Major Filesystem Corruption

On Sunday (03/10/2010) my laptop has a bad crash. The screen went blank, I could still see the cursor and move it around but could do nothing else. I could not even login on a virtual console, after I typed the user name it came straight back with a login prompt again. I rebooted, grub loaded, Linux ran, the initramfs loaded and started and then it moaned about not being able to mount the root filesystem and dropped me to a prompt.

After this I decided to pull out my GRML recovery cd. What happened next was what only can be defined as Major Filesystem Corruption. I ran the usual “sudo fsck -C -t ext3 -f -y /dev/mapper/ikaite-root” inside a script session to capture the output. This grew to 42M (a clean fsck is about 150k of script output). After it finally finished I ran it again and it came back clean. After I mounted the filesystem there were no files left and 6000~ entries in lost+found. Looks like I’ll be reinstalling it!

I then did some minor analysis on the fsck output. First I wanted to see what the common errors and questions were. A quick use of sed to remove numbers enabled me to cound them up with: “cat fsck.root | sed ’s/[0-9][0-9]*//g' | sort | uniq -c | grep -v “^ 1” | sort -n | tail -10” produces:

32901 Inode has imagic flag set. Clear? yes 34415 Illegal block number passed to extfs_test_block_bitmap # for multiply claimed block map 36479 Inode , i_size is , should be . Fix? yes 40991 Inode has a extra size () which is invalid 41422 Inode , i_blocks is , should be . Fix? yes 41438 Inode is in use, but has dtime set. Fix? yes 45689 Fix? yes 61402 Illegal block # () in inode . CLEARED. 73733 Clear? yes 425742

Something else I noticed were many “WARNING: PROGRAMMING BUG IN E2FSCK”! messages, 23 of them!

Computer enthusiast and sysadmin