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I dual-boot Windows 10 and Ubuntu 18.04 (on a HP Pavillion Touchsmart 15 Notebook PC 15-n090sa, bought in 2014, with a 1 TB HDD). Ubuntu is located on the /dev/sda6 partition. I boot into Ubuntu every day. About once every week, I see the following message:


/dev/sda6 contains a file system with errors, check forced. Inodes that were part of a corrupted orphan linked list found.

/dev/sda6: UNEXPECTED INCONSISTENCY; RUN fsck MANUALLY. (i.e., without -a or -p options) fsck exited with status code 4 The root filesystem on /dev/sda6 requires a manual fsck

Busybox v1.27.2 (Ubuntu 1:1.27.2-2ubuntu3.1) built-in shell (ash) Enter 'help' for a list of built-in commands.

(initramfs) _


I enter "fsck /dev/sda6". It then lists a bunch of errors I don't understand. It asks if I want them fixed. I enter "y" for all of them, and things seem to be fixed. I am able to boot up Ubuntu. The only problem is that this happens again and again.

  1. Does anyone know what the problem is? Do you think it is a hardware or software problem?
  2. Does anyone know what I can do to fix it?

Please please please do not mark my question as a duplicate of this:

fsck error on boot: /dev/sda6: UNEXPECTED INCONSISTENCY; RUN fsck MANUALLY

That post does not contain an answer to my problem ("fsck /dev/sda6" does not permanently fix). It has also been closed because it "attracted low-quality or spam answers".

  • Have you installed a Windows driver that allows you to read/write to Linux ext2/3/4 partitions? – heynnema Apr 7 at 18:38
  • Hi heynnema. I don't know. I don't even understand the question really. I'm not a very advanced user. On the Windows side, I have a basic install of Windows 10. I've never gone out of my way to install any extra drivers. If this is an essential issue, maybe you could tell me how I could determine if I have a Windows driver that allows me to read/write to Linux ext2/3/4 partitions? – TheBlackCrusader Apr 8 at 17:04
  • Ext2Fsd is one such Windows driver. The easiest way to tell if such a driver is installed, is to look/ask if you ever transfer files between Ubuntu and Windows, and if so, how do you do it? – heynnema Apr 8 at 18:06
  • I have never transferred files between Ubuntu and Windows. I checked, and Ext2Fsd is not installed on Windows. Here is a list of all drivers installed on Windows: paste.ubuntu.com/p/hFg9rgYS4S Do you think one of them is causing a problem? – TheBlackCrusader Apr 8 at 19:39
  • The driver list looks fine. Do you shutdown Ubuntu from the menu, or just turn off the computer? Do this command... grep -i sda /var/log/syslog* copy that output to the clipboard, and then paste it into paste.ubuntu.com, and give me the link, and I'll take a look at it.. – heynnema Apr 8 at 19:48
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Note: Good idea to have good data/file backups before doing this...


Update your BIOS, and your HDD firmware.

To check your BIOS version:

sudo dmidecode -s bios-version

To check your HDD firmware, try:

sudo lshw -C disk

Go to this HP Support web site and download these two files...

enter image description here

Update #1:

  • you can't update the HDD firmware, as you don't have a Seagate HDD

  • open the Disks app, select your HDD, go to the "hamburger" icon, select SMART Data & Tests, take a screenshot of the SMART Data and post it on imgur.com for me. Then run the SMART tests.

  • open the terminal app, and type grep -i sda /var/log/syslog* and post the output to paste.ubuntu.com for me to look at.

  • in Windows, go to https://www.westerndigital.com/support/hgst/internal-drives/mobile-laptop/travelstar-5k1000 and download their WinDFT application, and Users Guide, and run it.

Update #2:

First, let me say that you've done and excellent job with your documentation and screenshots and communication. Very helpful.

Second, I've reviewed all of the information, and there appears to be no obvious hard disk problem.

Third, I'm starting to agree with you, that the problem is deeper than we've probed before. I'm concerned about the CMOS Checksum error right now. Let's really dig down now. I'll ask you to do some things that may be a little difficult, and if you can't do them, just let me know.

Note: make sure that you have backups of your important files.

  1. Lets reset the power manager. Remove all power from the laptop, including the AC power and the battery. The battery may be internal, so you'll have to unplug it there. If you'd rather not do this, then skip to step #2. Otherwise, once all power has been removed, hold down the power button for 15 seconds. Then reconnect the battery and AC power, and see if you notice any difference in operation.

  2. Lets reset the BIOS to factory default. Turn on the computer and enter the BIOS. First, take note of the disk/disk controller settings... it should read something like RAID/SATA/RST/AHCI/IDE/other. Then find the key that does "reset to default" or "reset to factory specs", select it, then save your settings and continue to boot. Depending on your original settings, the computer may behave slightly differently than before. We may have to go back and manually change some settings if the computer is not fully operable. If it does boot properly, recheck operation.

  3. Lastly, lets check your memory. You'll probably find a memtest at either:

    • on the initial GRUB menu
    • when booted to a Ubuntu Live DVD/USB
    • from a memtest downloaded from...

Go to http://www.memtest.org or https://www.memtest86.com/ (use the second link to get the latest free version), and download/run memtest to test your memory. Get at least one complete pass (4/4) of all the tests to confirm good memory. This may take a while (hours).

Update #3:

The internal HP extended memory test failed. There's a memory problem.

Update #4:

MemTest86 V8.1 Free (64-bit) confirmed that we have a memory problem. Since you have two 4G memory cards, remove one 4G card (remember which slot you removed it from) and rerun the memory test. Do the same with the other 4G card (also remember which slot it was removed from). If one fails, please place it, by itself, in the OTHER slot and rerun the memory test, as this will eliminate a possible defective memory slot, rather than a bad memory card.

Replacement memory cards can be sized/purchased here. Keep in mind that it's best to have two equal size/speed memory cards installed.

Update #5:

Memtest confirmed that memory card #2 was defective. We'll remove it for now and just run on the remaining 4G card.

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