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  Author  Subject: Re: Checking file system errors

Posted on 01-31-2001 02:08 a.m. ET  reply

Original Poster: Mark Krentel

Ah, your first manual fsck, a rite of passage among unix admins.
The process is very intimidating, so take it slow, but fsck does
all the work.

Reboot the machine and get into single-user mode. Assuming you're
using LILO, at the LILO prompt, hit TAB, that should show you the boot
option(s), and "linux" should be one option. Enter "linux single".
That will resume booting and give you a root prompt in single-user

Then you run "e2fsck /dev/hdb1" (or whatever the partition is). fsck
(or e2fsck) will report on the errors it finds and ask if you want
fsck to fix them. You basically have no option but to always say "y"
and let fsck do its thing. You may have to run e2fsck on more than
one partition, check your /etc/fstab.

BUT FIRST, before you run e2fsck, first run "mount" to see what file
systems are mounted and compare that to /etc/fstab. Never, never run
fsck on a mounted filesystem. Actually, mount will refuse to mount
a corrupted filesystem, so basically you want to run e2fsck on all
the Linux partitions that are in /etc/fstab that Linux didn't mount.
(Don't use fsck on a DOS partition.)

Assuming you get through the fsck ok, then the partitions should be
mountable and it should boot normally. Check the lost+found directory
in each partition for missing files. But it should only be files that
you were writing to at the time of the crash that might be corrupted.

And how did you get into this mess? Did the Star Office install
freeze up and you had to do a hard reboot?

> Would I be better off just reinstalling the OS?

No, you don't need to reinstall the OS. At least wait to see if fsck
can repair the problem. But if this problem recurs frequently, it may
mean the hardware is broken.


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