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I first noticed that fsck_hfs was running, taking up 50-75% of a CPU, yesterday. It continues to run today.

ps shows that it is doing /sbin/fsck_hfs -f -n -x -E /dev/disk3. Only problem: I don’t think I have a /dev/disk3.

  1. Why is it running?
  2. Will it ever finish?
    • Can I kill it?
  3. What is /dev/disk3? Could it be my Time Machine volume, which is not mounted at the moment?

System Info: MacBook Pro (2008). It has two disks installed—the internal disk (/dev/disk1) and a PC Card SSD (/dev/disk0, surprisingly). It connects to a remote Time Machine volume attached to an Airport Extreme base station.

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3 Answers 3

up vote 14 down vote accepted
  1. It was probably running from when your Time Machine volume was mounted.
  2. If the volume isn't present anymore, I doubt it.
    • I'm sure you can sudo killall fsck_hfs; it wouldn't hurt anything. (Have you tried restarting?)
  3. It probably is.
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Thanks for the help! You were right. Moments after killing it, Time Machine popped up saying it was unable to verify my backup. It probably became confused last night when I closed my MacBook and took it home. Crazy that it will try to verify a ~750 GB disk image over Wi-Fi! I would have to leave my computer turned on and at the office for several days for it to complete… –  Nate Jun 17 '10 at 19:30

Clicking on the Time Machine icon in the menu bar and choose "Skip verification" caused the fsck_hfs process to stop itself. Maybe a bit nicer than kill...

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You can also click on the Time Machine icon, select "Open Time Machine Preferences...", and you should see a progress bar for how far along the "Backing Up" process is.

You can then click the "x" next to the progress bar to stop the verification process.

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