There is no provision for detecting bits lost or scrambled in data transfer; this level of error control is handled by the TCP. However, a restart procedure is provided to protect users from gross system failures (including failures of a host, an FTP-process, or the underlying network).
The restart procedure is defined only for the block and compressed modes of data transfer. It requires the sender of data to insert a special marker code in the data stream with some marker information. The marker information has meaning only to the sender, but must consist of printable characters in the default or negotiated language of the control connection (ASCII or EBCDIC). The marker could represent a bit-count, a record-count, or any other information by which a system may identify a data checkpoint. The receiver of data, if it implements the restart procedure, would then mark the corresponding position of this marker in the receiving system, and return this information to the user.
In the event of a system failure, the user can restart the data transfer by identifying the marker point with the FTP restart procedure. The following example illustrates the use of the restart procedure.
The sender of the data inserts an appropriate marker block in the data stream at a convenient point. The receiving host marks the corresponding data point in its file system and conveys the last known sender and receiver marker information to the user, either directly or over the control connection in a 110 reply (depending on who is the sender). In the event of a system failure, the user or controller process restarts the server at the last server marker by sending a restart command with server's marker code as its argument. The restart command is transmitted over the control connection and is immediately followed by the command (such as RETR, STOR or LIST) which was being executed when the system failure occurred.