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Old 09-01-2006, 06:26 PM   #1
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Registered: Sep 2005
Location: Boulder, Colorado
Distribution: Slackware current
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Problem checking root filesystem when booting Slackware

I run slackware -current on a Dell Inspiron 6000, which has been a bit of an adventure. However, I haven't had any major difficulties for almost a year.

Now, however, when I boot up (using kernel,, or, all goes well until it's time to check the root filesystem, at which point I get the following message:

Checking root filesystem:
fsck 1.38 (30-Jun-2005)
/sbin/e2fsck: No such file or directory while trying to open /dev/sda2
The superblock could not be read or does not describe a correct ext2
filesystem. If the device is valid and it really contains an ext2
filesystem (and not swap or ufs or something else), then the superblock
is corrupt, and you might try running e2fsck with an alternate superblock:
    e2fsck -b 8193 <device>

Give root password for maintenance                                              
(or type Control-D for normal startup):
Here is my simple partition table:

Name     Flags     Part Type     FS Type       Label     Size (MB)
hda2     Boot      Primary       Linux ext3              8998.46
hda3               Primary       Linux ext3              30005.83
hda1               Primary       Linux swap              1003.49
(The 2.6 kernel converts hdaX to sdaX, which is why e2fsck was trying to open /dev/sda2. This has not been a problem in the past.)

Logging in to perform maintenance has been unhelpful. e2fsck -b has just given identical errors. However, if I boot up from my Slackware 10.1 installation CD I can mount hda2 and hda3 without a problem, and I can check them with e2fsck, which declares them clean.

I haven't been able to access my fstab (although root, I get "Permission denied" errors, for some reason), but since it hasn't been modified since last December, I doubt it is the source of the problem.

I haven't made major changes to the system since it was last rebooted. I only used swaret to sync with upgrades made in -current (not including aaa packages), and can't think of any that could have caused this. I hope there is some simple resolution to this, since e2fsck not being able to find my root partition seems a pretty basic problem, and suggests that the superblock is not in fact corrupt.

But so far as I can tell, this problem came out of the blue, and I'm stumped as to what the problem is and how I should address it. I've Googled and searched through this site, but haven't found any promising leads. I would greatly appreciate any assistance.

Thanks in advance,

-David Schaich
Old 09-01-2006, 07:19 PM   #2
Registered: Apr 2003
Location: uk
Distribution: slackware current
Posts: 765

Rep: Reputation: 55
my guess is you upgraded to the new udev, but for this to work, you need the new scripts in /etc/rc.d.
Because now udev for 2.6.15 and newer kernels does much of what hotplug used to do (as I understand it).

So get your rescue disk out again, when you are offered kernel parameters, say linux /dev/hda2
Hopefully it will boot now.
Now go to /etc/rc.d and rename rc.hotplug and rc.udev with .old, then take the .new extensions off the new versions of these files (there may be others, but I think these are the most important)

now reboot

-you need to read the changelogs if you dabble with current-


Last edited by tobyl; 09-01-2006 at 07:21 PM.
Old 09-01-2006, 10:55 PM   #3
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Registered: Sep 2005
Location: Boulder, Colorado
Distribution: Slackware current
Posts: 9

Original Poster
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Thanks, that's just what was necessary. Ironically, the changelog was the first place I went when the problem started, on a public terminal using IE. Apparently the changelog is now so long that IE bugs out partway through loading it and puts up an error page. I remember reading something about udev problems months ago, but I thought I had taken care of them. Obviously not.

Oh, well. Now that everything is working again, I'm happy. Thanks again.


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