I am trying to fsck an external drive (sdb)

external drive ubuntu

However it says I do not have r/w access to the drive.

terminal ubuntu external drive error

What should I do?


2 Answers 2


You have to run the fsck with sudo : sudo fsck /dev/sdb5 since normal users don't have the rights for this.

  • I followed this and it returned a "bad magic number in superblock". I did more research and found that since the drive is a in a raid set up (actually they are a pair of disks installed in my NAS) it I need to instead find out the raid partition? I followed the procedures in this link: wiki.sabayon.org/… I found the raid partition (also /dev/md/2) and when I got to the fsck part, it didn't do anything and just went back to the command prompt. Any ideas what I need to do?
    – Caine
    Jul 24, 2017 at 1:30
  • That sounds right. If fsck returns without output, it haven't found any thing to fix. Originally was it an error that indicated that you had to run fsck, or was it just because you refereed to the wrong partition ?
    – Soren A
    Jul 24, 2017 at 7:51
  • This all started because the NAS was having some problems, it could boot up and I could get the login page, but couldn't actually get to the GUI (in this case DSM, it just kept loading). So I thought there was something wrong with the disks...when I popped the disks back into my NAS the problem was still there. And now I am lost as to how to fix the problem...
    – Caine
    Jul 24, 2017 at 16:20

The answer is implied in fsck's output, you need root privileges:

$ sudo fsck /dev/sdb5

If device is mounted, unmount it before:

$ sudo umount /dev/sdb5

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