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What can cause dreaded CONTENT INTEGRITY errors?

Question asked by huima on Aug 31, 2010
As I've been doing development with ALfresco, I've started to see more and more these dreaded content integrity errors on Alfresco 3.3 community edition.

Deleting indexes has not solved them, which has meant that I have had to drop the development database and indexes and start again from scratch.

I haven't yet understod what are the causes for such errors, as log messages have usually just had the same message:

22:05:10,139  INFO  [repo.admin.ConfigurationChecker] The Alfresco root data directory ('dir.root') is: /tmp/Alf_dev/alf_data
22:05:10,148  ERROR [repo.admin.ConfigurationChecker] CONTENT INTEGRITY ERROR: System content not found in content store.
22:05:10,148  ERROR [repo.admin.ConfigurationChecker] Ensure that the 'dir.root' property is pointing to the correct data location.
22:05:10,150  ERROR [web.context.ContextLoader] Context initialization failed
org.alfresco.error.AlfrescoRuntimeException: 07310001 Ensure that the 'dir.root' property is pointing to the correct data location.

I am now wondering whether the real causes are just hidden behind bad catch all error handling. If anyone can can help me to understand how and when those integrity errors happen, I'd appreciate.

1) content model is changed and content with old model is still in repository?
   - if properties are removed?
   - if properties are added?

If changes to content model cause problems, how is migration from model v1. to model v. 2 best to do?

2) content model has errors?

3) data corruption?
   - can indexes corrupt?
   - can database get corrupted?

Any comments and insights will be appreciated.