System Administration Guide: Devices and File Systems

Fixing a UFS File System That the fsck Command Cannot Repair

The fsck command operates in several passes, and a problem corrected in a later pass can expose other problems that are only detected by earlier passes. Therefore, it is sometimes necessary to run fsck until it no longer reports any problems. Doing so ensures that all errors have been found and repaired.

Pay attention to the information displayed by the fsck command. This information might help you fix the problem. For example, the messages might point to a damaged directory. If you delete the directory, you might find that the fsck command runs cleanly.

If the fsck command still cannot repair the file system, try to use the ff, clri, and ncheck commands to figure out and fix what is wrong. For information about how to use these commands, see the following references:

Ultimately, you might need to re-create the file system and restore its contents from backup media.

For information about restoring complete file systems, see Chapter 27, Restoring UFS Files and File Systems (Tasks).

If you cannot fully repair a file system but you can mount it read-only, try using the cp, tar, or cpio commands to retrieve all or part of the data from the file system.

If hardware disk errors are causing the problem, you might need to reformat and repartition the disk again before re-creating and restoring file systems. Check that the device cables and connectors are functional before replacing the disk device. Hardware errors usually display the same error again and again across different commands. The format command tries to work around bad blocks on the disk. However, if the disk is too severely damaged, the problems might persist, even after reformatting. For information about using the format command, see format(1M). For information about installing a new disk, see Chapter 12, SPARC: Adding a Disk (Tasks) or Chapter 13, x86: Adding a Disk (Tasks).