Errors on Hard Drive
January 22, 2010 04:45PM
Just installed the Unstable version via USB. I'm extremely new to linux but feel very fortunate to have stumbled across this distro. Everything runs fine but every time I reboot it says that a hard drive scan is necessary. It finds multiple errors and then asks for root password or to hit ctrl-D. If I enter the root password I'm stuck in bash not knowing how to fix the file system. If i hit ctrl-D it finishes booting and everything appears to be normal. Is there some sort of program I can run to check and fix a partition? Maybe I just set up my drive wrong here is how it is setup.

I have a dell latitude d810 laptop with 60 gb hard drive

somehow i managed to start the hard drive off with 6 gigs unallocated space. then

/dev/sda2 3 gigs ext3 elive boot drive
/dev/sda3 42 gigs ext3
/dev/sda4 3 gigs linux swap

I'm not even sure if I did it right. Any help would be much appreciated. Thanks in advance.


I will buy the stable version soon as I have the mula
Re: Errors on Hard Drive
January 23, 2010 03:09AM
Hi, idio and welcome!

The displayed errors talk about a hard drive read error, it means that the fsck utility (In some way kind of windows scandisk equivalent). There're at least two possible reasons:

First, of course, you really have a drive read error that, for sure, you can fix after login with root at the error prompt with something like:
fsck.ext3 /dev/sd(n)
* the fsck command is the linux command for fixing hard drives read errors. It can also be call without the ".ext3" in case you don't know which type the partition has, it will try to recognize it by itself...
* Then you have to give it as argument (after the space) the partition you want it to verify/fix so in your error messages, try to find which partition is complaining about and replace (n) with the partition number you need to verify...
You can always have a look further at the fsck command by entering:
fsck -h

fsck --help

and even:
man fsck

To have fuul explanations of the fsck command. To summarise a bit, some useful options: you can add --fix as second argument of the command line to automatically fix found errors and -y to make it automatically answer yes to any question. (If not it will stop for each error ans ask to fix it)

The second possibility is a problem with your fstab file. The file located in /etc/fstab is the partition summary of your system, it indicates it where are available partitions and where to mount them. Maybe a mistake has run into this. The classic one is a mistake about the partiton type (fstab indicate a parttion as ext3 and in fact is a reiserfs one) or maybe a badly unmounted windows partition..

If it's just that, it's rarely difficult to fix! (for windows partition boot it and exit it cleanly)

But to know more give us the result of the following commands:
mount -a

cat /etc/fstab

Hope it helps...


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Re: Errors on Hard Drive
January 25, 2010 01:29AM

First of all I would like to thank you for your propmt and informative response. Unfortunately things didn"t work out to well. This is what i did.
First i booted up regularly and entered bash (command prompt). I tried to execute fsck but it didn't recognize the command. So i rebooted pressed ctrl-D and logged in as root. Now fsck was recognized. I typed fsck.ext3 /dev/sda2 (i meant to put sda3) fsck told me that doing a scan on a mounted drive was dangerous and asked me if i wanted to continue. I pressed "n". The "n" showed up on the screen and yet fsck decided i pressed 'y' and started the scan. It froze during the scan and now when i reboot i get a grub 17 error. This leads me to the question is there a control-C (dos) equivelant in linux? As soon as I can I'm just going to try and reinstall and see what happens this go around. I'm really commited to finally making the switch to linux and this distro. I have loaded (or at least attempted to load) Debian, Mandriva, Ubuntu, Kubuntu, and OpenSuse. I really like Elive and I've become more the wiser as a result of this. Thanks again!!!

Re: Errors on Hard Drive
January 29, 2010 04:25AM
Ouuppps oH! I feel really sorry for that dude! That sounds really strange.

First for the Ctrl-c: Yes, altrought I don't know about dos, the Ctrl-c cancel the actual action and and give you back the prompt. But in the case we're in, this is a special rescue console mode, and maybe the Ctrl-c is not reconized yet?

Second, fsck cannot be used on a mounted partition so if you have to fsck a mounted partition you have to unmount first entering: umount /home for example, if it's that partition you have to verify. In this way, of course, you cannot fsck the / partition I think as the system is mounted and running on... The only solution in taht case is to use another linux box like a live one from which you will manage to fsck any of your partitions. Or, booting in the distribution rescue mode (the Elive one is call nurse mode1), but I'm not really sure about that...

About your problem: The problem you have is depending about your first error message, you should look at errors and see from which partition it is coming from? Because if it's from your "/" one (the Elive system one) it looks very, very strange as a newly installed system MUST BE error free... If it's really that one you had a problem during install process, you should care about formats, Elive propose lot of differents formats but some are still in dev stage (altrough they're declared stable by their respectives developpers....) and need special ajustments . Example: reiserfs42 needs a "normal "ext3 partition in order to boot.
So as you start talking from /dev/sda2 I can imagine there's a windows sda1 right? Then: Is your windows partition in ntfs format? What did you answer about ntfs stuff during Elive installation? Elive Gem+ recognize ntfs, and the ntfs-3g driver is declared as "stable" since some times. BUT I don't know about Gem ntfs driver status is it updated enough?
So if you re-install, maybe best is to not enabling ntfs? And to use a usb key or something like that if you need file traveling from one system to another, or add a fat32 partition like /media/exchangeable_data/ during install process?

To summarise for next time:
You really have to analyse error messages and try to find from which partition they're coming.
    [*] If it's newly created partition: There's a problem that should'nt appear!!!
    [*] If it's coming from windows part, best is not to touch that partition and think about a fat32 partition? So after boot go admin mode,edit your /etc/fstab file and add a "#" as first letter of your windows parttion (that should be /dev/sda1)

One more thing: (please, do not take that bad! You will always learn more by mistakes than successes!) best is to note (even in old school mode if you're in console: with paper & pen emosmile) The complete output of the error messages.
And to give us the "real" error message, you can understand that it will be easier for us to answer you, if we read the "real" send message. (in your case I think about 99% in a windows partition problem so, if I had the real error output before I should say you about the fstab modification stuff and nothing more should run bad...

So to finalize: Just keep on! That problem is not really a problem and should be fix easily! Don't hesitate to ask in #elive irc channel on freenode, if someone is connected there (that's not always the case) he can help you more in a instantaneous way... It can help...

1 Only if you're running Elive develloppement version. This said, you didn't mention: which Elive version are you running? Gem Or Gem+ ?
2 Does anyone know and can show me how to enable reiserfs4 to the "original" debian kernel? I mean like it is so well done in Elive? (for a classical debian install)

Hope it helps...


Some of my websites:
Communautary website idea: []
Personnal website: []
Rwanda, french community: []
YouM's streeshow: []