Thursday, December 18, 2008

Repairing a corrupted XFS file system

I have been testing out the XFS file system. When 8.10 came out I did a fresh install with XFS as the partition for the root directory. Everything was working fine until one day I was having trouble running programs like Firefox and mplayer. Nothing seemed to be working very well. Programs would load but then all of the sudden they would quit. Finally I tried to log out but all I got was a whitescreen and the computer would not shut off. I did the unthinkable and pressed the power button until it turned off.

Two days later I tried to start up my laptop only to be greeted with an error message about the root filesystem not being able to load. I tried the alternate kernel, but that would not load either. It seemed like the drive had not mechanically failed because the bootloader would come up and it would try to mount the root file system. I tried putting in the install CD and using rescue mode but that was not any help. All it did was tell me that it could not load the root filesystem. After doing a few searches I found that running xfs_repair was my best option but the only way to do that was to take the drive out and connect it to my desktop computer through a USB to ATA-66 adapter.

Once connected to my desktop all that was needed was to figure out which /dev/??? it was. A quick check in dmesg showed it to be /dev/sdb3. I then ran:
xfs_repair -L /dev/sdb3
When that finished I was able to mount the drive and get any files I wanted off of it.

I put the drive back in the laptop and it was able to boot, but it was still having problems with some programs. Right now it is getting a fresh install of Ubuntu 8.10! (but this time I am sticking with ext3)

1 comment:

allen said...

I too had already faced such a situation last time but luckily I got a recovery tool stellar phoenix linux recovery software which is quite effective and fruitful. This software is very simple to use. User interface of the software lets the less technical skilled users to achieve an absolute partition recovery.this software works well If you are unable to open and access data, files, volumes on Linux Ext2, Ext3 and Reiser file systems