fsck.ext3: return code 3 but no error message

  • vswitchs

    vswitchs - 2008-04-13


    I'm having trouble with my root partition.  Regularly, upon reboot after creating large files (DVD images), fsck.ext3 fails with return code 3, but does not print an error message during the checks.  That fsck is executed is not because the partition is marked dirty (it isn't) but because of the fsck force interval, which I reduced when this first occurred.  Maybe I should get a new disk... but it was less than a year old when this started, plus I'd like to understand the problem first.  When I had trouble with the disk on a different computer, there was always an error message from fsck.  What does it mean when fsck.ext3 returns an error but does not print a message?

    Thank you in advance for thinking about this.

    The disk only has a 4GB swap partition and a 74GB ext3 root partition (system, home, everything).

    fsck.ext3 version: 1.38
    fsck.ext3 command line: fsck.ext3 -v -d -C0 /dev/sda2
    (The -d was an attempt to get more information.)

    Distribution: Ubuntu dapper x86_64
    uname -a: Linux schizo 2.6.15-23-amd64-generic #1 SMP PREEMPT Tue May 23 13:45:47 UTC 2006 x86_64 GNU/Linux

    More info (screen photo of failing fsck, tune2fs -l, hdparm -I) at
    http://www.volkerschatz.com/tmp/fsck-ext3.html .

    Best regards, Volker

    • vswitchs

      vswitchs - 2008-06-03

      This issue seems to have gone away since I compiled a new kernel.  Apparently a harmless bug in one of the early x86_64 kernels (2.6.15-23 / Ubuntu dapper), which caused e2fsck to fail (but caused no data corruption as far as I could tell).

      To answer my original question, looking at the source code it does not seem unusual for e2fsck to print no error message even if the check fails.

      Regards,  Volker


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