How to force ubuntu to check hard disks on startup

Posted by Nick on December 19th, 2009

Today I have converted my laptop’s hard disk to ext4 and I wanted to perform a hard disk check just to be sure that everything was ok.

As you may know there is a tool called e2fsck that checks hard disks for problems, but this will work best on an unmounted partition so I really wanted to force Ubuntu to check the disks on boot.

Anyway to do that there are two ways. The hard one that involves the use of the tune2fs command and the easy one which is this:

sudo touch /forcefsck

I know it is funny how easy are things some times :)

For the record I performed a boot benchmark with ext3 and ext4 and the results are kind of funny. With ext3 file system and ext3 drivers (/etc/fstab) my Toshiba satellite laptop booted in 54 seconds. With ext3 file system and ext4 drivers it took 47 seconds and with ext4 drivers and file system 48 sec!

I know it sounds funny but – according to the documentation – converting your file system to ext4 wont affect the files already present in the disk, but only the files that are going to be written later. So I will have to wait for a kernel update in order to check it again :)

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