While backing up some data (a 200 GB home directory) with
rsync, I got an I/0 error for a particular file, after which rsync continued on "normally" with its backup. The problem source file showed as having a file size of 72 bytes.
I cancelled rsync, and ran the same command again. This time that same file showed to be transferring data.. lots of data ...and more data, and more... I checked the destination file's size, and it was up to 13 GB! so I used Ctrl-c to cancel rsync.
On checking the source file size again, in Nautilus, it showed a size of
60.0 PB (Peta Bytes!) on a 500 GB drive.
Now, the main point of all this: Would/could deleting this file cause loss of data in other files, seeing that the file system can perceive it to be much bigger than it actually is... The file system is
I could just skip over it with an rsync exception, but I'm particularly interested in what could happen if it is deleted.
UPDATE: Both target and source are
Regarding suggestions of it being a sparse file: If it is a sparse file, why would it show different sizes from one minute to the next? The file was certainly(?) not in use at the time. It is a
~/.macromedia/Flash_Player/#SharedObjects/someting-or-other.sol file, of which there are many more such .sol files in that directory .. plus it did show an I/0 error on the first pass.
Also, according to
man rsync, the suggested
-S option is to handle sparse files efficiently, not properly, so that suggests to me that even though I wasn't using
-S it should copy a sparse file accurately in either case: which it didn't, and even it if it is a sparse file, being 60.0 Peta Bytes seems surely(?) to be an error in the file system, somewhere... and that is my main concern: If there is a glytch in the file system, could deleting that file have repercussions on other files?
More specifically: as it wrote 13 GB of data, and climbing! when I cancelled it, could it also delete 13 GB - 60 PB of data when I delete it?