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Re: Corrupted Table

From: "Bryan White" <bryan(at)arcamax(dot)com>
To: "Tom Lane" <tgl(at)sss(dot)pgh(dot)pa(dot)us>
Cc: "pgsql-general" <pgsql-general(at)postgreSQL(dot)org>
Subject: Re: Corrupted Table
Date: 2000-07-31 20:12:56
Message-ID: 021601bffb2b$b78b7a00$ (view raw, whole thread or download thread mbox)
Lists: pgsql-general
> Hmm.  Assuming that it is a corrupted-data issue, the only likely
> failure spot that I see in CopyTo() is the heap_getattr macro.
> A plausible theory is that the length word of a variable-length field
> (eg, text column) has gotten corrupted, so that when the code tries to
> access the next field beyond that, it calculates a pointer off the end
> of memory.
> You will probably find that plain SELECT will die too if it tries to
> extract data from the corrupted tuple or tuples.  With judicious use of
> SELECT last-column ... LIMIT you might be able to narrow down which
> tuples are bad, and then dump out the disk block containing them (use
> the 'tid' pseudo-attribute to see which block a tuple is in).  I'm not
> sure if the exercise will lead to anything useful or not, but if you
> want to pursue it...

I am wiling to spend some time to track this down.  However I would prefer
to not keep crashing my live database.  I would like to copy the raw data
files to a backup maching.  Are there any catches in doing this.  This
particular table is only updated at predictable times on the live system.  I
am guessing as long as it is stable for at least a few minutes before I copy
the file it will work.

How hard would it be to write a utility that would walk a table looking this
kind of corruption?  Are the on-disk data formats documented anywhere?

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