[ubuntu-uk] Big filesystem problem

Tony Travis a.travis at abdn.ac.uk
Tue May 5 21:06:43 BST 2009

Kris Douglas wrote:
> Hello, I'm updating an Ubuntu machine to 8.10 and then 9, but during
> the update, update-manager crashed with an IOError (number 30) the
> filesystem became read only, the whole system is now read only, I
> can't create a folder anywhere, as root or as a normal user...
> Any ideas?

Hello, Kris.

This is normal behaviour if your /etc/fstab has an entry like this:

> UUID=... /     ext3    relatime,errors=remount-ro 0       1

The mount option "errors=remount-ro" tells the kernel to remount the '/' 
filesystem read-only if any errors occur. This is to prevent a chain 
reaction of corruption in which you might lose the entire filesystem!

Best advice is to reboot from the Ubuntu 'live' CD, and salvage anything 
precious from the '/' filesystem on the hard disk while you can. Then, 
after that, run filesystem diagnostics from the 'live' CD, using e.g.:

   sudo -i
   fsck /dev/sda1 # or whatever partition your '/' filesystem is on.

It might also be a good idea to try:

   badblocks -sp1 /dev/sda

Good luck!

Dr. A.J.Travis, University of Aberdeen, Rowett Institute of Nutrition
and Health, Greenburn Road, Bucksburn, Aberdeen AB21 9SB, Scotland, UK
tel +44(0)1224 712751, fax +44(0)1224 716687, http://www.rowett.ac.uk
mailto:a.travis at abdn.ac.uk, http://bioinformatics.rri.sari.ac.uk/~ajt

More information about the ubuntu-uk mailing list