I am having this problem with my server when I boot. I'm trying the fsck /dev/sda1 by logging into maintenance mode which i get the option to do when it boots. Check the screen shot.

It's so far found 9 inconsistencies and fixed them. Can anyone give me any advice? is there a recovery mode for debian?

Debian GNU/Linux 5.0 \n \l uname -r: 2.6.26-2-amd64

Proc info: http://pastebin.com/1gVtNLxM

enter image description here

  • The text in your picture mentions that it's dropping you into a maintenance shell - should be able to use that? Jan 10, 2012 at 1:55
  • Hey Shane, what do I do once i get there (apart from running fsck)
    – Jason
    Jan 10, 2012 at 2:05
  • @Jason That depends, do you have backups?
    – jscott
    Jan 10, 2012 at 2:27
  • well the file system is on 2 raid arrays, the system itself is on raid 1+0 and the other is on raid 6. the files themselves are safe but there was corruption on the 1+0. the FSCK fixed it.
    – Jason
    Jan 12, 2012 at 4:02

2 Answers 2


Is there a recovery mode for debian?

Well you have the maintenance mode, just type in your root password. If you cannot run fsck, or it cannot clean up your filesystem, then you need to simply restore from your backups.

Can anyone give me any advice?

Do exactly what it told you to do. Drop to the shell and run fsck. If a fsck can't clean the filesystem, and you don't already have a good backup, then I would try to extract/export anything off that disk that you can ASAP.


In addition to the above answer I would suggest to run fsck like this, to avoid tons of keypresses:

fsck -y /dev/sda1

From the manual:

-y     For  some  filesystem-specific  checkers, the -y option will cause the fs-specific fsck to always attempt to fix any
       detected filesystem corruption automatically. Sometimes an expert may be able to do better driving the fsck manually.

I don't remember ever breaking a filesystem doing that.

By the way, in debian it's not turned on by default, but you can do so and avoid most of these pesky maintenance mode prompts that require physical presence. In file /etc/default/rcS set:

  • so what does that switch do? does that mean i won't ever have to login to maintenance mode?
    – Jason
    Jan 12, 2012 at 4:01
  • It means that it will run fsck with the -y switch, which will cause it to attempt repair without prompting for someone to type "y" which means you will not have to enter maintenance mode. However this doesn't avoid any other reasons you may have to enter maintenance mode. Though, maintenance modes caused by fsck seem most common, so you will greatly reduce these.
    – aseq
    Jan 12, 2012 at 23:44

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