right. so I got this today when trying to untar all of my academic work from an archive:
ericgar@babbage extusb$ tar -xjf columbia-2007-10-31.tar.bzip2 You can use the `bzip2recover' program to attempt to recover data from undamaged sections of corrupted files. tar: Child returned status 2 tar: Error exit delayed from previous errors ericgar@babbage extusb$ bzip2recover columbia-2007-10-31.tar.bzip2 bzip2recover 1.0.4: extracts blocks from damaged .bz2 files. bzip2recover: searching for block boundaries ... bzip2recover: I/O error reading `columbia-2007-10-31.tar.bzip2', possible reason follows. bzip2recover: Input/output error bzip2recover: warning: output file(s) may be incomplete.
I was thinking, “Well, data loss sucks.”
But it turns out the underlying filesystem was mounted read-write on a read-only mount point. D’oh. I feel like tar and bzip2recover could have told me that off the bat.