Ubuntu fsck forced check at boot fails

I brought out my laptop yesterday to share with some of my Skydiving buddies a new website I am working on for a Skydiving club, and the laptop would not boot. I was getting this message:

* Checking root file system...
fsck 1.40-WIP (14-Nov-2006)
/dev/sda1 has been mounted 30 times without being checked, check forced.
/dev/sda1: |=========                                                     / 15.2%

The laptop would just stop and freeze. The reason I couldn’t fix it, was because I didn’t have a LIVE CD with me to boot and manually run the fsck. First I thought my laptop may have had bigger issues, but there was no way to find out. So this cool OS that I told them I had on it was nothing more than a check disk forced screen.

This morning I researched what was going on, and decided to take the advice of manually running fsck myself. I booted using my LIVE CD, then ran:

 sudo e2fsck -C0 -p -f -v /dev/sda1

And all was well. No errors reported! I rebooted without the LIVE CD, and I have a perfectly running laptop with Kubuntu on it.

Of course timing could not have been better having my laptop away from the office (wow what a concept). I could carry my LIVE CD with me in my laptop bag. But then what if I don’t take that laptop bag? Its poor engineering…and several threads, and a bug or two exist on Ubuntu Forums/Launchpad discussing how to let users get around the check. I hope the maintainers in Debian and Ubuntu take this more seriously. A normal user (my mom for instance) would have not had a clue of what to do. And to ask her to get her LIVE CD out and walk through those steps would have been a long phone conversation!

Advice to Ubuntu/Debian maintainers: First fix the problem with fsck, and second create a better user experience.  This may sound harsh…but it needs to be said.


5 responses to “Ubuntu fsck forced check at boot fails

  1. Weellllll… ate the very right you see a percentage value (in your screenshot, it’s 15.2%).
    This will slowly increase to 100%, whereupon the forced check will have been completed and the boot will continue.

    The system insists on checking the partition every 30 boots, just to be on the safe side. You can change this via

    sudo tune2fs -c 60 /dev/sda1

    to only do this every 60 boots.

  2. There’s a neat little trick around the forced disk check in ubuntu… however it only works with laptops.

    Just don’t plug it in while booting, the new Ubuntu versions skip the disk checks if the pc running it isn’t plugged into the mains

  3. @dave, EXCELLENT suggestion, tried it and it worked a charm!!! Nice one

  4. Man!!! i had trouble for a week and Dave has the easy fix. Thank you bro!

  5. The fsck problem has been ignored for months. Nobody is even bothering to fix it. Only hacks and workarounds.
    I was starting to tell people in the last year that linux is ready for the masses, but this proves that it’s not. I’ve disabled fsck on my friend’s linux machines and if that causes their machines to die, so be it.
    I can’t believe it isn’t fixed yet.

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