FAT32 files disappearing

Asked by fantasai

I know the answer to this is “use NTFS”, which I'm in the process of switching to, but I've noticed the past month or so that a number of my files have mysteriously “disappeared”. Sometimes there are traces of them: on one drive (external/USB, hard disk), the directory gave an I/O error when I tried to read it. On another (internal, SSD) the entire directory was missing, but running `find -iname logo.jpg` brought up listings within the mysteriously disappeared directory, along with some I/O errors. ... Rebooting to Windows caused check disk to run, which “fixed” the problem by deleting everything, so unfortunately I don't have any trace of these files left.

But basically I'm posting this because I've never had a problem with the reliability of writing to FAT32 partitions in Linux before, and having similar problems across multiple, different types and differently-connected hard drives, makes me wonder if there was some kind of recent regression in the Linux VFAT drivers?

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actionparsnip (andrew-woodhead666) said :

Have you manually checked the file system using Windows or Linux?

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fantasai (fantasai) said :

@actionparsnip I'm not sure what you mean by "manually checked the file system". I didn't trawl through a binary data dump of the disk trying to identify the lost files, if that's what you mean. But as I explained, Linux couldn't read the affected directories, and reported an I/O error, and Windows detected problems with the filesystem and ran checkdisk, which afaict just deleted the files and cleaned up the directory to match.

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fantasai (fantasai) said :

Like, the data is lost at this point. I'm not looking for help finding it. I just want to know if this is a problem with Linux's latest FAT32 drivers, because I've never had a problem writing to FAT32 partitions in 20+ years of using Linux, and suddenly I've got multiple directories get corrupted on multiple hard drives.

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actionparsnip (andrew-woodhead666) said :

Should be OK. You can use Gparted or Windows disk manager to write a new FAT to the device which should give you the ability to make a new partition to use.

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