Ubuntu 12.04.1 LTS
I wanted to test running fsck on root file system (ext4) on my home PC before I try to fix a real problem on my work server.

I booted into Linux recovery mode, and selected:

fsck - Check all file systems

This produced:

fsck for util-linux 2.20.1    
/dev/sdb5: 276147/151969160 files (0.2% non-contiguous), 2214857/60774919 blocks 

then hung with no disk activity lights flashing. I left it for 10 minutes but no change. Enter or ESC did nothing. Eventally I did Ctrl-C and it booted.

I only have 1 file system in /etc/fstab (other than proc & swap).

Is this supposed to happen? I searched for other posts in AskUbuntu about recovery mode, and from what I can tell, it should continue somehow after doing the fsck(s).

I did find link which seems to have same behavior but in that case the system was unbootable.

I also booted from 12.04.1 Live DVD and selected 'Test Linux' and manually ran
sudo fsck /dev/sdb5 which ran for about the same time (10 seconds) and also didn't find any errors.

My system dual boots Linux & Windows 7 and Windows C: is an SSD.

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It definitely is not "supposed" to do that - but it happens.
Workaround: in the recovery menu just select Drop to root shell prompt enter image description here and inside try

sudo fdisk -l

to get a list of drives and partitions


should give something like

/dev/sdb5 on / type ext4 (rw,errors=remount-ro)

and then with the partition you just found

sudo fsck -f /dev/sdb5
sudo mount /dev/sdb5 / -o remount,rw

fsck -f forces a check, even if there is no indication of a problem on the partition.
Now your root partition is error free and mounted (rw). You would now be able to do anything there with root permissions - so be careful!

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It seems this is a known bug: system hangs after selecting certain menu items in Recovery Menu (Launchpad bug 1061239).

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  • 1
    Makes sense, yet the bug report is specific for 12.10, and the OP mentions 12.04. I think it's unlikely that this bug has existed this long in a release (if it does exist in 12.04) with just getting this little attention. – gertvdijk Jan 16 '13 at 12:55
  • @gertvdijk I'm having same trouble with 12.04 – tir38 Sep 22 '13 at 16:42

If you don't boot with the splash screen, then the hotkeys for mountcheck are not visible. The system is actually waiting for "M" for maintenance shell, "F" to fix FSCK problems, "S" to skip fsck, or "C" to cancel a check. This MAY be the problem you're actually seeing. Ctrl-C should un-wedge it, or boot with "single" and hope you get a shell prompt.

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