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Just a quick question about ext3:

Are inodes stored in the same area as file data, or are there separate regions on the disk reserved exclusively for meta-data and others reserved exclusively for file/directory-content?

Reason I'm asking: If fsck is clearing/deleting/rewriting something that it thinks is an "inode", could it actually be messing with file content, or would the worst case effect be that a certain file disappears from the directory tree and get's added to a lost-and-found location, like in FAT file systems?

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Within a block group, the data blocks come right after the inode table.

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Is there any way that the data blocks might contain any further meta-data, like indirect links that are stored within the data-blocks? I.e., is it possible for the inode table to have an erroneous entry that will cause fsck or similar to start modifying parts of a data-block that contain file data rather than fs meta data? –  Markus A. Jun 23 '13 at 10:25

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