I have a couple of Raspberry Pi’s (long story as to why I have two). I spent a few hours one day a couple of weeks ago setting one of them up – pretty impressive, but I felt the overall performance was disappointing. I moved the Pi between rooms in the house, did some more setup and then left it running for a few days.
Everything seemed okay. Then one morning, it wasn’t responding. I was running it headless and I could no longer SSH into it. I had no choice but to power it off because it was no where near a composite or HDMI device. Once powered off, it wouldn’t boot again at power on. I carried it back through into the room with a TV, powered it up, and discovered the filesystem was corrupt.
No problem, pull out the SDHC card, whack it into a USB adapter, plug it into another Linux machine and fsck it. That had a billion errors, I was impressed at quite how badly it had been corrupted. I didn’t really think much more about it, I had a second SDHC card with raspbian already on it, and I didn’t really do much with the machines for a few weeks.
The day before yesterday, the Linux box I use to backup the other machines developed a fault, so I thought it would be the perfect time to replace it with one of the Pi’s. Got it all set up on the shelf, hidden away, and ran it for a day. Terrible disk IO performance, but otherwise okay. I read around a bit and discovered that the SDHC card performance can be quite bad. So I put a USB thumb drive in (16GB) with the intention of moving everything except /boot onto that to improve performance.
Except, when I reboot it – it wouldn’t boot. Sure enough, corrupt filesystem. I went back to check the original SDHC card and discovered not only was the filesystem corrupt, the card is damaged. The second card doesn’t appear to be damaged but it would seem any power fluctuation in the Pi, or any power off without a shutdown, can trash the filesystem beyond recovery.
Now I’m concerned the Pi’s aren’t reliable enough to have sitting in the corner running 24×7. A browse on the web shows I’m not alone either. Quite disappointing.