(a) ORA-01578 –物理坏块：数据块头(cache header)损坏；数据块incomplete(头/尾值不匹配)；checksum校验失败；block misreplaced
(b) ORA-08103 – 逻辑坏块
(c) ORA-00600  – 数据块的SCN高于数据库的SCN导致，可使用内部事件修复alter session set events 'IMMEDIATE trace name ADJUST_SCN level 1'
使用命令backup validate database/datafile 1 或者 backup validate check logical database然后查看v$database_block_corruption
SQL> select *
FILE# BLOCK# BLOCKS CORRUPTION_CHANGE# CORRUPTIO
--------------- --------------- --------------- ------------------ ---------
6 10 1 8183236781662 LOGICAL
6 42 1 0 FRACTURED
6 34 2 0 CHECKSUM
6 50 1 8183236781952 LOGICAL
6 26 4 0 FRACTURED
Analyze table table_name validate structure (cascade)/ analyze index index_name validate structure
当DBWn或者direct loader往磁盘写数据时，会计算块的checksum值并写入cache header，下次读取时会计算checksum并与cache header中的比较
block relative dba: 0x0380e573 (file 14, block 58739)
Fractured block found during buffer read
Data in bad block -
type: 6 format: 2 rdba: 0x0380e573
last change scn: 0x0288.8e5a2f78 seq: 0x1 flg: 0x04
consistency value in tail: 0x00780601
check value in block header: 0x8739, computed block checksum: 0x2f00
spare1: 0x0, spare2: 0x0, spare3: 0x0
Reread of rdba: 0x0380e573 (file 14, block 58739) found same corrupted data
block relative dba: 0x0380a58f (file 14, block 42383)
Bad check value found during buffer read
Data in bad block -
type: 6 format: 2 rdba: 0x0380a58f
last change scn: 0x0288.7784c5ee seq: 0x1 flg: 0x06
consistency value in tail: 0xc5ee0601
check value in block header: 0x68a7, computed block checksum: 0x2f00
spare1: 0x0, spare2: 0x0, spare3: 0x0
Reread of rdba: 0x0380a58f (file 14, block 42383) found same corrupted data
block relative dba: 0x0d805a89 (file 54,
Bad header found during buffer read
Data in bad block -
type: 6 format: 2 rdba: 0x0d805b08----> Block is different than expected 0x0d805a89
last change scn: 0x0692.86dc08e3 seq: 0x1 flg: 0x04
consistency value in tail: 0x08e30601
check value in block header: 0x2a6e, computed block checksum: 0x0
spare1: 0x0, spare2: 0x0, spare3: 0x0
BLOCK CORRUPTIONS ON ORACLE AND UNIX [ID 77587.1]
Modified 22-FEB-2012 Type BULLETIN Status PUBLISHED
Checked for relevance on 22-FEB-2012
This article discusses block corruptions in Oracle and how they are related
to the underlying operating system and hardware. To better illustrate the
discussion, Unix is taken as the operating system of reference, although similar
situations can be observed on other operating systems as well.
SCOPE & APPLICATION
For users requiring further understanding as to how a block could become
Block corruption has been a common occurrence on most UNIX based systems and
relational databases for many years. It is one of the most frequent ways to
lose data and cause serious business impact. Through a survey of literary
technical sources, this document will discuss several ways that block
corruptions can occur, provide conclusions and possible solutions.
To fully comprehend all the reasons for block corruptions, it is necessary to
understand how I/O device subsystems work, how memory buffers are used to
support the reading and writing of data blocks, how blocks are sized on both
UNIX and Oracle, and how these three objects work together to maintain data
I/O devices are designed specifically for host machines and there have been
few attempts to standardize a particular interface across the industry. Most
software, including Oracle, on UNIX machines uses standard C program calls that
in turn perform. system calls to support the reading and writing of data to
disk. These system calls access I/O device software that retrieves or writes
data on disk.
The UNIX system contains two types of devices, block devices and raw or
character devices. Block devices look like random access storage devices to
the rest of the system while character devices include all other devices such
as terminals and network media. (Bach, 1990 314). These device types are
important to understand because different combinations can increase corruptions.
Device drivers are configured by the operating system and the configuration
procedure generates or populates tables that form. part of the code of the
kernel. This kernel to device driver interface is described by the block
device switch table and the character device switch table. Each device type
has entries in these tables that direct the kernel to the appropriate driver
interfaces for the system calls. The open and close system calls of a device
file funnel through the two device switch tables, according to file type. The
mount and umount system calls also invoke the device open and close procedures
for block devices. Read and write system calls of character special files pass
through the respective procedures in the character device switch tables. Read
and write system calls of block devices and of files on mounted file systems
invokes the algorithms of the buffer cache, which invoke the device strategy
procedure. (Bach, 1990 314). This buffer cache plays an important role in
block corruptions since it is the location where data blocks are the most
The difference between the two disk interfaces is whether they deal with the
buffer cache. When accessing the block device interface, the UNIX kernel
follows the same algorithm as for regular files, except that after converting
the logical byte offset into a logical block offset, it treats the logical
block offset as a physical block number in the file system. It then accesses
the data via the buffer cache and, ultimately, the driver strategy interface.
However, when accessing the disk via the raw interface, the kernel does not
convert the byte offset into the file but passes the offset immediately to the
driver. The driver's read or write routine converts the byte offset to a
block offset and copies the data directly to the user address space, bypassing
Thus, if one process writes a block device and a second process then reads a
raw device at the same address, the second process may not read the data that
the first process had written, because the data may still be in the buffer
cache and not on disk. However, if the second process had read the block
device, it would automatically pick up the new data, as it exists in the
buffer cache. (Bach, 1990 328).
Use of the raw interface may also introduce strange behavior. If a process
reads or writes a raw device in units smaller than the block size, results are
driver-dependent. For instance, when issuing 1-byte writes to a tape drive,
each byte may appear in different tape blocks. (Bach 1990)
The advantage of using the raw interface is speed, assuming there is no--裸设备的优势
advantage to caching data for later access. Processes accessing block devices
transfer blocks of data whose size are constrained by the file system logical
block size. Furthermore, use of the block interface entails an extra copy of
data between user address space and kernel buffers, which is avoided in the
raw interface. For example, if a file system has a logical block size 1K
bytes, at most 1K bytes are transferred per I/O operation. However, processes
accessing the disk as a raw device can transfer many disk blocks during a disk
operation, subject to the capabilities of the disk controller.
Disk controllers are hardware devices that control the I/O actions of one or
more disks. These controllers can also create a bottleneck in a system.
(Corey, Abbey, Dechichio 1995). Controllers are the most frequent piece of
hardware to have and cause problems on many systems. When a system has
multiple disks controlled by one controller, the results can be fatal. The
bottleneck on controllers is a common cause of write error.
It is important to remember that Oracle and other products use these device
access methods to perform. their work. It is also important to note the added
complexity that the Oracle kernel adds to the I/O game.
The Oracle Relational Database Management System (RDBMS) keeps its
information, including data, in block format. However, the Oracle data block
can be, and in most cases is, composed of several operating system blocks.
An Oracle database block is the physical unit of storage in which all Oracle
database data are stored in files. The Oracle database block size is
determined by setting a parameter called db_block_size when the
database is created. (Millsap, 1995).
The most common UNIX block is 512 bytes but the Oracle block size can range-- Oracle数据块与OS数据块区别
from 512 to 32K. The difference in block sizing between the operating system
and the Oracle kernel are beneficial for Oracle; boosting performance gains
while allowing UNIX to maintain small files with minimal wasted space. The
Oracle block can be considered a superset of the UNIX file system block size.
Each block of an Oracle data file is formatted with a fixed header that
contains information about the particular block. This information provides a
means to ensure the integrity for each block and in turn, the entire Oracle
database. One component of the fixed header of a data block is called a Relative
Data Block Address (DBA). This DBA is a 4 bytes that stores the relative file -- RDBA的用途
number of the Oracle database file and the Oracle block number offset relative
to the beginning of the file. (Presley, 1993).
Whenever there is a problem with the RDBA, Oracle may signal an Oracle error
ORA-1578: Data block corrupted in file # block #. This error provide information that point to where the
Oracle uses the standard C system function calls to read and write blocks to
its database files. Once the block has been read it is mapped to shared
memory by the operating system, After the block has been read into shared
memory, the Oracle kernel does verification checks on the block to ensure the
integrity of the fixed header. The RDBA check is the first verification made
on the fixed header. So why do RDBAs become corrupt and how can we identify
and correct them?
Case One-- oracle数据块被清空
The first case of block corruption occurs when the block has been zeroed out. If the Oracle block
is completely zeroed out, sql statements may generate an ORA-8103 as the block type=0 is invalid
and it is not formatted as an empty block. In this case the dbverify utility (dbv) can detect it
and will produce an error message. Dbv output example:
DBVERIFY - Verification starting : FILE = /oradata/data_01.dbf
Page 307161 is marked corrupt
Corrupt block relative dba: 0x0644afd9 (file 0, block 307161)
Completely zero block found during dbv:
Usually the first operating system block of an Oracle block is zeroed out when -- Oracle数据块的第一个OS块因为软件错误被清零
there was a software error on disk and the operating system attempted to repair
its block. In addition, disk repair utility programs have caused this zeroing out effect.
Programs that read from and write to the disk directly can destroy the
consistency of file system data. The file system algorithms coordinate disk
I/O operation to maintain a consistent view of disk data structures, including
linked lists of free disk blocks and pointer from inodes to direct and
indirect data blocks. Processes that access the disk directly bypass these if
they run while other file system activity is going on. For this reason, these
programs should not be run on an active file system. (Bach, 1990 328).
Case Two –RDBA地址无效
The RDBA in the physical block on disk is incorrect. It can generate an error ORA-1578
and a message in the alert.log with message "Data in bad block" as next:
Corrupt block relative dba: 0x56c07ac1 (file 347, block 31425)
Bad header found during buffer read
Data in bad block -
type: 6 format: 2 rdba: 0x06407ac1
last change scn: 0x0000.00a02808 seq: 0x1 flg: 0x02
consistency value in tail: 0x28080601
check value in block header: 0x0, block checksum disabled
spare1: 0x0, spare2: 0x0, spare3: 0x0
Reread of rdba: 0x56c07ac1 (file 347, block 31425) found same corrupted data
Blocks are sometimes written into the wrong places in the data file. This is--数据块被写入到数据文件的错误位置，通常由lseek()触发
called "write blocks out of sequence." This typically happens when the operating system
I/O device driver fails to write the block in the proper location that Oracle
requested via the lseek() system call.
The lseek() system call is one of the most important calls related to block
corruption. The calculations that lseek() performs are often the cause of
block problems. To understand lseek() a brief discussion of byte positioning
Every open file has a "current byte position" associated with it. This is
measured as the number of bytes from the start of the file. The create system
call sets the file's position to the beginning of the file, as does the open
system call. The read and write system calls update the file's position by
the number of bytes read or written. Before a read or write, an open file can
be positioned using lseek(). The format is:
lseek(int fildes, long offset, int whence);
The offset and whence arguments are interpreted as follows: If whence is 0,
the file's position is set to offset bytes from the beginning of the file. If
whence is 1, the file's position is set to its current position plus the
offset. If whence is 2, the file's position is set to the size of the file
plus the offset. The file's offset can be greater than the file's current
size, in which case the next write to the file will extend the file. Lseek()
returns a long integer byte offset of the file. (Stevens, 1990 40).
There is great opportunity for miscalculation of an offset based on the
lseek() system call. Though lseek is not the only system call culprit in the
block corruption problem, it is a major contributor.
This may also happen if the block was corrupted in memory but was written to disk.
This situation is quite rare and in most cases it is usually caused by memory
faults that go undetected. The RDBA found in the block is usually garbage and
not a valid RDBA.
If there is a possibility of memory problems on the system, the database
administrator can enable further sanity block checking by placing the
following parameters in the database instance init.ora parameter file:
db_block_checksum=TRUE / FULL (10.2+)
db_block_checking force the Oracle RDBMS kernel to call functions that check
the block. Oracle checks a block by going through the data on the block, making
sure it is self-consistent. Block checking can often prevent memory and data corruption
db_block_checksum determines whether DBWn and the direct loader will calculate
a checksum (a number calculated from all the bytes stored in the block) and
store it in the cache header of every data block when writing it to disk.
Checksums are verified when a block is read only if this parameter is true and the
last write of the block stored a checksum. If set to FULL, DB_BLOCK_CHECKSUM also
catches in-memory corruptions and stops them from making it to the disk.
The _db_block_cache_protect=true protects the cache layer from becoming corrupted.
This parameter will prevent certain corruption from getting to disk, although
it may crash the foreground of the database instance. It will help catch
stray writes in the cache. When a process tries to write past the buffer size
in the SGA, it will fail first with a stack violation.
If the database writer process detects a corrupted block in cache prior to—一旦DBWR检测到cache中的坏块，会触发错误并终止oracle实例
writing the block to disk, it will signal an error and will crash the
database instance. The block that is corrupted is never written to disk.
After receiving such an error, simply attempt to restart the database instance.
There is no doubt that this can be a costly workaround to avoid block
corruptions. However, the workaround once a corruption has occurred can be
A third cause for block corruption is the requested I/O not being serviced by
the operating system. The calls that Oracle makes to lseek() and read() are checked for
return error codes. In addition, Oracle checks to see the number of bytes read in by the read()
system call to ensure that the block size or a multiple of the block size was
read. Since these checks appeared to have been successful, Oracle assumes
that the direct read succeeded. Upon sanity checking, the RDBA is incorrect
and the database operation request fails. Therefore, the I/O read request
really never took place. In this case, the RDBA found can point to a block of
a different file.
Another reason for block corruption is reading the wrong block from the same
device. Typically, this is caused by a very busy disk. In some cases, the
block read was off by 1 block but can range into several hundreds of blocks.
Since this occurs when the disk is very busy and under lots of
stress, try spreading datafiles across multiple disks and ensure that the disk
drive can support the load.
In the third and fourth situations, the database files will not be physically
corrupted and the operation can be tried again with success. Most diagnostics
testing will not reveal anything wrong with either the operating system or the
hardware. However, the problem is due to operating system or hardware related
problems. (Velpuri, 1995).
So what causes the operating system calls to behave the way they do and how
can companies try to minimize their risk? To evaluate these questions,
another look into how UNIX works is required.
UNIX vendors, in a attempt to speed performance, have implemented many
features into the filesystem. The filesystem manages a large cache of I/O
buffers, called the buffer cache. This cache allows UNIX to optimize read and
write operations. When a program writes data, the filesystem stores the data
in a buffer rather that writing it to disk immediately. At some later point
in time, the system will send this data to the disk driver, together with
other data that has accumulated in the cache. In other words, the buffer
cache lets the disk driver schedule disk operations in batches. It can make
larger transfers and use techniques such as seek optimization to make disk
access more efficient. This is called write-behind.
When a program reads data, the system first checks the buffer cache to see if
the desired data is already there. If the data is already in the buffer
cache, the filesystem does not need to access the disk for those blocks. It
just gives the user the data it found in its buffer, eliminating the need to
wait for a disk drive. The filesystem only needs to read the disk if the data
isn't already in the cache. To increase efficiency even further, the
filesystem assumes the program will read the file consecutively and read
several blocks from the disk at once. This increases the likelihood that the
data for future read operations will already be in the cache. (Loukides, M.,
1990) This also increases the chance of block corruption.
As a filesystem gets busy and buffers are being read, modified, written, and
aged out of the cache the chance of the kernel reading or writing the wrong
block increases. Also, the more complex the scheme to read from and write to
disk, the greater the likelihood of function failure.
The UNIX kernel uses the strategy interface to transmit data between the
buffer cache and a device, although the read and write procedures of character
devices sometime use their block counterpart strategy procedure to transfer
data directly between the device and the user address space. The strategy
procedure may queue I/O jobs for a device on a work list or do more
sophisticated processing to schedule I/O jobs. Drivers can set up data
transmission for one physical address or many, as appropriate. The UNIX
kernel passes a buffer header address to the driver strategy procedure. The
header contains a list of addresses and sizes for transmission of data to or
from the device. This is also how the swapping operations work. For the
buffer cache, the kernel transmits data from one address; when swapping, the
kernel transmits data from many data addresses. If data is being copied to or
from the user's address space, the driver must lock the process in memory
until the I/O transfer is complete.
The kernel loses control over a buffer only when it waits for the completion
of I/O between the buffer and the disk. It is conceivable that a disk drive
is corrupt so that it cannot interrupt the CPU, preventing the kernel from
ever releasing the buffer. There are processes that monitor the hardware for
such cases and zero out the block and return an error to the kernel for a bad
disk job. (Bach, 1990 52).
On the UNIX level there are several utilities that will check for bad disk
blocks and zero out any blocks they find corrupted. These utilities do not
realize that the block in question may be an Oracle RDBMS block and zero out
the block by mistake.
In (Silberschatz, Galvin, 1994), the authors consider the possible effect of a—OS崩溃对数据块的潜在影响
computer crash. In this case, the table of opened files is generally lost,
and with it any changes in the directories of opened files. This event can
leave the file system in an inconsistent structure. Frequently, a special
program is run at reboot time to check for and correct disk inconsistencies.
The consistency checker compares the data in the directory structure with the
data blocks on disk, and tries to fix and inconsistencies it finds.
(Silberschatz, Galvin, 1994) This will often result in the reformatting of
blocks which will cause the Oracle block information to be removed. This will
definitely cause Oracle corruption.
It is important to realize that monitoring of hardware is required for all
operating systems. Hardware monitors can sense electrical signals on the
busses and can accurately record them even at high speed. A hardware monitor
keeps observing the system even when it is malfunctioning, and thus, it can be
used to debug the system. (Jain, 1991 99) These tools can help determine the
cause of the problem and detect problems like controller error and media
faulting which are frequent corruption contributors.
In any case, there are many opportunities for blocks, either on disk or in the
buffer cache, to become corrupt. Fixing the corruption can sometimes provide
even greater opportunities.
Data block corruption is an ongoing problem on all operating systems,
especially UNIX. There are many types and causes of corruptions to consider.
Advanced system configurations can increase the chance and hardware problems
are a common source of corruptions. When receiving block corruption errors,
remember that a couple of them are not physical corruptions but memory
corruptions that are never written to disk.
Oracle Customer Support provides a number of bulletins on block corruption
problems that help recover what is left of the data once corruption has
occurred. If block corruption occurs on a machine, be sure to identify the
type of corruption and establish a plan for its correction.
 Bach, M. (1990). The Design of the UNIX Operating System.
The I/O Subsystem 328.
 Corey, M., Abbey, M., Dechichio, D. (1995). Tuning Oracle 52.
 Jain, R. (1991). The Art of Computer Systems Performance Analysis. 99
 Loney, K. (1994). Oracle DBA Handbook. 23.
 Loukides, M., (1990) System Performance Tuning. 161-162.
 Millsap, C. (1995). Oracle7 Server Space Management. 1-2.
 Presley, D. (1993). Data Block Corruption Detection. Oracle Corporation.
 Silberschatz A., Galvin P. (1994) Operating System Concepts. 404.
 Stevens, W. (1990). UNIX Network Programming. 163.
 Velpuri, R. (1995). Oracle Backup and Recovery Handbook. 286
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