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Re: unremoveable file

On Sat, 20 Dec 1997, Tim Ferrell wrote:

> I am in the process of upgrading to libc6 *sigh* which is proving to be
> somewhat of a challenge... anyhow, in the process I have found
> something rather strange. Somehow /etc/mail has been changed from a
> directory to a block device that I cannot get rid of! Here is the
> listing: 
> br-xr-x-wx   1 22871    21811     89, 117 Jul 26  2027 /etc/mail
> I cannot remove it: I cannot chown it. Any ideas?? Also, when I try to
> acces any man pages groff dies complaining it cannot find a DESC file.
> What's up with that? All worked fine before... 

looks like filesystem corruption. you need to reboot into emergency mode
and run fsck on all of your filesystems. reboot and type "linux emergency"
at the LILO prompt.  login with root's password when it prompts for it. 
then, for each partition, do the following: 

	e2fsck -f -y DEVICE

(where DEVICE is /dev/hda1, /dev/hda2, /dev/hda3 etc)

when you've done this, type "sync" and then "logout" to continue booting
the system. 

I've had corruption like this on filesystems before - never did find out
what the cause was. at that time, fsck wasn't able to fix the problem so
i had to reformat the partition (fortunately it was only /var/spool/news
and not anything important).  I believe that e2fsck is capable of fixing
problems like this now.

> Oh, in case it helps, here is a list of hamm packages I have installed:
> [..deleted...]
> comerr2g_1.10-9.deb	 e2fslibsg_1.10-9.deb

have you got the latest e2fsprogsg installed? if not, make sure that
*all* of the ext2 utilities and libraries are up to date BEFORE you do
the fsck as described above.

it's probably a good idea to be running the latest kernel version too
(either 2.0.32 or 2.0.33 which got released a few days ago) in case
there are any relevant fixes to the e2fs code.


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