Problems with HDD

I booted up my PC, running Suse 10.3, and was surprised to see the following error message:


error on stat() /dev/sde5: no such file or directory fsck.ext3 /dev/sde5 failed (status 0x8).
Run manually
blogd: no message logging because /var file system is not accissible
ehci-hed ohci-hed uhci-hed USB Universal Serial Bus Interface driver v3.0 usb-ohci usb-uhci
fsch failed for at least one filesystem (not /)
Please repair manually and reboot
The root filesystem is already mounted read-only

I didn’t know what to do. So I very reluctantly, seeing as how I really needed access to all my emails I have on this PC, ran a new installation, making sure that I kept the / drive and /home drive, deleting /sde and formating it.

I was, unfortunately, in a place that didn’t have internet access, and I hadn’t backed-up my emails in over 4 weeks.

For future reference, what should I have done to fix the problem?

> I didn’t know what to do.

The error message you got told you what happened and what to do:

What happened: fsck failed for at least one filesystem (not /)
What to do: Please repair manually and reboot"

and, just above that it told you exactly WHICH “not /” partition needed
attention (/dev/sde5) and which version of fsck was run against it (fsck.ext3)

> For future reference, what should I have done to fix the problem?

you should have read the manual for fsck and fsck.ext3 (access those by typing
and entering “man fsck” and then "man fsck.ext3) and gone from there to run
fsck.ext3 yourself, probably with the -p switch.

Following the too often used (Windows) reinstall-will-fix-everything plan is
usually not the best way to try to fix problems on Linux–and, as you and many
others have found often gives unhappy results.

Therefore, ALWAYS always ASK here BEFORE resorting to the Redmond Way. (As after
a format it is REAL difficult to recover emails, photos, music etc etc etc.)

And, you might ask yourself why it happened. Is /dev/sde an external USB drive?

As I mentioned, I was in a place where I didn’t have internet access at the time and my laptop was a few hours drive away. I really needed access to the mails I had stored. The sde drive is an internal one. I have 3 internal drives, I do have 2 external drives, but switched them off immediately and rebooted to check if I got the same error message, I did; Conclusion it was one of the internal drives. Since the message specifically mentioned that the / drive was not affected, it has the designation sda, I knew that one was alright.

As for reading the manual, no problem, unfortunately I only had access to the cli and in run level 3. I am not very familiar with the cli, I can do things when following instructions etc, but when I’m completely on my own, I’d rather not “fool” around on it, for fear of doing some real damage.

In this case I took, what was for me the lesser of two evils, and made sure I had access to my emails.

> As for reading the manual, no problem, unfortunately I only had access
> to the cli and in run level 3. I am not very familiar with the cli

And, therein is the problem…and, one you can correct. If you are going to be
the administrator for your Linux system then you are gonna need to become more
familiar with *nix Administrator Duties…the “manual” i spoke of is the “man
pages” which you have access to in run level three…at the command line type:

man fsck

Press enter and read and then follow the man(ual)…no internet required.

Yes I know: that is not exactly what you wished for.

silkmaze schrieb:
> I booted up my PC, running Suse 10.3, and was surprised to see the
> following error message:
>
> …
> error on stat() /dev/sde5: no such file or directory fsck.ext3
> /dev/sde5 failed (status 0x8).

I guess that was two lines originally? It’s generally best, when
reporting error messages, to paste them as literally as possible,
otherwise you make it more difficult than necessary for others to
help you.

> fsch failed for at least one filesystem (not /)
> Please repair manually and reboot
> The root filesystem is already mounted read-only
…]
> For future reference, what should I have done to fix the problem?

At that point, you should have found yourself in a single-user
shell (command line). The advice to run fsck manually is, in this
specific case, useless as it has already told you the filesystem
device in question (/dev/sde5) didn’t even exist.

At that point you really had two options (beside reinstalling):

a) Try to get the system up without the missing filesystem and
go hunting for it later. That would involve editing the filesystem
table (/etc/fstab), finding the line referring to /dev/sde5,
deciding if it was essential to system operation and if not,
setting it to “not mounted at system startup” by adding the
“noauto” option to the options column (third field). If after
that, your system does not come up in a usable state, the missing
filesystem was essential after all and you proceed to …

b) Try to find out where the device has gotten to. In /etc/fstab
you can see where it was mounted, which should give you a hint
what it was (at least if you had set up the machine yourself).
Look in the kernel boot log (dmesg) for messages about detected
disk drives. Is there a disk “sde” at all? If not, its cable
might have come loose. If there is, what partitions does the
kernel recognise on it? Have the disk drives perhaps been
permuted, or another drive with a name before sde removed, so
that the disk that had previously been sde is now visible under
a different name (for example, sdd)?
As soon as you have found it, you can insert its new name in
/etc/fstab and try to mount it manually to check whether you
guessed right.

HTH
Tilman

Sorry for getting back to you so late, I was off Island, xmas shopping in St. Maarten. I have printed out your reply and have it on my desk. I will be installing Suse 11.1 this coming weekend and will make sure that during the installation that I pay special attention to the partitioning and formating part.

op Deres - not what I wanted, but good advice never-the-less.

Thanks.

Hey there,

I had almost the same problem. I’m also pretty new both to OpenSuse 10.3 and Linux. I was trying to set the windows partition read and write from the fstab. Couldn’t do it anyway but it was working when I made the change.
After I booted up I came up with a pretty same message. Now here how can I run fstab from the command line?
I would be happy to get an answer for that.

birdents schrieb:
> I had almost the same problem. I’m also pretty new both to OpenSuse
> 10.3 and Linux. I was trying to set the windows partition read and write
> from the fstab. Couldn’t do it anyway but it was working when I made the
> change.

That’s good. At least you know what caused the problem.
You just have to undo the change you made in your fstab.

> After I booted up I came up with a pretty same message. Now here how
> can I run fstab from the command line?

You’ll have to make your root filesystem writeable first. Then you can
edit it with any text mode editor you happen to have installed and be
familiar with. Personally I prefer vi because that’s what I know best,
so it would be

mount -o remount,rw /

vi /etc/fstab

[make your changes …]
[quit by typing ZZ]

mount -o remount,ro /

The last step isn’t strictly necessary, but better safe than sorry.

HTH
T.

OK that helped. It was the sdb1 drive (I guess usb flash disk). I changed the 6th column to 0 and added a noauto to the 3rd column. I think I need to figure out how to set the usb drive up now:)

thank you very much.