mounted as vfat rather

I first tried on the /mnt/f partition.  I created a file
(might not have
done it correctly using dd first.), then mkswap on it, and
swapon on it.

Things appeared correct, until I started getting errors
regarding the

At this point, things started getting bad.  I couldn't
access the fat
partition at all.  I didn't try to find the exact cause of
the problem,
and redid the same thing on the fat32 partition (probably
creating the
swapfile correctly from the start then).

Same problem happened.  After the system tried to use the
file (I
guess), the whole fat32 partition was unreadeable.

Worst, I couldn't even boot from the fat32 partition.  If
I'd boot from
a diskette, the fat32 partition was accessible fine.  I had
less chance
with the fat partition, as I've not been able to read
anything from it
since then.  From Linux, none of these partitions are now

Closer look at the information on the disk revealed that the
sectors of the partitions appeared to have been totally

Any help in recovering the data/restoring the drive would be



Comment 1 David Lawrence 1998-11-30 00:13:59 UTC
We need to know what parameters you used with the dd command to create
the swap file. It is possible with the wrong paramters that you may
have corrupted your partition table or master boot record. Any other
commands entered after the dd command would also be appreciated.

Comment 2 David Lawrence 1998-12-06 21:38:59 UTC
I was able to successfully do this with the following commands.

# dd if=/dev/zero of=swapfile bs=1024 count=8192
# mkswap swapfile 8192
# sync
# swapon swapfile

I was not able to replicate the problem mentioned by the reporter.