Posted by: Odzangba | November 16, 2007

Add possibility to skip forced disk check

I had some friends over last week and I just couldn’t resist the temptation to show off my attractive GNOME desktop. So I fired up the box, everything was going nicely with me giving a running commentary on the boot process when suddenly I got the “/dev/sda1 has been mounted 30 times without being checked… check forced” message… oh oh. Pressing Ctrl + C had no effect plus the nice usplash screen had given way to an ugly black-and-white screen. So there I was in a very difficult position because I’d bragged about linux extensively to these guys and now what… “this is linux, you have to wait 10 minutes for it to load?” Imagine going in to make a presentation and this happens to you… you’d be very annoyed at the paranoid developers who put this ridiculous disk check system in place.

Before anybody jumps down my throat, I am not saying forcing a disk check is a bad idea. It is a clever way of nipping file system corruption (as a result of stuff like hardware failures, kernel bugs, flaky memory chips, et cetera) in the bud BUT that should not translate into inconvenience to the user. I’m thinking that perhaps giving the user the choice to skip the disk check and repeating the message on subsequent boots until he accepts is a better way of doing things. This way, I can get my real stuff done in a hurry and when I’m done, I just reboot and let the disk check take place.

Another thing that irritates me is how the nice usplash is rudely replaced by an ugly black-and-white screen whenever stuff like disk checks and other errors occur during the boot process. I want my splash image at ALL TIMES. Anyways, to disable the disk check completely, all you have to do is run the tune2fs command. Here’s an example, my root partition is /dev/sda1 so I had to do:

sudo tune2fs -c 0 -i 0 /dev/sda1

Be careful with this however as the danger of file system corruption if you forget to manually check the disk for errors is REAL. If you’re not looking to disable the disk check completely but want it forced after a larger number of mounts (or reboots) then you should modify the -c parameter accordingly. For instance, to increase the maximum disk mount count from the default of 30 to 50, do:

sudo tune2fs -c 50 -i 0 /dev/sda1

Now, the disk check will be forced after 50 mounts instead of 30.

PS: Remember to run manual disk checks regularly if you disable forced disk checking! Don’t say I did not warn you. 🙂


  1. Next time don’t brag before showing off at the dee day. It always turns out to fail if you do that.

    Anyway ,I turn to be the opposite. I hate usplash it doesn’t let me read boot messages to know what failed and what didn’t, which services started and which didn’t etc. So if you’re in the same camp as me, this is how we disable usplash in ubuntu.
    sudo vim /boot/grub/menu.list
    look for a line similar to this one
    kernel /boot/vmlinuz-2.6.22-14-generic root=UUID=0b19844e-c403-4f72-a75c-4a86d3a5a596 ro quiet splash

    remove the “splash” from that line.
    Save, reboot and enjoy reading

  2. I only need to know what failed when something fails. And I can easily get rid of the usplash by hot editing the grub menu list at boot. A lot of the time, things just work and I don’t need the ugly scrolling text screen. Besides when I need to know things that happened during the boot process, I just read my message logs. 🙂

  3. […] Forced Disk Check At Boot on Ubuntu Last week, I expressed my distaste for the way Ubuntu (and most linux distros) forces disk checks on users. I got even more irritated […]

  4. […] week, I expressed my distaste for the way Ubuntu (and most linux distros) forces disk checks on users. I got even more irritated […]

  5. agree. It’s sad that you can’t stop disk check when you’re in hurry. and sad too the black and white text.

  6. Занимаюсь дизайном и хочу попросить автора отправить шаьлончик на мой мыил) Готов заплатить…

  7. I agree with you on the forced check. On the distribution I’m running now, Ubuntu 8.04, the system does skip the check if the computer is a laptop running on batteries. I find it very annoying when I bring my laptop to work, that I have to waste around 10-20 minutes! What is up with that? And as you say, what if it happens when I’m having a presentation, where the time allocated is maybe only 20 minutes?

    One of the problems is that ext2, 3 or 4 do not support checking of the file system when they are mounted. Windows can do that with NTFS file systems right?

  8. Hi! I was surfing and found your blog post… nice! I love your blog. 🙂 Cheers! Sandra. R.

  9. Ok now revert the hourglass…
    can someone help me set the checkdisk on shutdown ? You save 10 mins on startup when hurry and obtain same disk-failure protection.

  10. OMG you can’t do fsck on a mounted volume, is that for real. That sux.

  11. I was annoyed by the same problem on my SuSE 11.1, and I added an option to skip forced fsck checks (probably only for SuSE systems):

    Edit the files /etc/init.d/boot.rootfsck and /etc/init.d/boot.localfs by adding three lines after the line “FSCK_RETURN=$?”:
    if test $FSCK_RETURN -eq 32 ; then

    • I forgot to add this information: Having made the changes posted before, just press Ctrl-C when you want to skip a forced fs check.

  12. I’m new here.
    I love this post. It was nice to read.
    I am curious how I didn’t know about this blog before.
    Sharing is said to be a virtue, and a lot more bloggers need to see this blog.
    I will try to share. Many of my friends will love it.

    Cheerz and keep up the good work!

  13. I’m white.

  14. […]…ed-disk-check/ […]

  15. Good thing Arch Linux doesn’t natively has a splash screen.

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