System Administration Guide: Devices and File Systems

Free Block Checks

Free blocks are stored in the cylinder group block maps. The fsck command checks that all the blocks marked as free are not claimed by any files. When all the blocks have been accounted for, the fsck command checks if the number of free blocks plus the number of blocks that are claimed by the inodes equal the total number of blocks in the file system. If anything is wrong with the block maps, the fsck command rebuilds them, leaving out blocks already allocated.

The summary information in the superblock includes a count of the total number of free blocks within the file system. The fsck command compares this count to the number of free blocks it finds within the file system. If the counts do not agree, the fsck command replaces the count in the superblock with the actual free block count.