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Linux Mint broken but self repaired when prompted, why?

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Linux Mint broken but self repaired when prompted, why?

Old 9th Apr 2021, 16:17
  #1 (permalink)  
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Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: Berkshire, UK
Posts: 729
Linux Mint broken but self repaired when prompted, why?

The computer in my workshop failed to boot up a couple of days ago. At the time the workshop was quite cold (8 deg C) following a very cold night, I can't tell if it had been below zero before the heater had kicked in on a timer. No condensation was observed on anything but it did occur to me that there might have been. I left the box powered on for a couple of hours and tried resetting it but it still failed. The boot sequence followed the normal path and failed after the hardware tests were complete and Mint 18.x had started loading.

The screen froze displaying "initramfs)" and a message about manually running "fsck" with a suggestion to enter "help" for a list of commands. I popped the hard drive out (it is in a caddy) and slid in the WinXP hard drive in. The machine then booted properly into Win. Obviously the issue was hard drive or OS software on the drive. Incidentally, the hard drive has been in use for 6 or 8 hours per day, 6 days most weeks, since 2010 so the failure was not a total surprise.

I was on the verge of sourcing a replacement hard drive when I thought I would just see if there was another option. A quick Google pulled up the instructions to perform the manual fsck so with nothing to use I gave it a go and 5 mins later the machine was alive in the usual way.

I am still confused though thankful that it was not terminal. A number of folk have had this issue and more than one set of instructions have been posted for the cure but nobody seems to suggest what goes wrong to cause the issue. It is not limited to one version of Mint. I can't recall the errors corrected by fsck, they scrolled by too quickly to read but they did seem to be many of the same one with "should be 4 but 5 found, fix?" popping up a lot.

Does anyone know if this is a bug in Linux Mint or something more sinister like a virus attack?

rans6andrew is offline  
Old 9th Apr 2021, 16:58
  #2 (permalink)  
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: Twickenham, home of rugby
Posts: 6,694
If that Linux Mint disk is a spinning HDD, then I would think it far more likely that there were actual disk errors rather than a bug in Mint, or anything suspicious.
Saab Dastard is offline  
Old 10th Apr 2021, 10:58
  #3 (permalink)  
Join Date: Apr 1998
Location: Mesopotamos
Posts: 1,493
Linux/Unix doesn't like mounting dirty file systems for very valid reasons. Either the disk drive is on it's way out or your machine suffered some kind of outage that left the hard disk drive in an inconsistent state. If it were me I would seek a replacement. Old spinning disk drives were built quite sturdy back in the day, I still have a 14 year old disk drive that I use as a third backup device after it started showing problems about 5 years ago. Newer spinning disk drives appear to me to be less reliable, thankfully they are now mostly obsolete.
cattletruck is offline  

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