File system checking on ext3 after a system crash

Balu manyam balu.manyam at
Mon Apr 9 11:23:57 UTC 2007

Ted -- Thanks for your response - It was indeed very helpful.
I realized a full fsck was enforced due to  the FS went unchecked for more
than 180 days (default period when the FS was created with mke2fs -j

So my question for you and folks in the group -- Can I safely disable this
behavior   of  routine fsck  with tune2fs -i 0 <blockdevice) .(By doing this
I am assuming that the e2fsck program does a log replay whenever there is a
system crash - and a manual intervention is needed whenever this fails.)

Are there negative implications by doing the above.

Thanks for any suggestions/Advise.


On 4/7/07, Theodore Tso <tytso at> wrote:
> On Fri, Apr 06, 2007 at 12:35:53PM -0400, Balu manyam wrote:
> > Hi folks --   My machine is a RHEL 3 with 2.4 kernel  installed - with
> some
> > large ext3 filesystems on drives connected internally  ( >200G)
> >
> > Now, When this system crashed (for eg:- a CPU panic /hardware error )
> -
> > e2fsck on this filesystem seems to be taking a long time to return
> thereby
> > adding to the overall downtime of this system.
> >
> > could there be any workarounds for my issue?
> >
> > say for example , to have it try to replay the journal and if it fails
> only
> > then , configure  it do a full check ?
> E2fsck normally only replays the journal (a relatively quick
> operation).  It will only do a full check if the filesystem was marked
> as having an error (which the kernel will do if it notices an
> inconsistency), or if the filesystem fails some very obvious checks
> before or after the journal is run.  (But in the latter case, it
> usually means the filesystem is very badly damaged and e2fsck will not
> attempt to fix it via an automatic preen pass, but will instead stop
> and ask for human guidance.)
> So did e2fsck actually print out any inconsistencies?  It normally
> will print a message saying that the filesystem was marked as having
> errors, etc.  And what do you mean by "a long time"?  It depends on
> disk speed, of course, but I have a 95% utilized 700 gig filsystem
> which takes 40 minutes to fsck.  This is usually relatively moderm
> SATA drives in a RAID 5 configuraitons, however.
> Finally, are you sure the filesystem is being mounted as ext3 while
> the system is in normal operation?  What does "cat /proc/mounts" say?
> It could be that for some reason you are only mounting the filesystem
> using ext2 (maybe the journal wasn't created, or the ext3 module
> wasn't loaded, etc.)
> Hope this is helpful!
>                                                 - Ted
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