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e2fsck discrepancies


yesterday I ran e2fsck -n on a mounted file system and got:

/dev/sdb1 contains a file system with errors, check forced.

According to Ted, the lines that followed were not to be trusted due to the fact that the file system was mounted. But this error statement suggests to run a check with the fs unmounted.

Today, we scheduled a downtime and ran the check. It came of completely clean:
~: e2fsck -fy /dev/sdb1

e2fsck 1.40.8 (13-Mar-2008)
Pass 1: Checking inodes, blocks, and sizes
Pass 2: Checking directory structure
Pass 3: Checking directory connectivity
Pass 4: Checking reference counts
Pass 5: Checking group summary information
/dev/sdb1: 32028520/536870912 files (0.5% non-contiguous), 802465197/2147460933 blocks

Does this mean that read-only checks are generally not trustworthy, even the statement that the filesystem has errors? Or something like

Read-only reports clean: fine
Read-only reports error: not necessarily really an error

Thanks and regards,


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