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After using a write-around bcache on the root device of an old laptop for more than a year (HD + SD card), I finally found out that some severe filesystem corruptions I was facing -- which lead me to resort to backups and reinstall everything twice (!!) -- were due to bcache corruption on the cache device after rebooting uppon updating/upgrading the kernel.

The workaround for that is rather "easy", since it is a read cache: When the boot process says my device is corrupted beyond automatic repair habilities, I just have to remove the cache device before doing a manual fsck, recreate the cache and register it again. -- BTW, never try to fsck an allegedly corrupted file system with a corrupted write-around bcache because, then, you will really corrupt your data.

Question: what would be a possible way to prevent this corruption? I use archlinux, therefore, always with a recent version of everything -- the kernel now is 4.19.4.

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I found a workaround which proved itself over several updates in several machines already:

After the normal system & kernel upgrade, before the reboot, simply stop bcache:

echo 1 >/sys/fs/bcache/*/stop;sleep 2;sync;sync;shutdown -r now;logout

On the next reboot, bcache will be back on without any corruptions.

Most certainly bcache doesn't change its format from kernel version to kernel version, but the fact is: rebooting the machine without kernel updates don't corrupt bcache's caching device while updating the kernel does. Even if it is a minor update.

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  • I'm amused by the shutdown -r now; logout combination :)
    – Jeff Schaller
    Mar 2, 2019 at 13:44
  • Just a little trick to save the session commands on the shell's command history
    – zertyz
    Mar 2, 2019 at 19:27

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