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There is a desktop PC which suffers continually from EXT4 filesystem inconsistencies. The PC does not boot up. I use fsck to repair the filesystem. The PC works fine again, after some time the filesystem gets broken again.

The PC is not used daily. Maybe two or three days a week on average. When the PC is unused it is cut of power by a hardware switch. I wounder if this could drain the CMOS battery faster and if this could be related to the filesystem issue.

My first guess would be that it is not related, but there are temporal values used for filesystem metadata and the battery was exhausted and replaced some time ago.

In the meanwhile I did a clean install with an up-to-date Lubuntu LTS and there where no inconsistencies for some time. Recently they started to occur again.

Of course this could have all kinds of causes. The most probable is a harddisk defekt. I just don't want to check if it might have a cause that can be repaired without buying new hardware before I spend money.

Is there some way to narrow the cause down, by system analysis (e.g. the inconsistencies)?

  • Not shutting the system down properly is the number one reason of FS inconsistencies. Then there could be a hardware fault (disk or RAM). Try using smartmontools (smartctl --all /dev/sda) to check the disk and memtest86+ (must install, reboot and select memtest86+ boot entry) to check the RAM. – Ondřej Xicht Světlík Aug 4 at 16:57

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