ext3 journaling: check forced

You get the general feeling that the force is against you. You’re running EXT3, an extension to the old and stable ext2, for that extra buffer: journaling. In the simplest of terms, ext3 prevents those enormous boot-up delays when the volume needs checking due to a crash or other circumstances. EXT3 has the ability to recover the state of the volume from the journal, and, viola! Your boot up is very quick.

However, you’ve now found you’ve been running that server of yours for half a year (180 days) or more and you are happy. You now have the itch to change something which requires a reboot. It pains you to lose that uptime, but the gains are better than holding out for greater up time. You do the necessary work, boot up the machine, and are greeted with a message stating that the volume has gone unchecked for greater than 180 days followed by the dreaded words check forced. This now makes you sit there as it falls back to using the old ext2 file system check that takes forever on large drives.

Unless you formatted these drives by hand, you would never have seen the warning message:

This filesystem will be automatically checked every 24 mounts or
180 days, whichever comes first. Use tune2fs -c or -i to override.

Most GUI’s and OS installers hide this information.

So, the trick is to nip this one in the bud by disabling the check. You don’t need it anyhow. Really.

tune2fs -i 0 /dev/hdb1

And your system will never force a check of the volume unless you tell it to.

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